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One of the most important steps in creating systems, solutions and strategies that can produce immediate, quantifiable, and measurable profits for any business is knowing exactly who your current customers or clients are, how they came to be your customer, why they do business with you and not your competition, and what they like or dislike about their buying experience with you.

Far too many businesses operate without any of this data at all, or if they do have some it’s pretty much a guesstimate and not based on any meaningful research. And therefore, it’s not nearly as helpful, nor can it produce the kinds of results you should be getting in your business.

The idea is to contact a number of your customers or clients and ask them a series of questions that will help you identify various hot buttons, areas of concern, trends, things that need to be changed and that can be acted on quickly, and areas of uniqueness that your customers might see in you but that you overlook because you’re too close or familiar to your business.

This is intended to be very non-threatening and the customers can remain anonymous if they like. Although in most cases, we’ve found that they’ll be happy to identify who they are along with their responses.

Here are the questions we typically ask:

  1. How did you first hear about <Your Company>?
  2. How long have you been a customer (or doing business with them)?
  3. What products or services have you purchased from them?
  4. Why did you do business with them in the first place?
  5. Is there anything that <Your Company> offers, that in your opinion is unique, compared to anyone else who sells or offers the same or similar products or services?
  6. What do they do that makes them stand out from their competition?
  7. What are your biggest frustrations when dealing with <Your Company>?
  8. What are three things you feel they could improve on?
  9. If you had a magic wand, what one thing would like them to provide or do for you?
  10. What media do you read, watch, or listen to?
  11. How often would you like to be contacted with new information, or be contacted by the company’s representatives?
  12. Do you prefer phone call, text message or email?
  13. On a 1 to 10 scale, how likely is it that you would refer this company to a friend or colleague?
  14. If someone were to ask you why they should do business with this company, what would you tell them?

The answers to these questions will give you a cross section of your current customers; who they are, why they buy from you, and identifiers that can help you attract more of the best ones.