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Questions - Your Purpose When You Respond to a Customer

Author : marybrink252
Publish Date : 2021-04-15 11:13:23
Questions - Your Purpose When You Respond to a Customer

In seminars I find my audience quickly come up with two key parts to the answer:

1. To answer truthfully and accurately.

2. To phrase your answer in a way that is easy for the customer to understand. In other words, avoiding jargon, acronyms and technical terms that the customer may not be familiar with.

It's the third part that is often missed:

3. To make the customer feel good about having asked the question.

There are a lot of people who worry about asking 'dumb questions'. If your intention is to make your customers feel good about sharing their concerns and asking about anything that is unclear to them, your tone of voice and initial comments can help overcome this. For example:

"That's a good point".
"Thanks for asking that. I should have explained..."
"Good question".

This will help relax the customer and give them the confidence to raise any other concerns that they have, and to listen to your answers.

It makes a tremendous difference to relationships and the outcome of your conversations with customers.

Avoid a 'data dump'
In responding to a customer's question, enthusiasm for your company and its products and services can be one of your greatest strengths. It can also be your greatest weakness.

So, PLEASE don't do a 'data dump' on your customer. What do I mean by this?

As a technologically challenged baby boomer, I often come across this when I ask a question about software for my computer or an app for my iPhone. The salesperson or technician hits me with a torrent of words that come far too fast for my old brain and with information that is far too detailed for my requirements. My eyes glaze over and I switch them off!

 

https://theq.qcc.edu/ICS/Campus_Life/Campus_Groups/Music_Club/Discussion.jnz?portlet=Forums&screen=PostView&screenType=change&id=e98659c7-8c05-47ec-bb94-e928790e9dc9
https://theq.qcc.edu/ICS/Campus_Life/Campus_Groups/Music_Club/Discussion.jnz?portlet=Forums&screen=PostView&screenType=change&id=647dc5d1-900b-4fa4-96fa-52e484714ba3
https://theq.qcc.edu/ICS/Campus_Life/Campus_Groups/Music_Club/Discussion.jnz?portlet=Forums&screen=PostView&screenType=change&id=bca026da-0e37-47a6-af6a-071fc4b9017c
https://theq.qcc.edu/ICS/Campus_Life/Campus_Groups/Music_Club/Discussion.jnz?portlet=Forums&screen=PostView&screenType=change&id=3f27be8c-adc2-47e8-97d7-e3c22f6a8401
https://theq.qcc.edu/ICS/Campus_Life/Campus_Groups/Music_Club/Discussion.jnz?portlet=Forums&screen=PostView&screenType=change&id=e635ba21-79dc-4d5b-838b-fffad85d2b85

It reminds me of when my daughter Rita was about eleven years old. She had a history project from school and asked Gwen for some help with it. Gwen said, "I don't know much about history. Ask your Dad, I'm sure he'll help." Rita rolled her eyes and said, "I don't want to know that much about it!"

And she was so right. As a lover of history, if Rita had come to me (without Gwen warning me first) I'd have got all enthusiastic and gone into far too much detail for far too long which wouldn't have impressed my young daughter at all!

More recently, I had someone share with me the painful process that she recently went through when making enquiries about installing solar panels in her home. Each salesperson bombarded her with information for over an hour no matter how many hints she dropped about just telling her the essentials. She had a question she would have liked to ask one of the salespeople, but didn't. Why? Because the previous question she asked resulted in a 20 minute detailed response and she wasn't willing to go through the pain of that again.

So, the lesson from this is, don't do a data dump. Don't overload your customer with information. First, clarify what it is they want to know and how much detail will be appropriate.

Jurek Leon is a storyteller, trainer, author and coach based in Australia who presents courses and addresses seminars on word of mouth marketing, motivation, customer focussed selling and service excellence. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly 'Terrific Tips' e-newsletter at
In seminars I find my audience quickly come up with two key parts to the answer:

1. To answer truthfully and accurately.

2. To phrase your answer in a way that is easy for the customer to understand. In other words, avoiding jargon, acronyms and technical terms that the customer may not be familiar with.

It's the third part that is often missed:

3. To make the customer feel good about having asked the question.

There are a lot of people who worry about asking 'dumb questions'. If your intention is to make your customers feel good about sharing their concerns and asking about anything that is unclear to them, your tone of voice and initial comments can help overcome this. For example:

"That's a good point".
"Thanks for asking that. I should have explained..."
"Good question".

This will help relax the customer and give them the confidence to raise any other concerns that they have, and to listen to your answers.

It makes a tremendous difference to relationships and the outcome of your conversations with customers.

Avoid a 'data dump'
In responding to a customer's question, enthusiasm for your company and its products and services can be one of your greatest strengths. It can also be your greatest weakness.

So, PLEASE don't do a 'data dump' on your customer. What do I mean by this?

As a technologically challenged baby boomer, I often come across this when I ask a question about software for my computer or an app for my iPhone. The salesperson or technician hits me with a torrent of words that come far too fast for my old brain and with information that is far too detailed for my requirements. My eyes glaze over and I switch them off!

It reminds me of when my daughter Rita was about eleven years old. She had a history project from school and asked Gwen for some help with it. Gwen said, "I don't know much about history. Ask your Dad, I'm sure he'll help." Rita rolled her eyes and said, "I don't want to know that much about it!"

And she was so right. As a lover of history, if Rita had come to me (without Gwen warning me first) I'd have got all enthusiastic and gone into far too much detail for far too long which wouldn't have impressed my young daughter at all!

More recently, I had someone share with me the painful process that she recently went through when making enquiries about installing solar panels in her home. Each salesperson bombarded her with information for over an hour no matter how many hints she dropped about just telling her the essentials. She had a question she would have liked to ask one of the salespeople, but didn't. Why? Because the previous question she asked resulted in a 20 minute detailed response and she wasn't willing to go through the pain of that again.

So, the lesson from this is, don't do a data dump. Don't overload your customer with information. First, clarify what it is they want to know and how much detail will be appropriate.

Jurek Leon is a storyteller, trainer, author and coach based in Australia who presents courses and addresses seminars on word of mouth marketing, motivation, customer focussed selling and service excellence. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly 'Terrific Tips' e-newsletter at



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