Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Conduct a Survey

There are so many positives that come from surveying your customers. Every business should do it at least once per year. It may be the most inexpensive marketing tool for small businesses.

The Benefits
First, it creates a dialog with your customers. Your customers have a chance to say something to you other than "fine" when you ask them how things are going.
Second, surveys give you great feedback and let's you know how you are doing (yes, you really want to know).
Third, it creates word of mouth because customers talk and they will ask others.
Fourth, it tells customers you care.
Fifth, you will get some great ideas!

What Should I ask?
Sometimes businesses struggle with the right questions to ask. There is no need to get clever or creative, simply ask these questions in this manner:

  1. What is the most positive aspect of your experience with our business?
  2. What is the most negative aspect of your experience with our business?
  3. What would you improve about your experience with us?
  4. Please share any thoughts you have about how we can improve our services to you?
  5. Is their a product or service you would like to see us add?
  6. Would you like for us to contact you to follow up?

That's it.

You will be pleasantly surprised with your responses. Most of your feedback will be positive. You will receive compliments in areas that you didn't expect. These compliments will provide ammunition for future marketing programs.

One of your intelligent customers will make a money making suggestion to you. When they do, use it! Then reward them with a gift and let everyone know you are making a change/addition because of a customer suggestion.

How to Implement
Don't just put a stack of surveys on a table and a suggestion box next to them. Use your customer data base and mail the survey with a return envelope. If you have a large customer base, mail one-fourth of your customers each quarter.

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