What is the One Single Most Important Question to Ask Your Customers?

John Krautzel
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Thanks to the Internet, social media and feedback requests printed on retail receipts, companies have tons of opportunities to seek answers from consumers. To avoid bombarding people with survey requests, businesses might want to narrow their inquiries to the most important question they need an answer to in order to improve their customer service. The subject of that question is something that each firm must figure out on its own.

Identifying the Most Important Question

In your quest to find the most pertinent feedback, experts agree you should ask your clients open-ended questions. Open-ended questions bring about valuable feedback because people love to talk or write about things that mean something to them. To find your company's most important question, rephrase the query "What keeps you up at night?" to relate to your business.

A rephrasing might read, "When it comes to Issue X, what is the largest challenge, obstacle, frustration or hurdle you run into?" The X factor in this question can be your product, a service, an interaction or the thing you want to offer to people when you help them. Ask your clients to write or talk about this thing in as much detail as possible.

Sample questions could include "What’s the single biggest frustration you feel with your current service provider?" or "What do you wish you could change about our product/service?"

Finding the Answers

Coming up with the most important question is just part of the battle; the hard part comes when you try to interpret the answers. Rather than finding the most common concerns among your clients or customers, read over the most detailed responses. Somewhere in a customer's suggestion is a nugget that expresses genuine frustration or concern or an issue that can lead to profound changes within your company's service paradigm. Detailed answers give you chances to narrow your focus.

For example, the answer "More customer service agents" really doesn't get you anywhere. However, a detailed response gives you plenty to go on: "I tried to contact your company through five different portals at once, and nothing seems to work. Have you considered Skype interactions?"

Responding to Needs

Once you find the best answers, it's time to evaluate the concerns. Develop an appropriate response to the feedback to see whether the customer's concerns warrant a change in your customer experience. Incorporate the changes and the customer feedback into training sessions for new and current employees. Moving forward, you can use this solution as a way to show customers that their opinions matter.

The ultimate goal of pinpointing the most important question your company asks to customers is to create more business opportunities for your firm. Responding to the feedback you receive becomes an exercise in staying ahead of trends and the competition as you grow.

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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