Finding What Your Customers Really Think


By Ryan Velez

Just about any business mentor or authority will tell you the importance of having a regular channel for customer feedback. The struggles of running a business day-to-day may mean that we sometimes become blind to what our base needs when it comes to our goods and services. Equally possible is that we may think we have a good idea, but something doesn’t play out as well in practice as it does in theory. In addition, customers will have more brand loyalty to a company that they feel values their input. Black Enterprise has recently put out an article covering ways that business owners can listen to their customers and keep that channel open.

Many corporations and major companies pay big for survey tools and consultants to help them figure out how to use input from their customers, but many small businesses don’t have the size or money to justify this type of spending. The good news is that there are many more affordable ways to get the input you need. As a start, use a simple survey via email, with Google Forms having a series of free surveys. While many people are likely to treat this as spam, you can increase your chances by making your study convenient. Try to keep things simple with sample questions like these:

  1. What social media networks do you regularly use?
  2. Who are your favorite people to follow online?
  3. What websites do you visit for information on ____(for example, career, travel, fashion, or first-time mom)?
  4. When it comes to _____ what’s your biggest challenge.
  5. If you could solve one thing about _______, what would it be?
  6. Which product name or album title is better?

Surveys can also be placed at the end of a call or purchase, using a contest of some sort as incentive. Social media can also be a good medium to get attention, especially if you have a following. Consider Twitter polls, questions on Linkedin, or a Facebook Live Q&A to get your point across. Another thing to consider is that sometimes, the info is already in front of you, in the form of your website’s analytics. Not only can you get a quick look at your audience demographics ( e.g., geographic location, gender, age, etc.), but you can also see the social media platforms, search engines, and guest blogs that are driving traffic to your website. These can help you create targeted means to get the best customer feedback.