How to Find Out What Your Customers Really Want

How do you know what your customers want?

Well, there's many ways of researching your marketplace. However, one
sure-fire method that comes straight from the horses mouth is ...  ask them!

Customer feedback is woefully neglected in most businesses - which is a
pity because it can be so simple! Especially when it's automated.

All too often people assume that they know what their customers want or are
thinking, when in fact they may be well out of touch.

Setting up customer online feedback is easy - and is usually an extremely valuable
source of information and market research and best of all....Its Free!

For a simple approach to customer feedback or market research,
try the following process...

1)Who? Are you asking existing clients? Potential clients? Ex-Clients. You need to
establish exactly who are you going to target with your feedback - so your feedback
form will be in front of the appropriate people, section of your website etc.

2) What? Establish what you want to know.
Are people happy with your service/products? What could be improved? What they be
prepared to spend on a new item? Define your parameters, such as area, age group etc.
(Remember that the more questions you ask - the fewer people will complete the form)

3) Why? It is always good policy to let people know why you want the information
and how you intend to use it.

4) When? If you are conducting a survey on customer satisfaction for example, it is a
good idea to collect the data over a period of time and then see how the changes that
you have implemented as a result of the feedback have increased the percentiles
of happy customers. Whether you ask the same questions later or different questions
later or indeed at all is influenced by what you are trying to achieve.

It is assumed of course, that having collected the data, you do actually do something
meaningful with it!

Some 'legal' things to consider...

- Obtain permission to use the personal data.

- Only use the data in the way that you said you would.

- Don't give the data to anyone else- unless you have prior permission and a good reason
for doing so.

- You can't send emails or text messages unless the recipient has given their
permission beforehand.

Lastly - A couple of Tips :

1 - Keep it simple
Most online visitors have a lot to do - having to think too much will put them off.
Help them by offering multiple choice instead of encouraging long open-ended
answers.

Factors that retain attention here are multiple choice are easier to complete.

2 - Keep it short.
The shorter - the more people will complete the form. Factors that increase how many
questions you can ask before people switch off(of which you can of course test and measure)
are relationship with respondent, age, relevance of questions(to them), complexity of
questions & time taken to answer them.

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