10 Awesome Questions to Ask Every Hotel & Restaurant Customer, Part 2

Your hotel and restaurant customers should be at the top of the list of people to get advice from. Why? Because these are the people that pay you money; your business runs because of them, so the least you can do is listen to their feedback.

So let us continue the 10 Awesome Questions to ask every customer you have right now!

6. What did you honestly think of our service?

I know that business owners might not want to ask this question because it is a tough one, but it has to be asked. You might not want to hear negative remarks from your customers. Just the same, after a customer has had the chance to experience your service, ask them what they honestly thought of your service. If they give you a flippant answer, ask again, and let them elaborate.

Now if you are squirming as you read this, you might have a problem, as you should be able to ask this question honestly and confidently without the fear of hearing the stark truth. So again, work hard to close the gaps. Take the time to review your entire sales and service experience. Then look for ways to improve them.

7. What is one thing that we could do better?

This question probes deeper. Even after you have done a great job, ask this question. Know your areas for improvement by asking, “Well if there was one thing we could do better, what would it be?” This is in the form of a searching question which a customer has to answer.

He will come up with an idea or suggestion that might have been overlooked, and it just might be the key to unlocking something very powerful about your business. So keep asking this question and do the necessary fixes here and there, and you’ll soon build an unstoppable business.

8. What else would you like us to sell or offer?

This question is a killer question and can seriously open the door to thousands or even millions of dollars in extra profits. But do not ask this question yet during sign up or even the delivery phase of your service.

Only ask this question when you have gained a sufficient rapport with you customer and you are talking like close friends. When you have established enough trust, ask them, “What else would you like us to sell?” Do not ask the question “What else would you like buy?” If you ask the “buy” question, people will normally say, “I’m fine right now.” Or they ask you, “Well what else can I buy?” This is a good conversation to have.

However the sell question will get you and your customer thinking about new products and services that you have not even contemplated yet. When you sell someone a product you solve a problem but you create another. And if you aren’t aware of the other problems you create, your customers will go elsewhere to solve them. For example, I help people increase their business profits. I solve the problem of not enough money and I create the problem of what they are going to do now with their extra profits.

So by asking this same question to my customers, I have learned that they like to know how to invest profits to build wealth and that they want to learn about protecting their income. So offering quality investment opportunities and business insurances are other areas I’ll be expanding into.

9. Do you know anyone that could benefit from working with us?

Again, ask this question only after you’ve provided an excellent customer experience. If you’ve done your job well, people will naturally want their friends to benefit in the same way they did. So ask the question and then pause and wait for a response. If they are hesitant to share names, it might be because of two reasons. It is either there might be some unresolved issues that need to be addressed or they are a little concerned that you will hard-sell their peers.

Both these issues can be resolved simply by talking honestly with your customer. However if you’ve done your job well, you’ll find that vast majority of people are only too happy to refer you to their family and friends. The reason why this is so powerful is: like attracts like.

If you have a great customer, generally all of their friends will also be great customers. So have fun with it. If you’ve built enough rapport, your customer will provide you with a list of names and numbers which you can follow-up!

10. Do you know any businesses we should align with?

This questions digs a little deeper into your customer’s psyche. Ultimately, if they allow it, you would want to find out as much information about them as you can – what magazines do they read, what shows do they watch, what personalities they listen to and where they shop.

By knowing these information you can develop a profile of your customers and this makes it easier to uncover new marketing or cross-promotional opportunities. You want to ask, “Do you know any companies we should align with?” By asking this question, people start thinking and after a few moments they say, “Yes you need to speak to my ‘ABC’ business and you should also talk to ‘XYZ’.”

This is great business, as you can contact these businesses and say, “One of our mutual customers John Smith suggested we talk. He sees an opportunity for us to work together that will benefit us both ways. Are you open to meeting for coffee so we can discuss some ideas?” And just like that, you are in.

Your customers hold the key to unlocking untold profits for your business. So constantly seek their feedback in a meaningful and purposeful way. Grab a pen and spend the next ten minutes planning out how and when you are going to integrate these questions into your business.

If you need to make graphs to put on desks – do it. Or if you already have scripts or process maps, find a way to work these in. Finally, if you have a team, get all your team members involved in this activity.

So run training on these questions and then have a monthly meeting where staff can share what they have learned. If you do this process right, your hotel and restaurant business will reap the awesome rewards.

