Small Business Tip: Listening to Your Customers

With the prevalence of mobile devices and ubiquity of Internet connections, it has become easier than ever before to conduct direct surveys to existing and potential customers.  In fact, small business owners no longer have to rely on local marketing agencies or hand out paper surveys to learn what the customers are thinking or saying.  Adhering to the “voice of the customer” is an essential piece of small business success, and a reliable way to avoid major blunders.

Although review apps and websites such as TripAdvisor, Amazon or Yelp have become very helpful in knowing whether you are doing a good job or not (we’ve all seen some nasty comments posted online), small business owners can gain further insight through direct online surveys.  By sending out online surveys to existing customers, small businesses can listen to more honest responses from the customers and build a stronger knowledge about their target market.  The two best websites for online survey platforms are SurveyMonkey.com and Qualtrics.com.   Both allow a free basic account, in which you can get acquainted with the system.  They also provide online panels in which you can pay a certain amount per respondent to gain data.

Here are some important tips when creating surveys:

  • Before creating a survey, make sure you brainstorm what exactly you want to learn
  • Never create a question that asks two different concepts
  • All answer choices should be exhaustive and mutually exclusive (no overlaps or gaps!)
  • No leading questions!  (Urge the temptation to lead the customers to say yes!)
  • Ask demographical questions at the end to find out what type of people you’ve sampled
  • Have sufficient sample size (probably at least 60 people, preferably 100)
  • If in the budget, get a marketing professional to help you make one!

Now, go out there and start listening to your customers!  They may provide the most important feedback to build a sustainable and successful small business. Have questions? Give us a call at (855) 998-5874 or click below.