I just got off of a productive and inspiring video conference with a new client. I’ll spend this afternoon, and much of this week developing a fully customized training class for this company. In two months, I’ll fly out to Montreal to facilitate the workshop.
When I sit down to create a custom course for my clients, the first question I ask is, “What’s your biggest problem with customer interactions?” And then I get to work on how to fix that problem.
Asking my clients what their single most significant challenge is, forces them to hone in on what keeps them up at night, and it tells me exactly where to focus in my workshop. I follow this question up with ten or twelve other questions that help me to deliver precisely on my customer’s objectives for my training.
As I sit here preparing to start the design process for my client, I got to thinking, what if some of the questions I ask my clients for workshop prep might help you make improvements in your customer interactions. I imagine my questions will at least get you to fiercely focus on the most urgent issues and get you going in the right direction. They’ve never failed me.
So, here are some of the diagnostic questions I ask my clients to help me understand and fix their most pressing issues in customer interactions.
What’s your biggest problem in customer interactions? (I typically hear things like, escalations, tone, conversation control, lack of empathy.)
What worries you the most about this (biggest problem)?
What, precisely, do you hope to accomplish with my training?
What would be the first thing you’d do to improve (biggest problem)?
Who will be helped if we succeed in fixing this problem in my training?
When does it (biggest problem) get better/worse?
Does anything you do make it better/worse?
Is there anything I need to know that I haven’t asked already?
Imagine it’s 90 days from now, and we are entirely successful with fixing (biggest problem). What, precisely, are we doing/doing differently?
These questions are terrific for getting a dialogue going, keeping everyone fiercely focused on the issues, and starting the problem-solving process.
I couple the answers to my questions with a thorough review of a sample of my client’s interactions. (I always ask to listen to a random sample of phone calls, and to read through an example of emails and chats). All of this research positions me to deliver on my client’s objectives entirely.
Consider taking my questions, adding your own, and reviewing your interactions. Your own diagnostic work may just help you solve your biggest problems with customer interactions. If you get stuck or need more help, I’d love to do my homework to understand and fix your issues. Reach out to me here.