One of the keys to success in business is to know what your customers want, so you can deliver it. But unless you’ve perfected your Vulcan mind meld skills, the chances are good you could use a bit of help figuring out just what it is that your customers want. What’s the easiest way to do that? Ask them!
How to Survey Your Customers, Step by Step
1) Figure Out Your Goals
What are your goals in surveying customers? If you’re a crafter or seamstress, you might be focused on finding out which products and sizes are most popular, which seasons people are interested in different items, or what other items customers might like. If you’re a coach or consultant, you might want feedback on a new program you’re considering – ask customers about the content, title, and format before you put all that time into creating it and you’ll get better results.
2) Create Your Survey
Here are three tools you can use to create your own online survey (you just type in your questions, choose the type of answers, then at the end it gives you a page you can link to):
- Google Docs (free)
- FreeOnlineSurveys.com (free for up to 20 questions & 50 responses)
- SurveyMonkey.com (free for up to 10 questions & 100 responses)
What should you ask? Here are some tips to help you decide what to include and what not to include in your customer survey.
Privacy: Keep in mind that the more personal information you ask for, the fewer responses you’ll get. You may want to consider anonymous responses to allow customers to share honestly.
Time: The longer the survey, the fewer people who will finish it. Keep it short and sweet so customers can zip through it quickly.
Comments: Be sure to include a form to allow comments/questions/miscellaneous feedback. Someone might have some great idea or suggestion for you that doesn’t fit in an answer to your questions but they’ll share it if you add a box for “Any Other Comments or Great Ideas You’d Like to Share?”
Free Gift: To promote responses you may also consider offering a free gift to those who respond. It could be an ebook or special report, or a coupon for a future purchase. If you decide to give out a free gift make sure that it’s either accessible from the last page of the survey, or that you collect email addresses during the survey so you can send out the gift.
3) Share It and Collect Responses
Once you’ve created your survey, share it. If you want only responses from those who’ve already purchased from you, send it out to your customer list. If you want a wider range of responses, post on your website, your blog, social networks, etc.
4) Evaluate the Feedback
Keep in mind that you don’t need or want to radically re-design your product or website based on just one response to your survey. Watch for overall patterns and trends in the responses. If 25% or 50% of your responses have the same suggestion, then it’s worth taking time to consider.
You may also find the responses helpful in generating ideas for articles, newsletters, blog posts, and more!
Now, get out there and collect some feedback to help your business move in the right direction!