Customer feedback is absolutely essential to sustainable business growth. Holding a mirror up to your own brand is a wholly unrewarding exercise, with this (likely flattering) reflection unavoidably being coloured by your own intentions and aspirations.
Instead, looking outward and inviting those most qualified to judge your product or service – the people paying for it – to share their unfiltered opinions can return powerful insights.
These insights can help to shape the future of your business, inspiring everything from product range expansions to customer service process overhauls – and today, we’re sharing six key customer questions every brand should be asking to help them work towards a more satisfying customer experience and a more positive reputation overall.
How did you find us?
Knowing where your customers have come from is useful in a number of ways. First and foremost, these insights help you to identify your most fruitful marketing channels (such as social media, organic search, print advertising or good old-fashioned word of mouth) – information which can and should inform how marketing budgets are distributed in the long term.
On top of that, though, this knowledge can also influence how and, importantly, where you choose to communicate with your existing customers – tailoring this means of contact based on their preferences in pursuit of increased engagement.
What are we getting right?
Naturally, you’ll want to know which aspects of your product range or customer service are working for your customers, so you can carve out a long-term strategy that places these elements at the forefront and, as such, is built on solid foundations. Whether it’s your competitive prices, your high-quality product manufacturing, your knowledgeable customer service team or your proactive delivery updates, your customers are ideally placed to let you know what your USP is.
By process of elimination, you can also go some way towards establishing what isn’t going right. If you find that there are aspects of your product or service going completely unmentioned, this could be a sign to take a closer look at these less celebrated aspects and identify what, if any, improvements can be made.
Are we doing enough?
Where the above doesn’t illuminate you as to areas for improvement, asking this crucial question is sure to generate some worthwhile constructive feedback. Its vagueness means it’s open to interpretation, which broadens the range of possibilities when it comes to the answers you’ll get – from input on your customer service levels or delivery turnaround times to the ethics of your manufacturing methods or your commitment to eco-friendly business practices.
Asking this open-ended but highly significant customer question is a key exercise when it comes to establishing your brand as one that’s willing to go beyond merely satisfactory and strive for industry excellence.
Why did you choose us over the alternatives?
Standing out is vital in crowded marketplaces, but seeking to stand out and succeeding in doing so are altogether different things. You may have chosen to undercut your competitors on price, develop a vibrant, offbeat brand identity or offer round-the-clock customer support, for example – but the measure of whether this attempt to set your brand apart has worked will be the answers you receive to this question.
Rather than leading customers down a specific, premeditated path, give them the freedom to express their own views on your point of difference. Who knows? You might just find out you have a whole new unique selling point you can begin harnessing to generate business going forward.
What problems do we solve for you as a customer?
We expect your business was originally launched to solve an age-old consumer problem – whether you were setting out to solve this conundrum for the first time, or aspiring to solve it in a quicker, easier, smarter way than any other business had managed thus far.
Rather than asking your customers whether you have, indeed, solved precisely the problem you set out to, avoid putting words in their mouths and put it to them to explain how your product or service fulfils a need in, or removes an obstacle from, their life. With this genuine, unmanipulated feedback, you can find out whether the cornerstone of your brand mission is something your customers genuinely understand and recognise.
What do you want to see from us next?
Aside from what you’re getting right or wrong today, there’s huge value in understanding what your customers want or expect from you tomorrow. Customer questions like these can be highly informative when it comes to your long-term plans for developing and launching new products, expanding your customer service availability, introducing new payment options or attacking previously untapped revenue streams.
Your loyal customers are committed to joining you in the next phase of your brand’s journey, so it’s only fair that they should have the chance to help you chart the course.
The world’s most successful brands are able to thrive because of their engaged communities of like-minded customers. At Six Circles, our integrated community engagement platform is replete with tools to help your business connect with your audience – including market research tools primed for precisely this sort of revelatory Q&A activity.
Explore the features of our platform today to find out how your customer base can become a community through the art of honest, direct communication, and the long-term engagement that comes with it.