I recently read an article over at Alejandro Reyes’s website (which you can see here) where he published the results of a survey his readers took. I thought what he learned from his readers would be quite germane to your business.
He asked his audience three questions:
- What kind of content do you want to see in 2011 on AlejandroReyes.com?
- What format do you like best?
- How can I help you best in 2011 to become more successful?
If you can’t identify with those questions because it sounds like a website owner asked them, have you ever had a customer request something? If you’re a hair dresser, has anyone ever asked you what kinds of foods promote shiny hair? If you’re a hardware store owner, has anyone ever asked you if you do workshops? Why not ask them by e-mail what kinds of things you can do to make their experience better – and how they’d like you to do it. I’m sure you can think of three questions.
What Alejandro learned will certainly make his business better over the course of 2011. His readers said they’d be interested in hearing how other successful entrepreneurs became successful. That was great for Alejandro because he loves doing success interviews. I bet your customers, if you’re a hardware store owner, would love to see what other successful “birding” folks are doing to attract bluebirds or cardinals to their feeders. Ask your customers what you can provide.
Alejandro also learned that his customer prefer blog posts and video over podcasts. Wouldn’t that be nice to know? Would it be great to know that your real estate clients would much rather attend open houses on Thursday evening from 5 – 7 than Sunday from 2 – 4? How would that change your business?
Your customers have already researched what they need to know about your products. They’ve decided your place of business serves their needs, and many of them are repeat buyers (meaning they’ve overcome any buyer’s remorse). Your job now is to become a more staple expert in their mind and expand the services you can provide to them.
The only ways you can make more money is to get customers to buy more or get more customers. In the case of the survey, you have a prime opportunity to provide more value in exchange for money.
Surveying your customers is extremely easy on-line. There are many, many free polling and survey services you can use. To get people to take a survey, put the link in the footer of your e-mail signature. Send a postcard with a link to the survey. Add the survey to your website home page. E-mail your customers and ask them to take it. Or even ask them in-store.
Surveys will not only make your relationship with your customers tighter and give you opportunities to meet their needs, but will also start a conversation with your customers that you can continue by e-mail all year long. So don’t forget to ask for their name and e-mail – then you can really serve their needs.
What are your thoughts on surveys? Why haven’t you done them yet? Some people are afraid it will annoy their customers. Do you feel that way and why? I’m interested in your thoughts so leave a comment below.