Today I propose that we reflect on the importance of asking good questions. What do you think? Profound, right?
It will not be such a ‘practical’ topic like before, but I think that it’s worth the try because many companies don’t pose the right questions and, consequently, they develop useless solutions to the wrong questions.
And in Marketing, as in many other areas, the questions are the basis for everything. If you want to have good, valuable answers, ask relevant questions.
“Start asking the right f***ing question…”
…like Rust Cohle would say (played by Matthew McConaughey) in True Detective…I cannot resist (it’s one of my favorite series!) and I’ve posted below the video of the scene to which I’m referring.
It makes it quite clear, right?
In Marketing, the good questions would be:
What do my customers need? instead of, what new products could we make?
What solution can we provide? instead of, what technology can we use?
What’s the lifetime value of my customers? instead of, how many new customers do I have this week?
These are more strategic, but the change in approach can be applied to whatever level of management of the customer’s experience.
To illustrate my “theory,” I will use an example that many have experienced firsthand… The telephone operator!
When you called one of their customer service departments, it’s very common now that their system returns to call you soon afterwards to rate your satisfaction… And what do they ask you? If you have been treated well. Not if they have resolved your problem. They avoid negative feedback as Dani would say :-). Because the manner in which you are treated is one thing, and the company’s capacity to solve your problems is another. They can be very nice, and not help you at all.
Have I explained myself? They don’t ask the right questions.
Finally, I leave you with 9 phrases that I like, about the importance of forming good questions:
“Judge man by his questions rather than by his answers” Voltaire
“There are no right answers to the wrong questions.” Ursula Le Guin
“We thought that we had the answers, but it was the question that was wrong.” Bono
“In school, they reward us for having the answers, not for asking good questions.” Richard Saul Burman
“We hear only the questions for those that we are conditioned to find answers.” Friedrich Nietszche
“My best strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and form some questions.” Peter Drucker
An uncreative mind can detect incorrect answers, but it takes a very creative mind to detect the wrong questions.” Antony Jay
“It’s not that we can’t see the solution. It’s that we can’t see the problem.” G.K. Chesterton
To form the right questions requires as much skill as giving the right answers.” Robert Half
Do you want to add a quote? Go ahead!
Written by Mathilde Outrebon
Translated by Emily Smith, INUSUAL intern