9 Questions Every Business Leader Should Ask Their Team This Year

Powerful leaders (at any level of the org chart) differentiate themselves by the quality of the questions they ask in rooms and in meetings. The most powerful utility of the Experience Marketing Framework is how it can be used as a conversational framework to drill right into the heart of any business within minutes. If you want to be a powerful conversationalist and lead your organization, you must master the ability to ask questions like these nine below.

The key with all great conversations is to ask questions that get the other person talking the most. Try these on your team or even your next cold-call the next time you get the chance.

Question #1: What are the forces (external) to us that are shaping the landscape we have to compete on in the coming years?

  • What opportunities or challenges to our current business model do these forces accentuate?

Question #2: What are the top three identified (or intuitive) needs our customers have today (whether we currently address them or not in our strategy)?

Question #3: Who are our most formidable competitors (direct and indirect) and how are they changing the expectations of our customers as it relates to day-to-day interactions with our company? I.e. Amazon and Uber have changed people’s checkout expectations globally (indirect) and XYZ is killing us in the way they do content marketing to engage our prospects (direct).

Question #4: What are the top three major business objectives we must deliver against this coming year?

  • Do our customer’s primary needs align with our major business objectives/goals? If not, how can we reconfigure them so they do?

Question #5: When looking at our current-state customer journey map, which touch points have the most customer pain associated with them?

Question #6: Given our projected resources (scope), how can we calibrate our human capital, financial, and other resources to prioritize which pain points we will remove that will likely yield us the largest short-term delta in return on investment (ROI) while enabling our long-term viability?

Question #7: What is our current-state data governance and architecture, and what changes or additions/eliminations will enable a more fluid data sharing across our silos to cultivate real-time insights that are actionable?

Question #8: Is our current strategy purpose driven?

  • If not, what is our purpose and does it get each of our core team members excited to get out of bed each day?
  • Can the members of our organization state this purpose clearly when asked in the hallway?
  • If not, when will we schedule this meeting to prioritize and focus on establishing a clear sense of purpose that is customer centric and unifies our team?

Question #9: Have we done empathy mapping exercises with our customer-facing teams?

  • Have we designed and trained our teams to deliver human-centric tactics?

To optimize reliability in the current-state customer experience of your organization, you should focus on the final three questions. To generate plans to implement innovations and a bridge to a more effective future-state customer experience, you should spend time in the first six questions. In either event, you now know how to have a more powerful and strategic conversation with the people who care about the future of your organization as it transforms itself in a customer-centric digital world.

Originally published at tallwave.com on April 9, 2017.

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