"It is not the answer that enlightens but the question.”
–Eugene Ionesco, Romanian-French playwright
Leveraging the right questions can unlock powerful and insightful answers that inform your business presentations. Intelligent questions can also be a serious advantage in the communication realm. In Episode 3 of Think Deeply, Speak Simply—The Power of Asking Questions—our guest speaker Jennifer Lowry wholeheartedly agrees.
As Senior Director at Microsoft, Jennifer shares that thoughtful questions can reveal critical aspects of a customer’s experience—the key to your business' success.
Here are two of Jennifer’s top recommendations for asking the right questions.
Seek first to understand your customer
Currently, it’s the age of the customer where they have tremendous flexibility over who they choose to go with. Their decisions are dominated by their experience, not all the bells and whistles of your product’s cool features. The customer is in control.
According to Jennifer, “Eighty-nine percent of customer decisions will be made by the way in which you made them feel.”
This makes understanding their wants and needs that much more important. The digital arena has transformed the way in which solutions are delivered as a service, expanding your business’s level of impact. This means that you constantly need to demonstrate value to your customers.
At various points of your exploration, continuously ask yourself: how can I make customers fall in love with my product and their overall customer experience?
This allows you to tap into unforeseen insights and focus on what your audience needs to know to feel engaged. It’s also a powerful moment to pause and reflect before delving into the execution stages.
Ask the hard questions
There are never-ending questions that allow you to understand your customer better. To connect with the ways customers solve their problems, you must walk a mile in their shoes.
Be comfortable in not knowing where the conversation will go. This will lead to a more intimate understanding of what your customer’s challenges are. This will also present you with ideas on how you can build your customer journey roadmap or product strategy. On the whole, it’s a prime opportunity to uncover customer insights you might not have originally anticipated.
This brings a level of surprise and curiosity. It displays a magnificent show of care, compassion, and empathy for your customers—a sentiment that never goes unnoticed. It spawns innovation that addresses deep concerns on how your customers will manage their own businesses. Curiosity is a powerful resource to lean into so don’t be afraid to get comfortable with the investigation and a bit of uncertainty.