Have you ever asked your client or customers, "What could our company do to serve you better?" only to get a simple answer that doesn't really pinpoint what issues or other services you may be able to help them with? These types of open ended questions are too generic for your client and may lead you into a false sense that your business is safe.
Instead of asking such a generic customer service question, try to ask your client a question like, "What is something that none of your other vendors do that you wish they would?" This way, you're getting actual examples of frustration so you can better learn how to assist your clients.
Be More Specific
By asking questions that are more focused and within a recent time frame, your clients are more able to provide you with relevant and helpful information. It isn't that they don't want to give you the information, but they aren't able to effectively formulate a clear answer when they don't have a base to focus on. Focused questions help give clients that base in which to think of an answer. Once you get your answers, you'll be able to figure out those specific pain points or delightful interactions that your clients have.
The Most Common Answer Isn't Always Best
If you're getting the same answers from most of your clients, you'll see a pattern develop. Most of the time, this can help your business figure out what needs to be addressed, but if the clients are all giving the same generic answers, such as "We need to sell more of our products," you aren't going to be able to assist them effectively.
If this is the case, you should look for the clients that might sound like, "While using some promotional products from one of our other suppliers, such as ballpoint pens, we get a few leads. However, they aren't as effective as we have seen in the past. What other promotional products or services would you suggest to increase our leads?" These clients have put in the work, they have gone through the frustration and are now actively seeking help. The more specific the information you're getting, the better you'll be able to help them. With this type of specific information, you're more able to help the client on a personal level, instead of just throwing something at a wall and hoping it sticks.
Effective Customer Experience Questions
Another way to figure out ways to help out your clients is to ask them to fill out simple customer surveys. Now, most of the time these surveys will have basic questions, such as "How satisfied are you with our customer support?" or "How did we do with your last project?" These aren't bad questions, mind you, but they aren't very engaging either.
In order for your clients to really leave helpful feedback, you need to reframe your questions to provide context to the question. So, lets reframe the second question in the above paragraph to, "What could we have done better to improve your experience on your most recent project?" This way, we reframe it to try to figure out what the frustrating part of the most recent project was so we can make the process easier for next time. Otherwise, you may get an open ended answer that doesn't really help you understand what may have gone wrong.
When communicating with your clients, make sure you are trying to target their pain points and anything that has made things easier for them. Be specific about your questions and try to get down to a personal experience level of their business. They will create a more engaging conversation, instead of leading to generic answers that could lead nowhere. Surveys can be even more successful at finding points of interest in your business and your client's, so long as you keep the questions from being too generic to be helpful, as this will lower the quality of your surveys.
5 Great Questions You Should Ask Your Customers - https://www.inc.com/tom-searcy/5-great-questions-ceos-ask-customers.html
The Single Most Important Question To Ask Customers - https://www.forbes.com/sites/ianaltman/2017/02/28/the-single-most-important-question-to-ask-customers/#6dbb32d3462a