3 Techniques To Ask Better Questions (Without Being Selfish)

(3-min read)

Welcome to the 34th edition of my weekly Customer Success Café newsletter!

This week was very special.

The CS Community spoke and selected me as a Top 100 Customer Success Strategist in 2022!

I am so proud and honored to be part of this incredible group of such talented people like yourself!

Thank you all who voted for me! And congrats to all the other winners!

It gives me the confidence I’m doing the right thing for you and I’ll continue on my path to help you win in your own journey!

You can count on me as you always did, thank you!

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DrivingCustomerSuccess.com - 3 techniques for better questions

Customer Success is not a theory.

You must get down to the basics and start building trust, first.

This will help you gather the right level of information to drive success, in practice.

But to do so, how do you know what your customers care the most about?

By asking great questions.

Here are 3 core techniques you can apply today and get your customers’ attention right on the spot:

1/ Ask precise questions

The last thing your customers want is to waste time.

This is why they usually give you quick answers, at first.

They prefer to stay superficial until you break the ice.

So don’t ask questions you could have googled yourself.

Ask deeper questions instead.

Invite them to elaborate more without appearing pushy or rude:

  • I’m curious, how did that happen?
  • What did you do to fix it? Did it work?
  • What was the cost of such an issue?
  • Is it something you might experience again?
  • If so, how will you handle it next time it happens?

That way, you can influence them to tell you the story behind the pain.

Ask and listen without stepping in.

In short, help them tell you more in their own words.

p.s. a step further is to practice “mirroring”. Refer to section #4 in this previous edition where I guide you through this powerful method.

2/ Impact of not taking action

Your customers might be heads-down fixing things.

They might be so busy dealing with daily operations that they can pass on building a long-term plan.

So it’s important for you and your customers to take a step back and reflect on the consequences of inaction.

Now that you have some great information from the previous step, ask them:

  • What would happen next if you don’t take action today?

It’s surprising to see sometimes they are even not aware of the potential cost themselves.

This question will reveal the harsh reality in the most practical way which brings us to the final step.

3/ Create urgency

You know what? your customers don’t care about your end of quarters and the time by when you need to land the deal.

What they care about the most is to have the solution implemented within their own timeline.

So reverse the situation and ask them:

  • when do you need this solution to be up and running?

In doing so, you position yourself on your customer’s priorities. You can then reverse-engineer and say:

  • to get it in production in [X] weeks or months, we need to start working on the project no later than [date].

That way, you shift the focus from your own business objectives to their roadmap.

This alone will bring the sense of urgency you need for them to take action.

And as a bonus, you didn’t appear pushy but had them take part in the decision-making process.

See the IKEA effect I’ve explored in a previous edition to learn more about the psychology behind it.

So well done, congratulations!

Your customers are now all ears! ✌️🎯

Hakan Ozturk

Hakan Ozturk
Founder, theCScafe.com, #1 Weekly Customer Success Newsletter

Hakan Ozturk is a Paris-based Customer Success leader with over 15 years of experience in the computer software industry. Passionate about driving growth and delivering value to strategic customers, Hakan has established himself as a trusted industry expert. As the Founder of The Customer Success Café Newsletter and TopCSjobs.com, Hakan provides valuable industry insights and daily-updated job opportunities worldwide in the field of Customer Success. Connect with Hakan to boost your career in CS and your company’s potential for massive growth.

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