It’s all a Question of Timing...and getting the questions right
Burgis & Bullock know that getting at the truth, especially when it comes to what clients really think, is critical if you want committed, engaged clients who stick with you, buy more from you and regularly recommend you to others.
If you have been following our news articles, you will know why most ‘Customer Surveys’ are fundamentally flawed, (why the chicken crossed the road), why clients don’t tell all when giving feedback, (what do clients really think), and how important it is to ask permission before asking for feedback, (right question – right timing).
In this article we are going to share another subtle but hugely important detail: What to ask and when to ask. If you have set this up correctly, your client will be expecting the call, so it’s just a question of timing:
- Option A: Ask for and agree a time in advance, make the call at the agreed time, conduct the interview.
- Option B: Let them know when you will call and do so at the agreed time accepting the timing may not be right.
We all like to feel we are important, but we are also busy so there is not a right answer, but option B provides some added psychological benefits that option A lacks. In most cases it enhances your relationship with your client.
What happens? Call made. Introduction and the question: “Is the timing good for you, or would you prefer me to ring back at a time that is better for you?” frequently results in the response “please call back on…”, and this is frequently repeated several times.
Bad news for efficiency and cost, but good news for your client relationship. The interviewer and the client get to know each other better with each call, and each postponement reminds the client they are important to you and so strengthens engagement.
Each time the client puts off the interview they agreed to, also increases their indebtedness, so when your client says ‘yes’ and agrees to answer the questions, they typically give more ‘helpful’ and informative responses.
Exactly what questions to ask are the topic of our next article, but if you cannot wait until then …
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