Crafting an Effective Customer Survey and Using the Results to Your Advantage



Whether you're operating a grocery store or a beading business, any successful entrepreneur knows how crucial it is to gain insight into his client base. It may seem like customers are happy while doing their shopping, there is only one real way to know, and it's through proactively information gathering.

The customer survey has been a genuine, reliable model for business owners for decades in the quest to make sure everything is running as smoothly as it seems. As a beading business owner, you can take advantage of the customer survey route by offering a questionnaire to your clients throughout the fiscal year.

Effective surveys aren't just the ones that are handed out to clients when they receive a package during the holiday season--entrepreneurs should continuously gather this crucial information by regularly asking customers to provide their feedback. This means enclosing a "Comments or questions?" section at the end of every receipt, email or invoice.

However, creating a worthwhile customer survey isn't just about making the option to share feedback available to clients. As an entrepreneur, you should have your own goals in mind when utilizing this research tool, and it should translate onto your survey.

To gather worthwhile customer feedback, Inc.com recommends sitting down and truly asking yourself what you want to get from this tactic. Are you wondering if your clients are truly happy? Are you trying to hone in on areas of your wholesale beading business that could use improvement?

Once you narrow down what you want to know, it's equally important to come up with a plan on how to use your survey results. Develop a system to gauge the input you receive, and then develop a strategy on how to utilize this information to your advantage. If you're not willing to take action based on what you've learned from your survey results, there's little reason to gather the data at all.

Inc.com reports that some common goals of launching a survey is to determine customer loyalty, develop new staff training and hone in on just how satisfied clients are with your service. However, survey results might also help you when you're thinking about launching a new product, design or looking to gain new direction for your finances.

When you're developing questions for your survey, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, it's important to determine which type of questionnaire works for you when it comes to gauging results--is it "yes" or "no" responses? Or is it a scale ranging from 1 to 10 for satisfaction?

Next, make sure your questions are as descriptive and specific as possible. This will make it easier for you to use the information you have gathered once you are analyzing your results.

Finally, don't forget to have one or two open-ended questions. This will allow customers to say what's really on their minds, and honesty can help you fine-tune your beading business model. The Huffington Post reports that objective responses are often the most helpful because they can provide valuable insight into what you're doing right and wrong.

One reason why you want to provide customer feedback options to your clients or host multiple surveys throughout the year is because as a small business, you're likely to feature growth spurts upon launching. Although it may be slow and steady at first, you'll want to be prepared for any large growth that comes, and this can be done through customer surveys.

The Huffington Post states that gathering real information in real time can help you keep tabs on your beading business at all times. Understanding your successes as well as your failures can give you the upper hand when you're dealing with abrupt growth in your business.

One way to make sure your clients have every opportunity to speak their minds is by opening numerous channels of communication. For instance, don't just allow customers to send you their feedback in an email after they have purchased a product--instead, welcome input on your social media profiles, whether it be on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. If you host a business blog, give clients a place where they can write comments on your posts.

It can seem like a frivolous concern if you're a busy beading business owner and you don't know the first thing about hosting surveys. However, there are many professional survey services you can turn to if you value the research and information you can gather through this method. Experts can also help you analyze your data and use it to your advantage. Taking the time to listen to what your customers have to say can keep them (and your business) around for years to come.


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