Getting feedback from your customers

Reaching new customers starts with understanding your current customers. We usually think of surveys as a means to measure how effective a program is…but did you know you can also use them to listen and engage your customers?

For example, on my website, I use a quick poll to determine which workshop folks most want to attend…it helps me schedule my speaking engagements around what you really want. I definitely like using surveys to determine the outcomes for my nonprofit, San Antonio Youth Code Jam. And I use them as a recruiting tool for volunteers.

Here’s what I’ve learned over the years:

  • Keep it short and simple. Ask only the questions you really need to know the answers to.
  • Make sure your questions are relevant to your strategic goals.
  • Take the survey first and let people know how long it will take them. Two minutes is doable. Ten minutes, not so much.
  • Offer an out. Some people won’t want to provide a range of income or demographic information. Instead, have “does not apply” or “would prefer not to answer” as an option.
  • Leave options for filling in additional information, but don’t do too many fill-in-the-blank type questions. It can be very hard to tabulate results that way.
Speaking of, here’s a great resource on analyzing your survey data.