Questions can lead us to important information. Normally, we ask friends, acquaintances, co-workers questions in loose conversations and without pretense. Without thinking, we just let the conversation flow in an interesting and if possible fun way, generating more and more subject matter. We do not think much in how conversations are formed, as they happen. Associated with curious people, questions are also how children discover the world and how students hone their knowledge when a query arises. They promote interaction and generate information, as they request a response from the party (the person with whom we are talking). As for the use of the rhetorical, the questions do not need any response, and has its use linked to literary speeches, advertising and politicians, among others. In fact, the universe of “questioning” is notoriously large, which does not enable us to explore it fully, so we will stick to the most important points of our context.
Questions can also be excellent allies in the corporate world. They can be used as a tool to bring a team into the light of new ideas, to reflect on points not previously contemplated, and raise discussions that can yield great solutions. In personnel management, the resource of questions can be excellent in feedback, coaching and developing goals. Ask someone if they can do something, and without imposing a task on them, causes the person to assume greater responsibility, after all, they said they could do what was proposed. A correct line of questioning can change strategies, and help define plans for short, medium and long term.
And what to say of questions for learning the profile of the customer? We have before us a great tool to interview the customer even from a distance and become part of their experience, even after completion. Surveys have in their structure questions or inquiries, and ask the respondent to participate. They are used to get to know the consumers, their profile, what they think, what they want, using open and closed questions to address your audience in order to understand their needs and opinions. In this case enable a more detailed look at processes that need to be reviewed, assess changes that have been made recently, measure the quality experienced by the customer, talk about customer service and other essentials. As if they were interviewing each of the people who respond to surveys, managers can understand how they can move forward, change what does not go well, and improve their results.
What else needs to be thought about is that, to get good answers, good questions need to be asked. Hiring experts may be essential, so that together they are able to develop scripts that are more suitable to the goals and interests of the company. At this point, we need to highlight important tips to formulate questions that cause people to participate effectively, generating more results:
- Think about what you want to get as a result and the actions that you want to implement from such. Thinking backwards from the result makes all the difference in the preparation of questions and success of the job. It may seem silly, but those who answer will feel that there is an objective, as the language is clear and focused, from the approaching invite to respond to closure;
- Empathy when elaborating questionnaires is very important. Think of how they will understand and behave with the question in front of them may defining point of success of the survey. Another important factor: Always know more about who you want to reach. People have to feel that the company really knows and understands them. In preparing questions, do not underestimate the people who will respond. Never. Prepare questions that will make people interested and identify with the matter;
- The use of more, or less, formal language will also depend on who will respond. But always remember good Portuguese, which is still appreciated and has very clear rules. Also, we cannot mistake less formality with a “simplistic” way of writing. Respect the company’s image that will be transmitted when people are responding. Everything has to be well prepared. If the person is not clear on what the question wants to address, is not a good sign;
- Do not think alone in questionnaires. People from the team may have a lot to contribute, from their experiences with customers, suppliers and other partners. Challenging them question one another can stimulate the improvement of the questionnaire. All participation is valid and generates greater identification with company goals;
- The order of the factors makes all the difference. A questionnaire must be carried out according to a natural order of events. Just as buying comes before delivery, questions that permeate the delivery process should be asked at the end, as well as general reviews or if they would recommend the company. By being conclusive questions, putting them in the beginning, disfavors a logical conclusion. These can cause the customer to, at the end, regret what they said earlier and want to change their mind. Such a format is not well prepared.
At the end of the job, surveys filled out should be available in real time and online. Now, index and concept evaluations need full attention. An important point is that a satisfaction survey, for example, is not prepared to be applied only in one month. Normally, it should be an ongoing process that will lead to tangible results, but which measures and enables monitoring for a certain period of time. The ideal is to be able to see the results, responses, effects of applied changes, new hires, projects implemented and be able to compare how it went from the perception of the customers.
Choosing the best format depends on the context of each company. To be able to use questions the best way possible, and that the information is put to use in a complete and productive way. Well, that’s the point! Use questions to implement transformations. Good work and success!