I was working with one of my clients recently on the schedule for 2012 (yes, it is time to start planning for next year!) and they wanted to make changes in some aspects of their program but were concerned about how their customers may view those changes. As we were sitting there trying to second guess what people wanted, I suggested that perhaps we ask them. So we put together a customer survey.
The results were interesting! We sent out 3,000 emails to the customer base, offering them a online coupon as incentive to participate, and over 400 people responded (definitely a nice sampling of their customer base for feedback!). Not only did my client find out the answers to the questions about the program changes and what people wanted but we were amazed at how many people provided verbal feedback to the questions, which is invaluable. We crafted the survey to be mulitple choice – simple but with clear direction for us depending on the answers – and included comments boxes on all questions. People actually took time to write out answers, which were very fun to read and offered insight to their behavior and thoughts.
So if you are trying to second-guess your customers, try sending them a survey instead! Not only will you find out what they want but they will appreciate being asked and feel more connected to your brand.