The other day I went out to lunch with a friend of mine who I have known for quite some time. He has a wife and two cute kids and a good profession in management. While at lunch he was telling me how his wife has him reading this book on marital relationships. He tells me how the author of the book advises him that if he would participate more in the chores around the house such as washing dishes, cooking, and doing the laundry that he would have a happier marriage. He thought those were sound principles that he could abide by.

I asked him if he talked to his wife about the book. He said “Yes,” and her response was, “No, I like to do the chores because I feel accomplished after I do them.” So he asked her what she really wanted from him that would make her happy. Her answer was to go out to dinner, just the two of them, once a month.

To him this was an epiphany. All he had to do was ask his wife what she wanted him to do to make her happy, instead of relying on advice he read in a book.

Now he found this to be a remarkable revelation. If only he had asked me, I could have told him and saved him a few bucks.

How to make customers happy

Clients often purchase expensive training tools: resources that can help them sell more and be more efficient and then hire expensive consultants who will preach their philosophies. But is this what they really need? Are these philosophies and tools going to make a difference when you are talking with customers? Sure, there are theories that work and exercises that help but the only way to know what you need is to ask.

And in business you ask those who sign the checks: your customers!

Asking the right questions can buy happiness

Now asking a spouse is one thing because when you have an honest conversation you can get an honest answer. (Hopefully!)

In business you may not have years vested in the relationship so an impartial party is the best way to gather unbiased information from your customers. It’s their core competency, after all. Gathering unprejudiced information from the customer assists you in understanding what they really want that will make them happy, how you can make that happen, and of course, ultimately, have those customers keep purchasing your product or service.

Because in business as in life, at the end of the day, we all just want to be a little happier. So just ask.

P.S. Did you know Customer Experience Analysis can help you find out what keeps your customers happy? Watch this quick, entertaining video to learn more.