The Three Customer Questions

What goes on in my customer’s mind the very first time they encounter my business, my product, or my service?  It’s a  brief moment, but it defines our relationship.  Are they excited?  Maybe.  Suspicious?  Perhaps.  Curious?  Always.  I need to satisfy that curiosity.

After that, I may be able to help my customer broaden or modify his outlook, but I can’t count on being able to change his (or her) mind.  Her outlook is very important, because it colors every business opportunity we’re going to have.

The Three Customer Questions

It’s the same in retail, service or B2B. After many years, I’ve decided that my customer wants, first, to have the answers to three customer questions:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What sets you apart?
  3. How will you help me?

Pundits like to talk about brand, features and price; they’re an abstraction.  Fundamentally, it’s about my customer facing me, getting the answers to those three questions in our first few minutes together.  My customer is using every available bit of information to answer those questions.  In return, I try to use all my skill and experience to make those answers easy to find and remember.

We might be meeting online; perhaps we’re using an interpreter.  We might each be company people representing well-known businesses. The essentials still hold.  Those three critical questions hang in the air, waiting to be answered.

I want to begin every encounter firmly confident that I can say who I am and why I’m different.  Often, it takes some interchange between us before I can put forward my first helpful suggestion.  But it need not take more than a few minutes for my customer to appreciate that I have her best interest at heart; I’m already thinking about her welfare.

Now it’s time to test myself, right here and now.  How long did it take you to know my name? Do you know something else about me?  Have I shown you something special, right away?  Do you want to stay around, or visit again to find something on this site that helps you today?

Post-script:  In this international world of business I encounter different cultural greeting styles   Because it’s up to me to put my customer at ease, right away, I should come at least halfway towards greeting my customer in the way he expects.  I think it’s fun… if you do a bit of studying and try them out, you probably will too.




One Comment

  1. Great post as the others are. Yes it is all about communication and how one represents his/her stuff right? Well you know the best!

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