Use Surveys and Polls to Collect Information
E-tailers can use surveys and polls to reach out to customers and learn from their first-hand experience about what they're doing really well, and what areas that could use improvement.
Every bit of information from people who actually purchase and use your goods and services can aid in your decision making process. What can you glean from surveys or polls?
- Feedback and input: A customers perspective can be extremely beneficial, as they notice and experience things differently than someone running the business. By soliciting information from them, you may be surprised by things that hadn't occurred to you.
- Customer satisfaction (or dissatisfaction): There may be small things that you are overlooking to keep your customers happy (or you may not realize how much they appreciate the things you do). Asking them directly (and even anonymously) can be an easy way to find out.
- Contact information: At the end of your survey, encourage customers to allow their email addresses to be used for future email blasts, coupons, newsletters, etc. to keep them notified of upcoming specials, promotions or events.
There are a few free survey tools, such as Survey Monkey or Poll Everywhere (which uses text message polling). Or, if you already use an email marketing service such as Vertical Response or Constant Contact, take advantage of their survey templates with ready made questions that can be customized (if you aren't a member, both services offer free trials). These templates have a variety of question types to help you get the most valuable information, such as open ended, ranking a list, selecting all that apply, and so forth.
List five aspects of your business that you would like more insight into. Are your customers likely to give you information about these topics without a nudge from you? If not, then set up a survey. It only takes a few minutes, and if you have an email list, you're already halfway to sending.
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