Almost no one seeks to understand a customer. Often, there’s an abbreviation, a stop short...it’s called good customer service. Walking by a table in your restaurant and asking “how was everything?” satisfies your requirement...we did our part. And the customer...”it’s fine”...they did their part. A very simple and pleasant exchange...feels good, good service. What if you went a step further? What if you wanted to know what they thought of the new risotto? How would you approach that? What if you learned they seemed interested in how it was prepared? What if you engaged and invited them into the kitchen? What if the chef took some time to share some insight into her approach to cooking? Once you make the investment in really learning something from people the pay-off is huge. They feel special and you get permission...to invite, to learn more, to add another one to the tribe.
Asking the right questions takes the relationship to a more meaningful place...a place of caring and trust. Asking the wrong questions leaves you with the rest of the pack...just another place...forgettable.