Customer Surveys & Market Surveys

You can gain a lot of understanding about customer wants and needs from individual one to one conversations with customers and then recording the insights you gained in a customer research file.

However for a special project you may want to use a formal survey done either in a more structured conversation or as an Internet survey with services like SurveyMonkey which you can use for free.

Why use A Formal Survey?

  • Structured questions lead to structured results – casual conversations are very nice but you’ll get much sharper results if you have standard questions which everyone asks in the same way.
  • You can use surveys as a promotional method – perhaps using a new product as a prize for completing the survey.
  • You can use survey results for press releases into the state of your customer’s industry

Customers Buy A Product They Like & Not A Product You Like

One trap entrepreneurs fall into is to design a product they love but their would-be customers are indifferent to.

And if the customer doesn’t like it, want it or see the need for it… then there is no sale.

Surveys help you tap into the needs of customers and give you a chance to get feedback on your ideas at an early stage before you’ve wasted too much time, energy and money.

It’s much easier to sell a product which customers are saying they want before it is available and then creating a product to meet their desires than to do it the other way around, create the product and then have to create the demand.

Set Clear Goals For Your Survey

Before you start designing your survey be very clear what you want to get out of it.

Your purpose affects what questions you ask and how you ask them.

It also guides you to finding the right length of survey. Every question you ask potentially reduces either the number of responses you get back or the quality of the responses. You are relying on customer goodwill for your answers and each question costs that little bit more in terms of time and effort.

Share your objectives -or at least some of them – with your customers so they understand why answering is important to you and to them. Explain what you are going to do with the information.

Survey Tips

  1. Give an estimate of how long it will take to complete.
  2. Be careful about using compulsory questions, your customers will bail out rather than answer something they don’t want to reveal.
  3. Allow partial completed surveys to be submitted – some answers are better than none.
  4. Give options in your answers to reflect the shades of grey which exist – some things aren’t good or bad but OK or Not Applicable.
  5. In long surveys use a variety of types of survey questions – some Yes/No, some multiple choice and some open ended questions to reduce question fatigue.
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