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Get to know your customers through online surveys

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If you don’t know what you’re doing right, how do you capitalize upon it? And if you don’t know where your customers/members are headed, how do you ensure you are providing services they’ll continue to use? By surveying both internal and external customers/members, you can discover what your organization is doing right as well as identify key areas of focus and opportunity.

Don’t be afraid of negative feedback. Although favorable responses are wonderful statistics to share with stakeholders and in marketing materials, you may find negative responses more useful for fine-tuning practices and processes. Does a product or service require an upgrade to suit an emerging industry segment? Are customers/members receiving their shipped products in a timely manner? Are more representatives needed in the field? Is it time to overhaul your organization’s website?

Better yet, the survey may uncover a customer/member who had an unnecessarily bad experience with your organization, creating an opportunity to contact that person directly to resolve any issues and improve your organization’s reputation.

Online survey tools An online survey tool that we at AOE have used often and with good success is SurveyMonkey. Anyone can deploy a survey for free by creating an account through www.surveymonkey.com. However, businesses wishing to collect more than 100 responses or to access more advanced design and export capabilities should look into the site’s relatively inexpensive paid plans. Another free option for anybody with a Google account is Google Forms (which can be found in Google Drive.) Both survey tools allow users to download responses into spreadsheets.

Another option might be your own website. The program used to deliver your company website may have built-in functionality that allows you to create and post polls and collect feedback.

Here are a few more tips to help get you started:

• Be sure to ask about respondents’ biggest challenge in the months and years ahead so the focus isn’t simply on your organization.

• Include multiple-choice options that respondents can click so taking the survey is easy.

• Keep surveys short and simple to avoid having respondents opting out mid-survey.

• Bribery never hurts! Offer a gift card drawing to entice people to take your survey.

• Don’t oversaturate your target audience.

If you plan on deploying regular surveys, once a month should be enough. Of course, the next step is to craft the right set of unbiased questions to ask end users. Contact us today for help!

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Regardless of your area of study in school or title in your current position, we are all marketers.

Today’s global economy, high-tech business world and ever-changing business environment littered with buzzwords mandate a lifelong journey of education. As experts in marketing, communication, public relations and technical writing, the AOE Team is dedicated to helping you better hone your craft and serve your organization. Through industry workshops and seminars, columns in a variety of trade publications and other educational resources, we offer a variety of educational venues to assist you in your short- and long-term marketing objectives.


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