How to Read Your Customers’ Mind in 10 Questions

Read Your Customers’ Mind

Read Your Customers' MindYou’ve often heard me talk about the power of using surveys as lead generation and qualification tools.  Well, today, I’m going to give you some real meat and potatoes on the subject as I will show you how to read your customers mind.

In this article, I’m going to give you a template that you can use to create your very own lead generation survey that will have your customers thinking that you can read their mind.

They are not respondents — they are PEOPLE

I think we’ve gotten into a sort of nasty habit in the world of research (and I’m speaking for myself here) in calling the people we survey RESPONDENTS.  I know that the word is shorthand for “people who respond or complete a survey” but using a word like “Respondent” almost makes it sound like they are objects or data points and not people.  And when you consider that we are asking them to share their attitudes and personal preferences with us — well, it seems a little too impersonal to me.  More importantly, I think that it puts you in the context of collecting data points instead of powerful preferences — which is what we’re after.

Our goal in these kinds of surveys is to get to the core of what matters most to our customers — what keeps them up at night, what nagging thoughts swirl around their heads, and what they most desire.  And if that’s the case, our surveys need to reflect that.

But first — the demographics

Of course, the first three questions of our survey are going to be demographic questions.  You have lots to choose from — you’ll have to pick the ones that matter most or that you don’t already have.  Consider using demographic questions that are more “temporal” in nature that might actually change over time such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Education
  • Geographic location

You pick what kind works best for you — but only pick three!

Ask questions that get you inside their heads

Your next challenge is to come up with qualitative or psychographic questions that will help you determine what they are thinking and why.

Here are some possible questions you can ask — these are all fairly open-ended unless you have a solid enough list of items that you already know:

  • What is their biggest challenge?
  • What are their frustrations are when it comes to the product or service you are selling?
  • What is their desired outcome when they buy from you?
  • What’s important to them when they are buying what you are selling?
  • What are their interests, habits, hobbies?
  • What kind of music do they like to listen to?
  • What kind of car do they drive

Call them by name

The next thing you need to do is collect their name whenever possible – especially if these are your customers.  Think of it this way, if you owned a restaurant and a customer you knew came in — you wouldn’t call them by their email, you’d call them by name!  So, when you collect this information, make sure that you get their name.  I know, I know — not everyone is going to give you their name, but, at least, you’ll have that information to use in your marketing.

These are just a few tips you can use to improve the degree to which you know and understand what matters most to your customers.