The other question you should ask every customer

by Brendon on March 31, 2005

I know I’ve mentioned in these articles before about asking the ‘golden’ question.
That question is “Why should the customer do business with you?”
It’s an incredibly valuable question. Figure that one out and you’ll have a terrific business.
But I have another big question you should ask! And, as usual, I’m going to give you the answer in a story.
“What would you give us?”
A few years ago we finished a web site for a client. He was a delightful client and at the end of the project I asked him this question:
“What would you give us on a scale of 1 to 10 taking into account design, service, meeting deadlines, ease to work with, quality…….the entire experience?”
He was very happy with our service and the final product and he said we were great.
He gave us a 9 out of 10!
That’s great, right??
No, it’s not. It’s okay. But not great. If you have happy clients you could well fail.
You see your customers won’t come back to you if you are okay. I remember reading a study somewhere a couple of years ago that showed that if a business was rated above-average it had the same percentage of repeat customers and referred customers as an ‘average ‘ business. Only when the business was ranked ‘Excellent’ did the repeat customer rate increase and did the referred customer rate go through the roof.
This is what I said to our client
“Mmmm, we want a 10! What do we have to do to get a 10?”
I can’t really remember what he said, but they were a few minor things and we quickly did what he suggested. I went back to the client and said:
“Now would you give us a 10?!”
Nope! He had thought of a few more things whilst I was away dealing with the other issues! We quickly took care of his last concerns and he happily gave us a 10.
Now that’s what we want! And we want that as a business because we know that delighted clients will tell others about us. Satisfied clients probably won’t. And word of mouth referrals are the best way for most service businesses to grow their business.
Fast forward a month or two- (2) and I received a telephone call from a relative of the client who gave us the 10. He’d rung to say that he had been referred to us by our delighted client. (I love it when a plan comes together!)
He then proceeded to recount how impressed he was when his relative had detailed the “Out of 10” story!
We have since completed four- (4) (yep, 4!) web sites as a direct result of us asking that very simple question:
“What would you give us on a scale of 1 to 10?”
You don’t want happy clients!
Happy clients are just okay. But that’s all. You need absolutely delighted and overjoyed clients. They must want to shout your praises from the rooftops! That’s the way to really build your business.
And there is one- (1) easy way to get delighted clients. Ask them what you have to do for them to be delighted. Ask them what you have to do to get them to refer others to you. Ask the second golden question:
“What do we have to do to make you absolutely delighted with our service?”
Then do what they say.

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