Answering Unasked Questions from Customers

by | Oct 11, 2016 | Customer Service | 0 comments

“Clear Content, simple navigation, and answers to customer questions have the biggest impact on business value. Advanced technology matters much less.” – Jakob Nielsen

Customer service professionals should be experts and intuitive enough to know what customers want – this is one of the top expectations of customers. Given that this is an expectation, it becomes even more important for service professionals to have a good understanding of customers, and have the ability to share their knowledge and expertise with customers on a variety of topics. Every company and its representatives must consistently work towards gaining the ability to know proactively what customers need even before they mention it and be able to answer the unasked questions from customers. Such knowledge and expertise raises the trust quotient that customers have in a company, which proves to be a major asset for it, especially given the frenzied and volatile market of today.

While it is imperative for a company to have a profitable and sustainable business strategy, it also needs to invest a sizeable amount of time and resources to understand the company’s existing and prospective customers. Without such understanding, it would be impossible for a company to attract new customers and retain the current ones. Customers do not want to put in too much effort and time while engaging in business with a company, and expect that the expertise of the company will ensure that not only can its representatives respond to their queries but also pre-empt and answer unasked questions from customers. A tall order – but with so much competition, companies must comply. Customers as it is seem short on time and patience now, and with so much easy access to information, they know that companies should be able to give customers answers to some perplexing questions and even the questions they do not ask. Customers want companies to be subject matter experts, and be masters on a variety of subjects, being able to answer even unasked questions from customers regularly.

While it may seem like customers expect companies to be mind readers, it is possible for a company to highlight their expertise and proactivity in answering unasked questions from customers. A business must be able to show that it understands the pain points of its customers. It must highlight its ability to understand their problems, by producing offerings that would alleviate their problems, and benefit customers in several ways. A company must develop empathy and genuine concern, and ensure that its employees reflect these traits in every interaction they have with customers. The fact is that despite digitization and technology, customers still want humane interactions, and want to feel special and valued. They want a company to genuinely understand their issues, be aware of how those problems make them feel, and what the company would be willing to do in order to make those problems go away. Customers want companies to have mutually beneficial conversations with them, gain their feedback, and use it in ways that would alleviate their problems.

As a company, it is important to understand and remember that you have probably never gained a customer simply by having a single ‘successful’ interaction. A customer may have had some need at the time of the conversation, which could change soon since customer needs are constantly evolving. Converting a customer may happen after a series of conversations, a number of occasions where a company may be able to answer unasked questions from customers, and several happy experiences. It is a company’s ability to answer and ask relevant questions in order to dig deeper into the minds of customers in order to provide the best long-term solutions. It is through such consistent interactions that people become customers, remain loyal, and soon turn into raving enthusiastic fans of a company. Customers expect all this – they want to stay with a company since it is a tedious job to find a ‘partner’ who understands their business needs, and become their confidant over time. As a customer, would you not love a company that understood your apprehensions and was able to answer any doubts and unasked questions?

People buy things for a variety of reasons. However, whether the reasons were emotional or logical, they would buy from a company that seemed to have a solution and a fix for their reasons. Buying is about addressing a need or looking to solve an issue, and therefore people want to be sure that the company would not only be able to solve their current issue, but provide answers to future ones too. The businesses that seem incompetent in answering the unasked questions from customers, and fail to provide solutions to their needs, usually end up with customers that are either irate or leaving them in scores. A company that makes the effort to understand the spoken and unspoken needs of customers would be the one to emerge victorious. A company could have the best products and services in the market, but unless it displays confidence and prowess over understanding customers, it would be unable to sell.  Several companies in the market are unable to answer customers appropriately, and seem diffident with regard to their own offerings it makes sense therefore to be the company that can answer unasked questions from customers, and more.

When a company can answer unasked questions from customers, and respond confidently and resolutely to queries from customers. Customers want to know whether a company knows about what they seek answers to, and love to work with a company that seems to be the ‘boss’ on all matters related to their business. This is a quality that customers rave about and are happy to be associated with such a company. Any company can help customers with their challenges by using its abilities, expertise, employee knowledge, and a genuine focus on customers and their needs. By offering customers exactly what they want, any company can gain success and popularity, and become the preferred partner for a lot more customers.

When a company makes an extra effort to understand its customers, such that it is able to answer unasked questions from customers, it proves its abilities of being an able partner. A company that is able to prove to customers, and answer the unasked question, which customers ask repeatedly, of whether they are getting excellent value for their money, would gain trust and respect. Companies must provide the relevant solutions, products, and services – those that are best suited to the needs of the customers, rather than upselling or simply trying to sell off its products. They must provide a holistic view, thereby allowing customers to make an informed decision. It is all about paying attention to the spoken and unspoken needs of the customer – and a company with true expertise would be able to anticipate the customer’s needs even if customers may not know what they need or may need going forward.

Being able to answer unasked questions from customers, gives them the confidence that the company has what they want and need, which would make them more amenable to paying even a slightly incremental price for the product or service. Customers are more inclined towards companies that bridge the divide between what they need and ease of acquiring it. This engages customers, making them provide repeated business, and spreading the positive word of mouth such that others become interested in doing business with the company. Over time, this builds trust and respect for a company – the two strongest pillars for any company today. Customer trust is hard to replicate, and unless a competitor works as hard, the best of their offerings and incentives would not work.

Of course, it would be a lot easier for a company if customers would simply tell a company what is in their mind, but this does not happen. It therefore, becomes the responsibility of the company to anticipate, and proactively answer the unasked questions from customers, thereby creating a profitable relationship, which is likely to last for years.

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