Tap Into Your Market with Online Surveys

By Megan Randolph

 

There is nothing more important to companies large and small than satisfied customers. How do you know what a potential customer needs or wants? In recent years several web based survey products have taken some of the hassle out of obtaining the information you need. Online survey websites are a great way to get customer feedback, and find out the needs of potential customers.

 

How do you know if your customers needs have been met? They may walk away satisfied but did your business have the "wow" factor with that customer? Will they remember you next time they need the same product or service? Maybe, if it is not too far out of their way or inconvenient. Perhaps you did not exactly meet there needs, or your customer service was not outstanding. Using online surveys can give answers to the above questions.

 

Online surveys can help any type of business find the answers to a variety of questions. You first need to think about what questions you want to ask. Who is your target consumer? What did a previous customer think about your last interaction with them? Would they be a returning customer? And an important one, how do you compare to your competitors. Your customers can evaluate their experience with your business and offer suggestions for the future.

 

Most of the current survey tools are designed to require little or no training to use. There are a lot of options for businesses to choose from. Survey firms can range in price from $20 a month to thousands of dollars depending in your companies needs. Many of these companies will let you use their service for free for a limited number of surveys. This could be ideal for smaller businesses. Some have a one time annual fee (around $599 for a smaller business volume). A simple search on a search engine will give your business hundreds of survey firms to choose from. A few survey companies I have come across are Survey Monkey or Zoomerang for larger business. Question Pro, Survey Share, Cool Surveys, and Zip Survey are great for small businesses. In selecting a firm, keep in mind what you are willing to spend, and the specific needs of your business. In most cases, the $20 a month is well worth it.

 

Most companies offer the options to either view the survey results online, or have them sent to you. You can then review the collected data. What did and did not work for your customer? Who are your best customers? Who are your favorite customers, and where can you find more of them? What did your customers like about your business? What is a potential customer looking for in your type of business? And much more...

 

Although the process is simple, you will need to be willing to invest a little time and effort in the process. The firms usually have sales reps and customer service support that can assist you with all your needs, including the design and implementation of the survey for you. It can be catered to your specific business. Others simply have email support. Again different options are offered by different companies and are often reflected in the price differences.

 

Using online surveys will help you to perceive the needs of future customers, get feedback on your products and services, and find out what customers would like to see from your company in the future.


 

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