Recession Proof Your Biz — Using Customer Surveys

With the economic shift continuing to, ah,… ‘shift’ even more, it’s becoming increasingly important how effectively and efficiently you allocate resources to support ongoing business and business growth. Are you focusing your efforts on products/services that are most profitable and in highest demand? Are you supporting increased share of wallet from your most loyal customers? Are there hidden opportunities of products/services your customers are buying elsewhere that you might be able to provide? What are your customers thinking and what are their plans for doing business with you in the next 6 – 12 months? Moving along with these questions unanswered can tank a company fast in challenging times.

To safeguard your business, now is the best time to survey your customers. Find out what products/services they plan to purchase over the next 6 – 12 months. Uncover new and hidden product/service opportunities asking for suggestions on new products/services and their reaction to products/serivces you think are potential hot items. Have customers rank what’s important to them in terms of your unique selling proposition (you might be surprised to find out what’s important to them now was not as important even a few months ago!). Ask what you could do to improve your service and offering to them. And, find out how likely it is they are to recommend you/your company to a colleague.

We recently launched a survey for one of our clients with great success. The data gathered was astounding! Leveraging email, it was efficient to execute and all the data was easily tallied, stored and can be sorted every which way. One of the most valuable questions answered was how many of a certain flagship product the customer planned on buying over the next 6 months w/ ranges of 0, 1-5, 6-25, 26-100, and other. With SMS tools SMART eMailer and SMART Tracker we were able to track exactly which customer filled in which answer. This supports enhanced sales follow up and customer list segmentation going forward. It’s a critical time for business and sustaining and growing business are more urgent than ever. Having just this data helped our client better forecast their sales and hone in on high potential buying customers. In addition, the comments received on what can be improved upon are service items that will be addressed and then promoted showing that the company is listening and always looking for ways to better serve the customer.

Remember in developing a survey to include an attractive incentive, keep it brief and easy to complete. You may be surprised and your business will thank you for it!

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