The One Question You Should Never Ask Your Customers
The one question you should never ask when conducting a survey is probably the most asked question on surveys today.
“What Don’t you like about our company or service?”
By asking your customer to answer this, you are having them admit they made a bad choice.
Never ask what they don’t like.
So how can you get clients to open up and tell you the brutal truth without coming across as a bad choice?
Third party surveys can play a critical role in finding the truth about your service. Surveys conducted by a third party can discover the weak points in your service or product. You might even discover a new service you can add to your lineup through a survey.
Friends, family, and your customers will rarely tell you how bad things are to your face.
But they will talk behind your back!
Surveying customers directly will leave you with filtered results. Make it easy for your customers so they can talk behind your back. A third party survey company where names and email addresses are not required is a good step.
If sending by mail, have the clients return the surveys via mail to a third party.
Leaving names and emails out of the equation will deliver candid results. Real results.
Customers will take notice that you actually give a damn about your company. They will notice you are trying to improve your service.
Have your customers score you in different areas. If you receive high marks, publicize those marks in your marketing collateral and advertisements.
Surveys also keep contact with your clients.
You can learn from your mistakes and fix those mistakes.
You can also flag down problem areas.
You don’t have to guess what you are doing wrong.
Most importantly, you discover what business you are in and what people are buying.
Don’t Focus On Groups
I’ve been involved in focus groups ranging from new cars being launched by Nissan to rug cleaning companies.
The one conclusion I have drawn from each group is they suck if not used properly.
Why do they suck? Easy… you are not selling to groups. You are selling to individuals.
Group dynamics influence what is said and agreed upon. Controlling people will take over your focus group and persuade others.
The sheep will sit there and never offer up their true feelings just waiting for it to end and get their stipend.
Views are shaped and crafted in front of your very eyes – The last thing you want.
Focus groups have a role in branding and product reception, but not in grading your company. Do that with a third party survey.
The worst thing you can do is allow the focus group to become the creative force in your company. Rarely will you get a hit product out of such a group.
Used properly, a focus group can get you inside the minds of your audience. Focus groups can give you the reaction to your product or service. They can also tell you the emotional benefits they receive from your product or service.
Always remember, you are selling to individuals and not groups. Survey your customers via a third party. And never ask them what they don’t like.
Ready for the next step? Check out Putting the Ideal Customer Together.