While there is no shortage of studies, theories and so-called experts who will be happy to claim that they know what customers are thinking and how to best market to them, it is still best to get the thoughts and insights directly from the customers themselves.
Gathering information about what customers liked about their purchasing experience, what they didn’t like, and even what would have worked better is a great way to improve future marketing efforts.
There are many ways to attempt to gather this type of information, and finding out which ones work for a specific business is essential for any marketer.
The following strategies are surprisingly easy to implement and can provide continuous feedback from actual customers. The information gathered can be used to improve almost every aspect of any business.
1) Information for Discounts
– Offering customers the opportunity to fill out a survey or other information gathering page in exchange for a discount on future purchases can be extremely effective.
While it will certainly get some shoppers to respond, it can also lead to inaccurate information. People will fill out the page as quickly as possible just to get the discount.
In addition, this will primarily get results from customers who are already frequent shoppers of the brand. While good for an occasional information gathering push, this isn’t the right solution for long term strategies.
2) Direct Mail Surveys
– In this age of advanced technologies many marketers forget the power of mailing customers directly. By sending out a survey in the mail it gives customers time to receive their orders and try them out.
This allows for a more complete response to any survey, and therefore a more accurate set of information.
In addition, there is no rush to respond to this type of survey. If the customer sets the survey down for a day or two, they can still send it in later.
The one downside to this method is that many people immediately throw away ‘snail mail’ if they don’t know who it is from, and it can be expensive to distribute these surveys.
3) Third Party Services
– When looking for high-quality surveys sent to customers in a way which will get them to respond, there is nothing better than using a third party service.
Companies like Research Now are experts in this type of thing so they know exactly what to do and say to get people to respond. These types of services are also less expensive than most marketers would expect.
4) Email Surveys
– This is one of the most common ways companies attempt to gather information. It is extremely inexpensive, and even though the response rate is fairly low, it can still bring in great information.
The most important part of sending e-mail surveys is to get the subject line right, and ensure the questions are worded properly. This will improve the chances that people will take the time to respond.
Gathering information about customers is extremely important for all marketers. When done properly it can revolutionize the way they do business, but when done poorly it is a waste of time at best.
Taking the time to find out what works for each business is essential for a successful marketer.
Image Credit: Thilmany