From the first sale, the clock starts ticking. How do you keep the customer coming back for more? Find out what makes the customer tick...through a market survey.
Customers are the lifeblood of a business. Without customers, there would be no business. New businesses devote significant resources to attracting new customers. A customer who commits to buying a product is one who will likely buy more. But, customers change their minds.
Prices rise. Customers may search for a better deal. A competitor business may spring up overnight. If a customer can buy the same product for a lower price, they will. Once a customer selects the better deal, the business has lost a customer. With the market changing constantly, businesses need to stay on top of customer trends.
Conducting a market survey will allow the management team to find out who their customer is. What makes her tick? Why does she buy your product? Why does he switch his allegiance to Business X, instead of your Business Y? How can you keep a customer for life? All of these questions and more can be answered in a market survey.
Top Market Surveys
Successful market surveys ask the right questions. Market surveys can be mailed, sent via email, or conducted over the phone. Find out what of survey retrieval method will work for you.
The survey should ask questions to determine why your customers buy your products. Include questions to determine why customers dislike your product. Ask about what customers want from the company and the product. Ask about buying habits. Assess customer loyalty.
The survey should be simple to complete. Use Yes/No questions. Short answer questions work best if included at the end of the survey. Send the survey to the person responsible for purchasing your product, not the CEO. The purchaser will have the most relevant feedback.
The Top 5 Benefits of Market Surveys
1. Wide Reach of Market Survey
The reach of the Internet is vast. A survey posted on a company website can garner thousands or even millions of responses. Keep the survey short and reap the benefits of huge participation.
With customers throughout the world, mailing a survey will result in inadequate results due to delays in mail service. In addition, a survey mailed overseas will need to be translated in to the language of your customer. A static survey on your website can be set to the language of your customer.
2. Get Honest Answers
Unlike face-to-face interviews with customers, a survey allows for honest responses. Perhaps your product breaks easily or has hard-to-follow instructions. By surveying your customers via a web or emailed survey, you will get the honest feedback you need to win your customer back or retain a loyal customer.
An anonymous survey will generate feedback that while brutally honest, may be useful in the long run. While it may be hard to hear that customers rarely get the help they need from inbound customer support staff, you can make changes to improve the customers’ experience.
Ask questions including the following to determine the demographics:
- type of industry that the person answering the survey works in -- administration, business, technology, manufacturing, retail
- job title of person answering the survey
- scope of influence of the person answering the survey -- Does he manage a staff of 10 or 100 or 1000 employees? Does she oversee 1 or 2 or 3 divisions of the company?
- amount of gross sales or revenues
- highest level of education
- How did she hear about your business?
Ask specific questions about products and interactions with the business, including:
- Why did you decide to purchase from Business Y?
- What products do you buy from Business Y?
- What products do you prefer buying from competitor, Business X?
- Why do you buy from Business X?
3. Cost Benefits
The survey may need to be outsourced to an outside marketing research firm. In-house staff will need to devote many work hours to collating data. While the cost of creating a market survey may be high, the company will benefit from the results.
The survey may generate sales leads. A customer who answers a survey may start to see that your business values customer feedback. A loyal customer will refer colleagues to businesses that care about not only the bottom line, but customer satisfaction.
4. Find Out About Your Competitors
Customers want a good deal. If you charge twice the going rate for a product that is the same quality as your competitor, you will lose customers. Find out what your customers are looking for in your products. Ask questions that shed light on why your products are not living up to expectations. Though it may be heard to hear, you want to know why customers choose not to buy a product or service.
5. Customer Retention
Customers want to know that a business appreciates their business. From the first click on the website to the time the customer orders a products, the customer should be the number one priority of the business. Through a market survey, you will show customers that their patronage of the business is valued.