10 Awesome Questions to Ask Every Hotel & Restaurant Customer, Part 1

Sadly, most hotel and restaurant business owners hesitate to ask for advice.

They prefer to use the old trial-and-error method so they do something even though they are not sure it would work, and if it does not give them the desired result, then try something else again, try and try different methods until eventually they achieve the fruits of their hard work.

The problem with this is it will take you many years to get the results you want, and by that time, many business owners have gone broke. You can easily avoid this simply by asking your customers for advice.

Your customers should be at the top of the list of people to get advice from. Why? Because these are the people that pay you money; your business runs because of them, so the least you can do is listen to their feedback.

Now you may be wondering, ‘How do I get advice from my awesome customers?’

Well, you ask awesome questions, of course. And the better the questions, the more potent the answers. Here are my 10 favourite questions we have found for every hotel and restaurant customer:

1. How did you learn about our business?

I have always been curious as to the most profitable marketing method employed by hotel and restaurant owners, that is why when I get the chance to talk to them, I ask them about this. Their common reply is that they do not have any idea why customers come to them.

This is what I call the ‘let’s-throw-some-mud-at-the-wall-and-hope-something-sticks’ mentality. This may work for a period of time, however as you become more successful, you are going to attract more competition. When this happens you can’t afford to waste your energy and resources.

In today’s high competition among hotel and restaurant owners, your survival will depend largely on your ability to determine effective marketing strategies and what marketing strategies must be abandoned. Hotel and restaurant owners must make it a point to ask their customers these awesome questions:

“So how did you know about our business?” and “How did you learn about our product or service?”

You can reiterate these questions although you may sound annoying because your goal is to know the real cause of their patronage. Train your staff to do this with reminders listing all core activities and tell them to mark down the results of every response, and then tally up the results at the end of each week. After gathering the results, the logical thing to do is to take their feedback into consideration.

Enhance and improve on what’s working and stop what does not serve your customers.

2. What made you decide to buy our product or avail of our service?

This is a simple question that many business owners fail to ask. I often ask them why customers buy from them, and all I get are blank stares. It seems that they do not have any inkling as to the buyers’ psyche, and that they do not even take time to explore this issue. From now on, ask everyone this question.

In fact, to fast-track things, you can even ask retrospectively. Spend a couple of hours, call fifty past customers – you’ll be amazed with what you would learn. In fact when one of my clients did this, the number one reason they got was, “Because you always greet me with a smile and remember my name.” Imagine what it is really costing you when you hire an unfriendly person!

3. What were the factors you considered during the buying process?

It is important to ask this to your customers to know how the decision making process works for them. What works for someone may not work for others because each customer has different preferences and motivations. You need to discover what works for others and what turns them off. Afterwards, think of ways to address their resistance.

Some people might have second thoughts on whether they really need to buy your product. In that case, a smart business owner can offer a seven-day money-back guarantee to remove those hesitances. It pays to know the issues and remove them as fast as you can.

4. After using our product/availing of our service, what problems were solved?

Most people buy products or services to solve problems. But again, when I talk to business owners, most don’t know the problems that their product or service solve. By not knowing this information, it makes it extremely difficult to market your product or service.

So ask your customers, “Once you used our product/service what problems of yours were solved?” If they are unable to respond straight away, stay with this line of questioning. Keep asking the same question, but word your query differently. Your job here is to dig deeper and uncover the often subconscious reasons why people make decisions.

Then when you have this information, talk to your marketing team and they can turn these insights into great headlines, powerful images or even special promotions. Make your prospective customers feel that you understand exactly what they feel so they will have an instant connection with your product or service.

5. When is your birthday?

This is a really easy one. All you have to do is add one extra field to your customer sign up form – Date of Birth (DOB). Just add another column after the email address and before the phone numbers. They will fill it out and won’t even give it a second thought.

Then ensure that the dates are entered into your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and program it to email your receptionist five days before someone’s birthday. A thoughtful business owner sees to it that during the customer’s birthday, the latter will be surprised with a handwritten card or note and/or a little present.

It is not the cost of the present that counts but the thought that goes with it. This is one way to make them feel special and loved, and this thoughtful gesture evokes positive feelings to your business.

More questions to come in Part 2 of this blog.