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Asking customers the right questions

In some markets, it can be hard to engineer the opportunity for a good chat with existing customers about our products and services – especially for the marketing team. However, there’s some fabulous insight to be had when we do so.

What should we ask them though?

I’d suggest probably the same sort of questions that I’d ask as a journalist doing a case study. Why did you need to use this product, and why did you use (or change to) this supplier? Did the product allow you to do anything you couldn’t do before? What did the product do better (and worse) than you’d expected? What was the most important benefit in practice? Have you done any work on calculating the ROI? Have other areas of the company benefitted from your introduction of the product?

The most useful responses may well come from fairly recent customers who can remember what life was like before the product made it so much better for them. I’ve known businesses change their marketing message for a product to something far more effective, based on this sort of customer feedback. Sadly, the sort of detailed answers required won’t just land on our desks, they take initiative to uncover …so we need to ensure we ask the right questions.