Think back to when you were in school or college. Remember your professor telling you that if you have a question, you should ask because odds are the person next to you has the same one?
The same is true of your customers. If one of them has a question, doubt, concern, or problem, there is a good chance others are feeling the pain too.
I was recently researching the User Interface Conference I’d like to attend in the fall. In checking their website, the information still only showed their 2006 schedule.
I emailed the folks behind the conference, User Interface Engineering (UIE), and asked when their conference would be this year.
First thing the next morning, I got a reply answering my questions.
Later that same day I saw a post on UIE’s very own blog announcing the upcoming conference and that details would be soon forthcoming.
Was it coincidence that my email, UIE’s response, and then their blog post all seemed to fall one after the other?
Or did my initial email spark the need to publicly inform everyone?
Regardless of what prompted their blog post, the sequence of events highlights an important concept that your business should be practicing.
When you hear from a customer, take an honest look at their questions. Would these questions and the answers help other customers or clients? If so, get that information out there publicly. You can send out the answers in a newsletter, post them to your blog, or add them to your help documentation.
If you find yourself answering the same questions over and over again, this is a sign that you may have waited too long to communicate the facts publicly.
On my website dedicated to Chile, I get lots of questions from people all around the world. I try to post these questions and answers to the site. I’ve found that this reduces the repetition of questions and adds some good content to my site that then attracts new people via search engines.
Remember: if one of your customers has a question, odds are there are others who silently have the same ones.