Surveys have always been a convenient way to get customer feedback. Of course, back in the day, they were a little more involved. Traditional marketing methods applied, and usually the average business owner found him or herself utilizing direct mail and cold calls to get the information they needed.
The good news for marketers these days is that online surveys have made survey-taking easier than ever. No more calling, no more expensive print mailings. Done right, online surveys can deliver valuable consumer feedback straight to your inbox or website—without the hassle of hiring a survey company or the expense of direct mail.
Here are some different ways to use online surveys to build a better business:
You’ve made the sale. Now what? Follow up with existing customers by sending them a survey via email. This will reveal how well you are serving your customers’ needs, how happy they are with the product or service and it also can serve as a “thank you” for their purchase.
Gather demographic information
Online surveys are a great way to find out who your customers are, where they’re from and other pertinent information. You can ask them about their buying habits, their challenges and their lifestyles. Use this data to develop products and services that more closely align with your customers’ needs.
Track your company’s performance
A brief survey, sent out periodically to opt-in prospects and existing customers, will help keep you on track in terms of how well you’re addressing customers’ issues. Ask them what their experiences have been, ways you can improve, etc.
Analyze your market
Of course, surveys also serve to help you discover your target market’s needs and desires. What is important to your customers? What kinds of choices do they make when shopping for your products and services? An initial survey or series of surveys, done during the development of a new product or before the launch of a new marketing campaign, can yield valuable information that will help you plan out your course of action.
It’s often called “crowdsourcing”, and it’s the way that many companies find solutions to problems--particularly on social media. Let’s say you’re looking to rebrand, and want ideas for a new logo or a catchy name for a new product. Use an online survey to get feedback from your customers and leads. You can give them options and ask them to vote, or describe your product and ask for ideas.
Online survey services abound now, so you have your pick of some very agile tools to help you achieve your goals. Some of the most popular are SurveyMonkey, Constant Contact and PollDaddy. Some are free and others offer more options for a monthly fee. Whichever you choose, be sure the appropriate survey is scheduled to line up with where your customers are in the buying cycle, and with important events such as product launches.
Surveys can deliver valuable information. They are quick and easy to do and they don’t require a big monetary investment. So, don’t just wonder what your customers are thinking. Ask!