How To Get Data You Can Use – The Secret Of Asking Your Customers

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The number 1 rule of business: Buy low, sell high.

The number 2 rule of business (in my humble, but accurate opinion): Survey. Your. Customers

(The number 3 rule of business, in case you’re wondering is, actually listen to what they tell you!)

Lets face it, no one in business wakes up in the morning dying to survey customers…so why go through the trouble?

There are approximately 91,834,198,286 great reasons to survey your customers, but my favorite reason is to sell more, easier, to people who aren’t customers yet.

Let me tell you a story about Viagra.

Viagra was developed as a treatment for hypertension. There’s nothing sexy about that.

Even though it actually was successful in reducing blood pressure, there was a far more valuable (and marketable) effect of the drug. I don’t think I need to spell it out for you.

Here’s another, less x-rated example.

Did you ever play with play-doh when you were a kid?

Well, Play-Doh was originally intended to be “wallpaper cleaner”…I guess that was important in the 30s. Anyway, someone had a better idea to use it to entertain kids. A few tweaks to the marketing and messaging and Pay-Doh became what it is today.

I’m not saying that you’re sitting on a gold mine like Viagra. And I hope you aren’t way out in left field trying to sell wallpaper cleaner.

All I’m saying is, if that one wallpaper cleaning company had surveyed their customers they would have know that it was much more valuable as a tool to entertain kids so their parents could get 5 minutes of peace and quiet… And they might have been a lot more successful at moving their product off the shelves.

Even if you sell something obvious like watch straps, you could be missing out on important information like [company name redacted]

They thought that they were selling extra watch straps to people who wanted to “re-style” their luxury watches.
After surveying their customers, they found out that people were buying extra straps so they didn’t scratch their original luxury straps while they were out doing luxury outdoor…activities.

Do you think that they started positioning their watch straps differently when they discovered that?

Yea they did!

And then they made more money.

Wouldn’t you survey your customers to make more money?

If you said “HECK YEA”, let’s get to it.

If you’re still not convinced, here are some more reasons to survey your customers:

  1. It can help you improve your product or service
    Feedback will tell you where you knock it out of the park (do more of that) and where you miss the mark (improve that)
  2. You can track (and improve) customer satisfaction
    Keep your customers happy and they’ll tell more people about you. Give them an experience that makes them go “meh” and they’ll never tell a soul.
  3. It can help improve customer retention – because it shows you care
    Listen to your customers and then actually do what they suggest. It shows you’re paying attention and you care about your customers…not just making a buck.
  4. You can use it to identify customer advocates
    Every so often you’ll get a glowing, gushing review from one of your best customers. That is a person you want to activate as an advocate. Treat them like VIPs, gift them some goodies, and watch them spread the word about your business.

Does that sound cool?

Ok, let’s get started. Here’s how you survey your customers:

Step 1

Get a list of your customers. Hopefully you have a database of their email addresses or phone numbers and you can export it. Otherwise, you might have to get more creative.

Step 2

Think about a way to incentivize their participation in the survey. Remember, you’re asking for some of your customers’ valuable time so it’s important to reward them. Plus you’re getting valuable intel, so don’t be afraid to make a big offer. If you want to cap it…make the offer to the first 100 people that complete your survey (or more, or less, as you can tolerate)

Step 3

Send them a variation of this email:

Subject: A penny [incentive] for your thoughts?


Hi [name],

We’re always looking to improve our business and the best way I know to do that is to ask for feedback from our best customers (Like YOU!).

Would you help us by giving your honest opinion on your experience with us?

Take the quick survey here: [LINK TO SURVEY]

I know you’re time is valuable and I want to say thank you with a [incentive]

Just give us your honest opinion and you’ll automatically get [incentive]

Sound fair? All you have to do is [LINK TO SURVEY: GO HERE NOW]

Thanks in advance


P.S. Here’s the link to the survey. It takes less than 5 minutes, helps us serve YOU better, AND you get [incentive] just for telling us what you think


Step 4

Create a survey using Google Forms (or any other form software). Use questions like these (try to choose 5 that will tell you the most important information…not every question will apply to you) and make sure you modify the questions to suit your brand:

1. Overall, how satisfied are you with your purchase?

a. Very satisfied
b. Satisfied
c. Neutral
d. Unsatisfied
e. Very unsatisfied

2. Have you used the product yet?

a. YES
b. No

3. [IF YES ASK] Did it work well for you?

a. It has exceeded my expectations
b. It’s about what I expected
c. It’s not doing it for me yet
d. No. Total waste of time and/or money

4. What was the number one reason you bought this [NAME OF PRODUCT OR SERVICE]?

5. Why did you choose to give your business to [NAME OF BUSINESS]?

6. Would you be willing to give a testimonial for [NAME OF PRODUCT OR SERVICE]?

a. YES
b. NO

7. Would you recommend [NAME OF PRODUCT OR SERVICE] to a friend or colleague?

a. YES
b. NO

8. [IF NO] What could we do to make the [NAME OF PRODUCT OR SERVICE] better so you would feel comfortable recommending it?

9. Given the information shared in the [NAME OF PRODUCT OR SERVICE] do you think the price is too low, too high or about right?

a. Much too low
b. A little too low
c. About right
d. A little too high
e. Much too high

10. If you could change or add ONE thing to the [NAME OF PRODUCT OR SERVICE] what would it be?

Bonus Step

Also survey people who were on your website but didn’t buy using a free tool like hotjar

Did you skim all the way to the bottom? Here are the highlights:

Incentivize: completing surveys isn’t the most exhilarating of experiences – make it worth your customers’ while by offering something good in return.

Explain the value: emphasizse that their feedback will help you provide them with a better experience.

Don’t ask for too much: sure, it’s exciting to get valuable customer feedback, but don’t go overboard by asking so many questions that the recipient zones out and fails to complete the survey.

Ask one or two open-ended questions: longer-form testimonials could provide valuable social proof to use in your marketing (provided you have permission, of course).

Chris Clay The Clay Media 949 444 2001