RISMEDIA, January 13, 2011—Right now, you’re thinking this might be a case of “be careful what you wish for.” Absolutely not—there’s nothing to fear. You need to know definitively what your clients think, and creating an annual survey is an important marketing step, especially prior to any strategic planning.
Today, with the high utilization of all forms of electronic media—much of it never even opened—it can be more difficult to know in what areas you are doing well and what areas need improvement. A survey offers you a snapshot in time that, given a good response rate, presents you with a portrait of your entire database. It’s also a great communication tool, offering one more thoughtful contact with your clients.
Doing a short survey of your current clients is quick and easy. There are free survey tools, such as www.surveymonkey.com and others, that help you develop your survey and then provide you with a link to include in your cover e-mail. Using a tool like this keeps clients’ responses anonymous, which is very important in order to achieve objective, useful information.
Survey etiquette dictates you make the survey and the cover e-mail short. If you do this, you will have a higher response rate and better data returned to you.
But, before you begin writing the actual questions, determine the theme of the survey or what you would like to learn from your clients. It can be as simple as questions pertaining to obtaining repeat business from them in the future or recommending you to their family and friends. You may think you know the answer to these questions, but, more than likely, you will find some surprises and insightful responses.
You can also use your survey results to improve your brand and client interactions. Incorporating the great testimonials that come out of it and any satisfaction numbers in your marketing efforts will make your brand messaging even more powerful. For example, if close to 100% of your clients responded they would use you again and recommend you to others, you can use that to enhance your advertising message.
For some final survey etiquette, create a quick, easy-to-understand survey that takes no more than a couple of minutes to fill out. Leave space for testimonials and suggestions. Communicate a clear deadline date when the survey will close and, if you can, offer some small incentive to complete it.
Chris Kaucnik is marketing director for Home Warranty of America, Inc.
For more information, visit www.hwahomewarranty.com.