I talk to a lot of business people, and I find that many are under the misconception that surveys – such as customer satisfaction surveys and product surveys – are just a bunch of “feel-good nonsense.” This is a real pity, because in reality surveys can be incredibly useful. Yes, running a survey just for the sake of running a survey is a complete waste of resources. But if you have specific questions that you need answered, a properly designed, executed and analyzed survey can provide a treasure trove of very actionable industry, product and customer data.
Use surveys to gain insight into your business’ challenges
Let’s take a look at some real-world examples of how surveys can be used…
- Losing market share – A fitness center has been losing market share to a competitor, and they can’t figure out why.
In this situation I would recommend two surveys: a customer satisfaction survey of the center’s members, to identify problem areas, and a product survey of people who recently signed up at other area gyms, to learn why they made that choice.
- Pricing new products – A bicycle manufacturer is developing a unique new product, and they don’t know how to price it.
Here a pricing survey would be in order. What would people be willing to pay? Set the price too low and risk leaving money on the table. Set it too high, and the new product could be doomed right from the start.
- Attracting new clients – A local chain of “quick lube” automotive service stations was in an enviable situation: their client retention was excellent, way above industry norms. A survey could help them determine exactly why their customers are so loyal; this information can then be used to develop a marketing campaign to attract more customers.
There are countless other situations in which surveys are indeed very useful, and I’ll be talking more about them in upcoming blog posts. How has your decision-making been helped by surveys?
Please feel free to share your experiences below.