Just four questions. That’s all. Ask these four questions to your customers, and you can plan your business’ direction for the next twelve months. Sure. Guaranteed. Just four questions. If you can’t ask your customers yourself, pass this to your estimators or salespeople. These questions work better than anything else you can do, even giving out imprinted note pads. (Well, if you gave each customer a Cadillac, that actually would work better.)
As you ask, be sure you are listening, and take good notes on your customer’s answers. Don’t interrupt or argue with your customer. This is not a time to disagree, nor is it a time to sell anything. Learn and listen. Then, go back to your company and implement.
So what are The Questions?
- What has our company done recently that helped you and your company to reach your goals?
- What can we do for improving our products or services that will help you and your company to reach your goals?
- What can we do for improving our communications—either written, oral or electronic—that will help you and your company?
- What are your most important goals for the upcoming twelve months?
It really is this easy. The hard part is accepting what your customers tell you. You may think you offer the best customer service in the trade. If you customers don’t think it, then you don’t offer the best customer service in the trade. You answer each email within a day. You may hear that customers want an email answered within four hours. You should be doing that!
Listen to where your customers are going in the next twelve months. If you are not capable of fulfilling products or services, you will be history. It is easy for you to look into the future of your company. What really counts is looking into the future of your customer’s company.