Why You Should Ask Your Customers, “Are You Happy?”

For consultants, freelancers, and other service providers, the potential to receive negative feedback is a strong deterrent to asking the very critical question: Are you happy?

Your customer base is your #1 commodity, not just for generating sales but for providing you with worthwhile feedback from which to grow and change your organization. It’s important to ask the question, but most are too shy or afraid.

Imagine that you have three services:

  • Service A is your flagship service, the one that put you on the map.
  • Service B grew out of necessity. Customers asked for it, and you grew a portion of your business around it over time.
  • Service C started as a test, an area you wanted to grow into, and it is the most lucrative of all the services you offer.

How do you get your existing customers and newbies to take advantage of Service C? As the most lucrative service, you want to put more resources into promoting it, but where do you start?

Why ‘Are You Happy?’

Asking a simple question framed around someone’s lasting impression of the service you’ve provided is a low-pressure way to generate feedback. Most people can easily answer how they feel following interacting with your organization.

Yes, you could ask a more specific question, such as “What could we have done better?” but opting for the simpler approach doesn’t set up a negative initial thought in your customer’s mind.

Plus, it allows you to keep the energy flowing around the relationship while opening up an opportunity to present to them with additional ways that you might help them in the future. This diminishes the impression that you’re pitching—hey, we’re all just sharing our thoughts and opinions here—while allowing you to… pitch.

You can always follow up with the more detailed questions that require more constructive feedback after you’ve started the review process.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

Yes, it’s always difficult to open ourselves up to criticism, but any feedback that you might get from your customer will invariably help relations with that customer and others in the future. It keeps you mindful and shows that you are unique for yet another reason—because you care.

Know Who to Ask

The most beneficial client-consultant relationships are those in which communication is fluid. Certain clients will freely offer feedback and praise, while others will be quieter in their assessment of your work.

While it’s enticing to only listen to those with the loudest voices, reach out to the more demure clients too. They might have even more crucial feedback—or at the very least, they might become some of your most staunch supporters because you took the time to ask!

AdvertisingMarketing in a Vacuum

In order to promote Service C, you might push an aggressive marketing campaign, perhaps with a graphics-rich email campaign, some social media blasts, a few dynamic printed pieces, and a landing page.

Those are all good long-term strategies for promoting any product or service. But they’re missing one key element: the customer.

All the marketing and competitive data in the world can’t surpass the value of asking your existing customers if they’re satisfied with the services and products you provide, and there is no better way to tap into this insight than to ask.

The Personal Touch in Prospecting

Asking your existing customers why they haven’t taken advantage of Service C is just as valuable as promoting it. Perhaps they didn’t know that Service C existed or they weren’t aware of how Service C could benefit them.

Asking the question opens a door to showing them a personalized solution tying Service C to their specific needs.

Cull the information you gather from your customers so that, when it’s time to promote Service C, you have the ability to recall their own words:

I remember when we spoke back in August that you said you were interested in ___. Service C can give you that, and let me explain how.

In which ways do you keep the lines of communication open with your own clients? Do you ever feel anxiety about asking whether or not they’re happy with the end result?

Photo Credits:
Conversation: ashraful kadir
Vacuum: debaird™

Management consultant and brand strategist for small teams. Fan of dark tea, thick books, peace, and unity.

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