Power in Questions … How May I Serve?

Isn’t it always easy to assume that when someone says something to us, we know exactly what he or she is saying? Other times we assume that, in fact, they know exactly what they are saying. Most times our assumptions although with the best of intentions are unfortunately incorrect. Quite often, in our business we then build products, services and our sales and delivery around these misguided assumptions.

About a month ago, I got a call from a potential client who was referred to me by a former client. He asked if we would be able to come in and look at their technology systems. Apparently, they were looking for ways to do some cost cutting. In the discovery process I started to ask questions to clarify what, in fact, this company wanted to have happen. I asked a number of questions about the company’s current situation, the technology being used, training in place, the goals of the company and the parts of the system that are working and the parts that are not. After which we both arrived at the conclusion that the company would benefit a lot more from something entirely different than cutting costs on their technology. Ironically they needed to invest more into their technology but develop a mobile strategy that ensured their current and future systems and tools were aligned to their corporate vision.

When it comes to effective questioning it really is important to fully understand the cause rather than tending to only the symptoms. This is paramount I believe for any business but particularly a service based business. It really is that simple, as providers of “service” unless we can demonstrate value to our customers we have no right to be in business. We need to be effective in understanding our customer’s needs. In information gathering there are two types of questions to consider:

Closed questions, these are questions designed to get the response you may want to hear; usually these are prescriptive with limited choice – example yes, no or short answers.

Cause based questioning, these are open-ended questions designed to gather more information to try and seek more information. Depending on an answer to a question ask further questions to get a deeper understanding of the underlying often buried matter rather than assuming you know what the answer may be.

Some questions to consider when developing a client’s mobile strategy:

iOS or Android? Choosing the Best Platform

Is this a decision based on revenue or market visibility? Apple’s Australian smartphone market share has fallen to around 35%, while Google’s Android is now more widely used than Apple’s iOS in every major market except Japan, according to new Kantar Worldpanel figures.

The figures, which measured the market share in the January quarter, show that Android now claims 57.7%, roughly level from a year earlier (57.9%).

However globally 73 percent of all app revenue was generated in Apple’s App Store as compared to only 23 percent for Google Play.

Understand what your customer’s objective is

Understand your customer usage patterns. By taking your time to understand customer behaviour or usage, it will give good insights into the platform decision. Understand what platform the end user of your product will be using. Research information about your final end user determines which platform is right for you to start with.

Consider training and usability – Determine how you plan to implement a rollout strategy

To effectively serve your customer ask questions about what they need and why. Then ask one more question, don’t assume. Clarify again. Understand their needs; it really is about the customer. Once you fully understand your customer’s needs only then serve.


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