Customers pay the bills and are the reason we exist.
Many organizations miss opportunities by not paying attention to simple requests that customers make.
There are many tools available to solicit feedback from customers – which is an active way to learn about the consumer’s experience.
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 our products and services.
For example, I was eating at a restaurant the other day and asked the waitress about a menu item.
I inquired as to whether I could have a soup and salad combination instead of a large salad and a cup of soup – since it was not a specific menu option.
I was a little surprised when 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 customer’s 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.
Pay attention to customer questions and you will identify potential new products or services and learn how to improve employee training.
In the above example, I’d be willing to guess if the manager had heard the servers respond to me they would have interjected and offered the option to me.
I’ll never know for sure but I think it’s possible. It was a missed opportunity on both fronts.
So how do you do this?
Keep a Log for Questions
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 always drive decisions.
The secret to business success is the ability to learn what the customer wants and create products and services to meet those requests.
To do this take every opportunity to capture the customer’s thoughts, ideas, and suggestions.
Paying attention to customer questions, and capturing the moment, is one such opportunity that should not be missed.
Do you pay attention to customer questions?