Customer Questions – Are You Paying Attention?

There are many tools available to solicit customer feedback as a way to learn about the consumer’s experience.  Focus groups, comment cards, satisfaction surveys are all great tools that can be used to solicit customer feedback and can be used to improve products and services.

Another great opportunity to understand a consumer’s experience is by taking advantage of the questions customers ask.  When a customer asks a question, it provides a great learning opportunity.  What we learn from customer questions is very valuable and should be used as yet another tool to improve products and services.

For example, I was eating at a restaurant the other day and asked the waitress about a menu item and inquired as to whether I could have a soup and salad combination instead of a large salad and a soup since it was not a specific menu option.  She flat out said “no”.  I was thinking to myself, what a missed opportunity to add a menu item that might appeal to a large number of people and make this customers day.  I know that I am merely an audience of one but I know enough people (women) who like smaller portions and love soup (especially on a cold rainy day).  I’ve eaten in restaurants that do a great job of working with the customer to customize food orders to the patrons requests.

Paying attention to customer questions is a great way to identify opportunities for new products or services, learn how to improve training or a consumer’s knowledge about about available products and services.

From a logistical perspective, you can approach this from a couple of different ways.  You could keep a log by the phone (if using a call center), by the register at a store or restaurant or you could use technology by sending emails or texts to a central location.  You could also track these questions over time and see how often those questions are asked.  Data should drive decision.

Finding out what the customer wants is one of the most critical aspects of successful business making it important to capture their thoughts and ideas at every opportunity. Paying attention to their questions, and capturing the moment, is one such opportunity that should not be missed.

Do you pay attention to customer questions?

photo by: casecash