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Find Out How Customers Feel About You

By: Ron Sathoff and Kevin Nunley

Ron Sathoff is a noted speaker and manager of DrNunley's  He provides copy-writing, marketing, Internet promotion, and help for business speakers. Reach him at or 801-328-9006.
Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice, copywriting, and promotion packages. See his 10,000 free marketing ideas at Reach Kevin at or 801-328-9006.

Most of us run our businesses by gut feeling more than we like to admit.  We can tell a product or service is popular from the sales figures, but we have to go on intuition to tell you why it is selling well.

At the same time, another service might not move at all.  No one wants it even though logic would say the service should be a hot seller.

Wouldn't it be great to know exactly why and how customers feel about your business?  Find out with a simple survey.

We don't say simple just to make it easy on you.  Simple surveys work much better than long, complicated ones.  Customers, who are always in a hurry, won't mind answering five questions, but they certainly won't take the time to fill out a 50 question form.

Start your survey with a heartfelt statement about how each customer's views and opinions are important.  "Please tell us what you think so we can serve you better!"

This gives customers a reason to fill out your survey and feel good about it.  It also encourages them to dig down deep and answer honestly.

Start with a few yes/no questions:
  • Are you planning to buy again in the next six months?
  • Is this your first visit to our web site?
Multiple choice questions are good, too:
  • You want a car that is
         (a) economical
         (b) sporty
         (c) able to hold lots of kids and cargo
         (d) other (Please explain)
    Note: Make sure that you provide an "other" category -- customers will often think of things that you never even considered!
You may also want to know just how strongly people feel about something.  Find out with a scale like this:
  • Having a car that gets great gas mileage is
         (1) not important,
         (2) somewhat important,
         (3) very important,
         (4) a must-have.
Don't miss out on giving people an open question.  This is one they can answer any way they like. Give several lines of space to explain their thoughts:
  • Please tell us ways we can improve our product:

Open-ended questions like this are a great way to get new ideas. Customers will often tell you about improvements, problems, or innovations you and your staff would never think of.  It is also a good way to uncover new products or services you can offer.

Put your survey on your web site ( and have free forms you can use.) Offer a free product, ebook, or discount for filling out the form.

You can also print your survey on half sheets of paper and put them on your counter or reception desk.  Include them in invoices and mailed orders.

Surveys are a terrific way to get a better understanding of how customers feel about you and WHY they feel that way.  But we are not completely away from gut feeling yet. Simple surveys like these are not scientific.  You can't say for certain 25% of your customers hate your new product.  For best results, take survey findings with a grain of salt. Remember -- these kinds of surveys are intended to give you ideas, not hard statistics. Combine what you learn from them with what you know from studying your sales figures and talking with customers and employees.

© Copyright 2002, Ron Sathoff and Kevin Nunley

Other Articles by Ron Sathoff
Other Articles by Kevin Nunley

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


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