“How did we do today?” “Was everything OK?” “Did we meet your needs?” Such are the kinds of almost useless questions we usually hear at the conclusion of customer service interactions. I suppose such questions are marginally better than no question at all, but for companies seeking growth they have very little value.
All usually prompt a one-word answer. They add very little value to either the transaction or the relationship. They may evoke some feedback if a customer is unhappy and provide an opportunity to fix an issue. However, none of these examples typically produces real change in customer service performance. More importantly, they do not contribute to the growth of your business.
It seems companies ask these questions as a formality – much as they probably also use the “have-a-nice-day” close to a conversation. Quick 1-minute customer satisfaction surveys are usually little better. Often, questions asked seem more designed to tabulate favorable customer satisfaction ratings for shareholders than truly identifying service weaknesses. Particularly that large North American cable provider who asks, with emphasis, “Were you satisfied with the help you received from the last person you spoke with?” Cleverly avoiding feedback about probable frustration with the 3, 4 or more people you spoke with before you finally found someone who could actually help; such skewed questions falsely reflect far more favorably on a corporation.
Companies interested in superior customer service success realize good, productive questions are far more valuable.
We encourage clients to avoid mundane questions – questions that simply determine satisfaction with a transaction. Instead, we encourage them to pose questions that ferret out valuable information to help grow business with that particular customer.
“How can we win more of your business?” How can we improve your buying experience with us?” “How can we make our interactions more enjoyable?” Such productive questions encourage a customer to provide feedback on areas where your company can improve meaningfully. Such questions often identify fundamental weaknesses. With quick attention, and a sincere desire to reassess processes or product features, companies can nurture growth while customers have the satisfaction of providing feedback they can truly benefit from.
You’ll need to determine what the appropriate questions for your company are. You will also need a good method to record, monitor and act on responses. Nevertheless, with planning, effective execution, and dedication to acting on feedback received, growth can become imbedded in your company — quickly and permanently.
In coming blog articles, we’ll explore ways great companies deliver customer service that makes them better continuously. Become a follower to receive our regular blog updates, and feel welcome to share them with colleagues who share your passion to grow their business, and grow it profitably.