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Listen to Your Customers through Market Research Surveys

Do you listen to your customers? To what capacity have you tried to reach them? It is important to listen to customers that are immediately vocal, and to reach out to as many customers as possible. Your business is contingent on satisfying your customers – know them well.

Consider the following:

Attempt to communicate
Make sure customers do not become ‘long lost.’ Obviously, you do not have the time to have an intimate chat with every customer, but a well-structured market research survey will do. This lets them know they are considered valuable to the company.

Sometimes people feel the need to be heard. They may have a grievance about your company or a particular aspect. They may not necessarily want to abandon your company, but it will make them feel better to voice their opinion.

Customers have great ideas too. Asking customers for suggestions and feedback may be one of your best ideas. For instance, imagine a high percentage of customers suggesting the same thing. You would then know integrating the suggestion into your model would satisfy not only those customers, but also others who have not voiced their opinion as well. At times, customers remain idle, and need prompting to become active again. Contacting them through a market research survey may regenerate their prior interest in your company. They may become interested because of your interest in them.

What questions to ask
You can assemble a variety of questions to ask your customers. Here are some basic inquiries to get you started.

- When did you become one of our customers?
- How did you learn about our company? - How well does our company serve your needs?
- Do you also provide your business to our competitors?
- What do you see are our competitors’ strengths and weaknesses?
- What are our strengths? Our weaknesses?
- Do you have any suggestions regarding new products/services?

After the purchase
It is good practice to survey customers after they have made a purchase. This will help you improve your products/services and inspire people to become lifelong customers. The market research survey can be brief, but take some time in formulating your questions. Consider asking the following:

- What made you decide to do business with us?
- Do you have any suggestions for our company in general?
- Did our product/service live up to your expectations?
- Were you satisfied with our level of customer service?
- Will you make another purchase from us in the future?

An alternative
There is one place where you and all of your customers can communicate – on the Web. Blogs are a good way to facilitate contact with your customers. Blogs can offer information about your products/services, your company values, your employees, etc. Blogs make it easy to start a dialogue between your customers. Getting inside the head of your customers is invaluable.


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