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):
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 a good percentage of your
responses have the same suggestion, then it’s worth taking time to
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!