With over 80 survey tools on the market, it’s become easy (and affordable) to create, design, and distribute surveys in order to garner information and gauge your company’s progress.
Although surveys are a critical tool used daily by the world’s largest companies, not all businesses know how to incorporate it into their day-to-day, often leaving it as a last resort.
So, today – we are going to aim to shed light on some ways in which small business surveys can help companies better understand their customers and improve internal processes.
Even successful small businesses face unpredictable risks like a large competitor offering a similar service or an online store offering lower prices. Customer feedback is an evergreen source for business owners to dream up new ideas to generate more business and fend off the competition.
By using surveys, small businesses can learn what other products or services they can introduce by simply asking customers about the type of products or services you’re not currently offering, and how much they would be willing to pay if you introduced the product. Their responses would give businesses a fair amount of idea on the viability of the product or service instead of trying to introduce something new and failing at it.
These surveys also help in building customer segments in respect to demograqphics. By testing customers willingness to purchase your new idea (if you build it), you can get a feel for which of your customer segments to reach out to first once it’s launched. A healthy, continuously innovating small business will stand an easier time against competitive threats.
Did you know that big companies spend over $54 billion dollars every year on researching and testing their marketing campaigns and brands? Surveys are at the preeminent market research tool for small businesses to gather large-scale data on their customer base – data that can be administered for a relatively low cost. In fact, using an off the shelf survey tool (like BigTeam) small businesses can use the same brand and marketing research tools that the big companies do. Examples of marketing research via surveys include: Copy Testing, Brand Tracking, Message and Claim Testing, Competitive Analysis, and more. A five question survey sent out to your customers before you launch your next marketing campaign can save you precious budget.
Engaging your customers and employees is one of the best benefits of surveys. The biggest secret about asking for feedback is that it changes the relationship with your customers and employees. They will feel heard, engaged and more like an integral part of the journey of building your business.
One of the most popular examples of engagement is by using quizzes by brands like Buzzfeed. They invest a lot of time and energy into creating highly entertaining surveys that use a quiz format. This ensures engagement of site visitors which keeps them on the website for longer and keeps bringing them back. Think about using a simple 2-3 question survey as a way of starting a 2-way dialogue with your customers. It’s good to reach out when you’re not selling something, after all.
Selling a product or service to a customer is not the end of the journey. A great way to use surveys is to monitor customer satisfaction and ask them for feedback post-sale. The feedback obtained on this survey will not only help your business to improve customer relations but also help in identifying any issues. It will also prevent churn if you rely on repeat business.
When it comes to deciding about the small details of your business, like which logo to choose, or which of the two products should you launch first, chances are your customers will love to make their opinions heard. Wondering which option to go with, ask your audience to take a survey and vote. Your business will get the voice of your potential customers heard and it will ease your pressure of decision making. Now that’s a win-win!
Another way to improve your business is by getting feedback from your employees. As you grow your business, get busier and even expand, you’ll find you have less time to interact directly with customers. By surveying your own staff to see what type of suggestions they have for improvements and innovations, you’ll get a “proxy” for the voice of the customer. Some of the best ideas for improving your business may end up coming directly from your team. No matter how low on the totem poll they are.
Surveys consistently prove out as the single best method for small businesses to keep a pulse on their customer base. Let’s be clear here, there’s nothing more crucial to small business success than a deep understanding of their customers.
So, if you aren’t already conducting regular surveys, it’s highly advisable that you get started. Your bottom line will thank you.