How to Better Understand Customers with Surveys


Know your audience! The customer is king!

Anyone who has ever taken a class in public relations or marketing knows these critical words. This is because what drives a company to sustained success is a deep understanding of their customers. They know what they need and they are able to provide it. Then, happy customers pass the word on to others and the company grows and grows.

Therefore, no matter where you are with your business, it’s always a good idea to learn more about your customers. And one of the best ways to do this is through a survey. They allow you to directly ask your customers the information you want to know, and if you use a good survey maker, you can use their answers to spot trends and gain insight.

Here are four key things you can learn about your customers using a survey.

Know Their Motivations

One of the best things you can find out from your customers is why they chose to buy from you. And, almost as importantly, why they chose you and not one of your competitors?

Doing this helps identify your unique value proposition. What is it about you that separates you from everyone else and drives people to pick you.

Ideally, you will already have a good idea as to what this is, but by asking your customers directly, you can figure out if you were right, and also possibly identify other things about your product or service that people like that you weren’t highlighting, giving you a new strategy to pursue.

Identify Their Values

In today’s consumer market, people are showing more and more preference for companies that align with their value set. Again, you should already have a general idea of what this is, but when you ask your customers again, you will learn even more.

One way to do this is to focus on returning customers. Find out why they continue to buy from you, for there may be a reason you hadn’t seen yet.

In any case, by learning your customers’ values, you can further align your marketing efforts to communicate them to current and potential customers, giving you an edge over the competition and also improving the chances of someone becoming a loyal customer.

One fantastic example comes from the online real estate investing service Fundrise. By conducting extensive market research using both surveys and focus groups, they were able to identify a core customer value – stability. As the Fundrise review points out, even small investments earn consistent returns, and this message has been at the core of their marketing strategy since the beginning, contributing to a takeoff in the company.

Learn How to Reach Them

Another key thing you can learn by using surveys is how to come into contact with your customers. Which channels do they use and trust most? Social media? Email? Television? Friends and family? A combination of many things?

Identifying the most effective way to reach your customers will allow you to be more efficient when it comes to advertising and marketing budgets. You’ll be able to devote more resources to the channels you know will have the most impact, increasing your ROI and hopefully bringing more customers into your sales funnel.

A Final Tip

Surveys are wonderful sources of information about your customers, and conducting them regularly can only help you. However, they are notoriously difficult to execute correctly, mainly because it can be really hard to get a good enough response rate.

There are many ways around this, but one of the most effective, albeit expensive, is to offer some sort of an incentive. Perhaps entering the survey puts you in the running for a prize or special promotion, or gives you a small discount on your next order. People are willing to help you out, but you just need to give them a chance!