Michael LeBoeuf calls these the two platinum questions in his book "How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life." LeBoeuf tells us that relative quality as perceived by the customer will determine our long-term success.
Figure out a way to measure the quality of your product or service. Create a questionnaire or launch a telephone survey. Ask customers how you're doing. LeBoeuf suggests that we ask questions such as -
- Did we listen to your questions and concerns?
- Were we attentive and polite?
- Did we understand what was important to you?
- Would you purchase from us again?
- Would you recommend our firm to your friends and colleagues?
If he were in the software development industry, LeBoeuf might suggest that you also ask product-specific questions such as -
- Did our website describe our software well?
- Did you have any problems downloading or installing the application?
- When you ran it for the first time, did you know exactly what to do?
- Did anything in the program confuse you or frustrate you?
- Were the help files helpful?
- Why did you almost not buy the software from us?
Be sure to ask questions about future sales of your software -
- What new features would you like us to add to our application?
- What might persuade you to upgrade from the Standard version to the Professional version?
- What new applications would you like us to develop?
- What other platforms would you like to see our software run on (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS)?
- Would you prefer to pay for upgrades each time there is a major new release, or would you rather pay an annual fee and receive upgrades each time we add new functions?
Be sure to contact customers whom you've lost, and get their feedback, too.