Understanding Your Customers

How well do you know your customers?

It’s a fundamental business skill and yet most businesses have very little real understanding of how their customers feel about them.

The Internet has given us incredible access to information that has never been available before.  Not only can you find virtually any kind of reference material, also you can reach out to thousands of people quickly and inexpensively.  One tool that lets businesses connect with their customers is “Survey Monkey”.  Despite the oddity of its name, it provides an essential and inexpensive ability to create surveys and get the opinion of customers around the world.

Survey Monkey was started in 1999 as a way for businesses to create, distribute and analyse surveys without incurring the expense of a research company.  Joining the site is free.  With the basic membership you can create your own survey that Survey Monkey leads you through step by step.

It begins with the design of your survey.  You are offered different survey templates.  The next step is to decide the type of questions you’d like to ask.  For instance, is it going to be a multiple-choice question or a rating scale?  You can choose if the survey response is required or optional such as demographic information or even if you’d like the answers to be a click of a radial button or a drop-down menu.  There are a lot of options, but you shouldn’t start the process until you have some idea of what you would like to ask and the information you’re trying to receive.

After the survey is designed you can choose multiple ways to receive responses.  You can create a link to your own web page, or you can have Survey Monkey send out the survey for you. Then, as responses come in, Survey Monkey will help you analyse the results.  There are a lot of options of things to do on the basic membership, but there are some limitations.

Although there is much you can do with the basic free membership, there is a small cost to upgrade to the “professional” subscription.  The increased fee allows you to receive more responses, utilise more templates, support, etc.

Surveys are excellent ways to measure your marketing success and the position of your business versus the competition.  When writing a survey, consider exactly what you want to know.  Also know that the average attention span for surveys is short, so the questions you want to ask should be quick with clear options for the respondent.  The method to return the survey should be easy and painless.

Once the surveys are distributed, then the real work begins in the analysis.

Survey Monkey or another survey engine will help give you the statistics, but the real analysis is up to you.  How many responses did you get?  If your return rate is low, consider why that might be.  Perhaps your survey was sent to the wrong audience, or to not enough people.  Perhaps your questions were difficult, or the answers unclear.

Creating surveys whether using Survey Monkey or just mailing them through the post office is an important part of your marketing effort – measuring results.

This is yet another key to your success!




email ih@ihgroup.com.au

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