Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What do your customers really think anyway?

We all know what we know and we don’t know what we don’t know.  Simple, right?  The internet, however, has really changed the “what we don’t know” and transformed it instead into the “what we can know but don’t want to”.  I recently came across this great article on the American Express website that has some good tips on how exactly to understand where your shortcomings might be with your customers by using short and simple surveys.  Knowing after all, is the first step, right?

An excerpt from: 4 Simple Waysto Find Out What Your Customers Really Think  by Rieva Lesonsky

Get online. Consumers overwhelmingly prefer tech when it comes to surveys; 91 percent cite “smartphone,” “Web” or “SMS” as their preferred methods. Just 4 percent like mail in surveys, and a mere 1 percent want to be surveyed by phone. There are many low- or no-cost online survey tools out there. Zoomerang  is one I like that lets you do surveys online, on Facebook, or by mobile device and offers both free and premium plans.

Keep it short. How many times have you started to take an online survey only to get bogged down in a seemingly endless series of screens? The Cint survey found shorter is better. Forty percent of consumers will spend one to five minutes taking a survey; 30 percent will devote up to 10 minutes; and just 13 percent are happy to spend over 20 minutes. (I’m surprised that number is so high.) Remember, people are busy, so keep it short and simple.

Offer incentives. If your survey is short and focused on a topic (like customer satisfaction) that customers believe will ultimately benefit them, you may not need to offer a reward. But if you’re conducting a lengthier survey or doing market research to assess a product or service launch, some type of “carrot” might be necessary. Money (no surprise) is the best motivator for 55 percent of the respondents in the Cint survey, while 34 percent want free products and 6 percent are okay with vouchers. (If you offer a chance to win a prize, make sure you are following contest/sweepstakes rules in your state.)

Act on what you learn. There’s no point to doing a survey if you ignore the results, and keep doing what you’ve always done. Plus, in today’s socially-connected world, people who’ve taken the survey are likely to talk about it. Assess your survey results and use your customers’ feedback  to make changes where they’re needed. Even if the results show that your customers are happy, you’re not home free. You need to regularly poll your customers to keep them satisfied.

In addition to surveys, make sure you have a google alerts set up for your name as well as your store.  It also is a good idea to set these up for your top selling lines.  A great blog post or email to your customers can be simply letting them know about the great things your highly curated lines are up to these days (followed by some sort of incentive to get them in your store of course doesn’t hurt either!).

Feel free to leave any other ideas below in the comments section!

1 comment:

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