When you’re first starting out as an entrepreneur, it can be hard to get an accurate understanding on how your business is doing. Are you doing OK? Do you need to make any changes? What are your customers saying about you and the service you offer? While these questions might be difficult to answer, there are ways to get an accurate idea of what’s going on with your business by asking the right questions of the right people. Here are 5 questions you should ask for honest feedback as a business owner.
1) Are you satisfied with your product/service?
This is just as important for you to know about your product/service, as it is for potential clients. If you don’t ask clients how they feel about your service, chances are that no one will ever tell you. It’s important to understand what people think of your business and why they feel that way. In order to do so, you must ask them directly. It could be something simple like: How was our service? Did we meet your expectations? Is there anything we can improve on? What did you like most about your experience with us?
2) What else do you want us to offer?
When soliciting feedback, always try to ask why after getting an answer. If someone says they wish you offered vouchers, your follow-up question should be: Why do you want us to offer vouchers? This little bit of clarification helps you get at what is really driving their response and may provide valuable insights that could help grow your business. And it also invites more conversation—and gets people talking about you.
3) Is there anything we should stop doing?
If your friends and family members feel comfortable giving you honest feedback, then consider asking them if there are any aspects of your business that they think that you should stop doing. Perhaps they think your social media presence is too pushy or they wish you spent more time on customer service. By stopping these negative practices, you can free up more time and energy to work on bettering other aspects of your business.
4) How likely are you to recommend us?
It’s important to always ask your customers how likely they are to recommend you. These percentages are typically expressed in three categories: Extremely Likely, Likely, and Neither Likely nor Unlikely. It also helps to break out these numbers by customer segment so you can see how different types of customers rate you. For example, if you have high scores from new customers but low scores from long-term customers, it may be time to rethink some of your strategies and how you interact with your regular clients.
5) Do you have any more suggestions for improving our service/product?
A lot of business owners run on assumption, and those assumptions can lead to costly mistakes. To get honest feedback about how you can improve your business, you need open-ended questions. Don’t ask: What do you think? or Is there anything we can do better? The answers will be yes and no, respectively—not helpful. Instead, try: Do you have any more suggestions for improving our service/product?
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