Surveys…Good, Better, Best!

Rate it from 1-10

What did you think of_____?

Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent.

How can we improve?

If you were playing Family Feud….all of the aforementioned items are things fall into the category of, “What would you ask on a survey?”

Surveys are important to our businesses becuse they are the thermometer for businesses owners to know if the “turkey” is done!   They let us know what our customers like and don’t like about our products, services, and where we need to be to improve our businesses.

The main point of a survey is to give feedback that is honest and represents a fraction of our total customer base.  Expect that a survey may not always give you back the information you want, but it will give you the information you need.

We think our business is the best, but keep in mind there is always room for improvement.  Our customers are the best representatives to give feedback because they obviously support our business.  But, what if the first time customer comes to our business and never comes again?  We need to address the concerns and issues that may lose our customers.

One site that I am a member of is ShoeDazzle.com.  This is a membership site that sell shoes and accessories.  If you buy something then they send you a survey with your purchase that you can fill our at your leisure and mail back to them.  If you do not buy something, the site provides a brief survey that wants to find out the reason for you not purchasing.  The site takes into account that this month may be a time where the funds may not be in your budget.  It also will send you other options if you don’t like what they have presented you with.  Either way, the company takes the time to ask you questions that will allow them to assess your needs and your situation.

We can learn something from this survey technique.  Ask customers what they want, find out about competitors, and make sure your service is top notch.  Here are five ways to create surveys:

  • In Person             Ask while they are in your establishment.
  • On the Phone     Call during business hours (9-5).
  • Direct Mail          Most expensive option due to mailing costs.  Use post cards to minimize cost.
  • Email                     Make the Subject line interesting.
  • Text Message     97% of people answer their texts within 3 minutes (Get permission to text from your customer)
  • Online                   You can input a survey on your Facebook Fan page to increase activity or on your website
Each method allows you to connect with the customer and have an opportunity to grow your business.
When you are conducting surveys make sure of the following:
  • Be pleasant.
  • Have your questions lined up.
  • Do not assume that all the answers will be positive.
  • Offer customers a gift, discount, coupon, etc. for participating.
No matter how you survey your customers, make sure that you are proactive.  Finding out what customers want is one of the most important factors that failing businesses lack.  Once you have your surveys in hand then make the effort to implement the changes as you see fit. You can also send your customers a follow-up letter, call, email, etc. to let them know that their suggestions were valued and tell them when you implemented them.
Suggested Sites for giving online surveys and to aid you in genrating questions are SurveyMonkey.com and Zoomerang.com.  Your business will prosper when you are proactive and show your care about your customers.  Make sure your next survey receives the mark of Excellence.
Yours Truly,
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