It’s more important than ever for your small business to stay on top of what customers want and need. After all, if you’re not in tune with their desires, there are many competitors they can turn to. To find out what customers want, just ask! Conducting a customer survey shouldn’t be intimidating—in fact, it’s quite easy to do. Here are some simple ways to find out what you want to know.
Pinpoint your goals.
The best surveys are focused on a specific issue, rather than being vague and general. For instance, maybe you want to find out if clients are satisfied with how fast you design new web pages. Focus your questions on that topic, and don’t veer into other territory such as what they think of your pricing.
Keep it simple.
No one wants to spend half an hour clicking through questions online, filling out a form or talking on the phone to a telemarketer, so whatever form of survey you use, be sure to keep it short. For best results, limit your poll to 10 questions or fewer. Always include an option where customers can fill in their opinions in their own words.
Once you’ve figured out what you want to know, there are several ways to connect with customers:
- Go online: You can develop online surveys using survey tools such as SurveyMonkey, which offers a free basic plan with templates and the ability to survey up to 100 people via your business’s website.
- Get social: Use social media to conduct informal surveys on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedInby asking quick questions or taking polls. You can get more sophisticated with tools like Surveys for Facebook.
- Dial it up: You can also conduct surveys by phone, either by making the calls yourself or hiring a telemarketing firm to do so. Customers are more likely to comply with phone surveys if you make them part of your post-sale follow-up, so set up a process to call customers within a short time after they’ve you’ve made the sale. That way, the experience will be fresh in their minds.
For best results, use a mix of different types of customer surveys. That way, your results won’t be weighted too heavily toward any one group of customers (such as those who use Twitter) at the expense of others.