How often do you wonder what your customers think of you?

You’ve probably thought: “If only I could read their minds, I could deliver the exact product or service they want, when they want it, at a price that makes them happy and makes me money!”  Unfortunately, this kind of psychic ability is usually reserved for TV, the movies, or Miss Cleo.

Instead of channeling your inner Mentalist, why not just ask your customers what they like or don’t like about you?

Step 1: Figure out what you want to learn from your customer
Perhaps you’ve noticed that a certain type of product or service you offer isn’t selling as well as it used to and you want to find out why.

Step 2: Define your population
In this case, it may be anyone who has bought this product or service in the past 6 months.  Make sure to choose a big enough time period or group so that you can have a diverse set of responses.  Keep in mind that response rates to surveys can vary pretty dramatically, so a bigger population is generally better.

If you’re business isn’t based online and you don’t have access to a list of customer emails, consider asking for them when customers go to purchase.  If you’re nervous about alienating customers, try offering them a 10% discount on a future order if they provide their email address today.

Step 3: Craft your questions
Regardless of your survey topic, you’ll want to include 3 key questions in your survey:

  1. How likely are you to recommend My Company to a friend? (1-10 rating scale)
  2. What do you like most about My Company? (Multiple Choice Response with “Other” Option)
  3. What do you like least about My Company? (Multiple Choice Response with “Other” Option)

In addition to these starter questions, you can add your more specific question(s) around the product or service you’ve seen decline in sales.  Try to get at the core of why customers like or dislike the product, for example, is the price too high or is the color not appealing?  Finally, keep the survey short, research has shown that surveys that are less than 5 minutes have dramatically higher completion rates. 

Step 4: Take Advantage of (Free) Online Survey Resources
There are plenty of great online survey resources, but the one we use the most here at Webs is Survey Monkey.  The free version is incredibly easy to use and should provide enough features to get surveys started in no time for your business.  Additionally, Survey Monkey provides easy to interpret results that will allow you to act on what your customers are saying right away.

Surveys are a great way to better understand your customers and help show your customers that you appreciate their business. We’re interested in hearing how you use surveys for your small business, group, or organization.  Please share with us how surveys have or haven’t worked for you in the past!

About the Author: Alex Mitchell is the Lead Analyst for the Webs Marketing Team. 

 

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