Three Steps To Building Community, and Your Business, With Surveys
By Guest and Teleseminar Expert Dr. Jeanne S. Hurlbert
When I show businesspeople what surveys can do, the result is always the same.
Suddenly, they see that this “scientific tool” they thought was about as cuddly as a stethoscope can connect them with their customers, building the bond and trust they so desperately seek.
Suddenly, they see that if they ask questions the RIGHT way, they can have a road map for creating products and services to order, products and services their customers BEG to buy.
Suddenly, they have irrefutable proof that their products work and their services change lives, proof that will skyrocket the conversion rates of their prospects and keep their customers buying, over and over–AND let them comply with the FTC ruling that everyone is talking about.
And invariably, the litany begins: “Why wasn’t I using surveys all along?” “I never knew surveys could do THAT!” “Think of the money I COULD have been making, if I had done this years ago.” “I never knew that’s what my customers really wanted–it’s so clear now!” “So THAT’S where I need to take my business!”
I’ve shown a client, whose business focused on an industry that was dying rapidly, how to find a new path by giving her customers what they were clamoring for. I’ve shown people how to get hundreds of testimonials for their businesses, quickly and easily. I’ve shown a multi-mill.ion doll.ar entrepreneur that she was missing the boat by missing HUGE opportunities to get proof that her methods and strategies worked for her followers. And I’ve shown them how to use the art of surveys to connect with their customers, so the science can get them the results they need.
And I can show you how to get these results, too, with 3 simple steps.
Step #I: Give to get.
To put it crudely, each time you do a survey, you ask your customers to give you the information you need to make more money. The LEAST you can do is to give them something in return. So offer them an incentive: Either give everyone who completes your survey something tangible (such as a special report) or give everyone who completes the survey the chance to win something cool (such as a camera or an iPhone). Bottom line, the # 1 rule of surveys is, “It’s all about them!” Make it about them, from the invitation forward, and you’ll get far better results.
Step #2: Ask good questions.
Obviously, surveys are all about asking questions but it’s HOW you ask the questions that make the difference between building community–and a business–or destroying it.
Social media has taught us one thing very clearly: Hierarchy is over. Bury it. It doesn’t work.
Despite that fact, most people’s surveys continue to be “command and control,” virtually screaming “Give me the information I need to make more money, now.”
That’s what happens when you don’t give incentives, when you don’t “give to get.” It’s also what happens when you forget that a survey is a CONVERSATION with your customers, a social exchange. Most surveys miss that point entirely and that’s why they fail.
To succeed, your survey should “feel” very much like the conversation you’d have at the Chamber of Commerce or in a friendly social media discussion. To work well, your survey must remain consistent with your brand, your message, the nature of your community.
Here are some specifics:
Start with an introduction that engages your customers, following that with questions that interest them (Here’s a tip: DON’T start with demographics! They’re boring, personal, and intrusive–so always put them at the end, AFTER you’ve had a good conversation with your customer).
Organize your surveys into consistent sections, sections that make sense. For example, focus each section on a specific topic, moving from more general to more specific sections, with transitions between them.
Don’t write bad questions–don’t pile two questions into one, don’t use language that’s too technical or over their heads, don’t write questions that are long and boring, and don’t ask for information you don’t need.
Step #3: Listen.
If you do steps 1 and 2 well, you’ll get people to take your survey–and you’ll get the information you need to make more money. But once you get that information, you have to DO something with it.
If you do your job well, you’ll have a veritable gold mine of information that will let you transform your business. Done right, your survey should let you build community–you’ll know who your customers and prospects are, how to talk with them, where their problems and pain lie, what products and services they want and how they want them delivered, how often they want to hear from you. As a bonus, you should be able to build buzz in social media and the press, to expand the size of your community.
But if you want to KEEP getting this valuable information, you have to SHOW them that you’re listening. And you do that in two ways.
First, once the survey results are complete, send them a brief report, to show them what you learned. (Here’s a tip: You don’t have to give away all your secrets–just hit the high points!)
Second, SHOW them you’re using the information they gave you: “You told me that you wanted X, so I’ve created that for you–and here’s my new product!” In this way, you’re creating a connection to your community and to the products that you’re creating. They’ll feel invested in your new product or service. And they’ll be much more likely to buy it.
Remember, ANY business can do a survey now, thanks to the technology. It used to be that only the “big guys,” the Fortune 500 companies could conduct surveys. But the advent of online survey software programs changed all that, placing the power of surveys within the reach of even the most fledgling entrepreneur.
That doesn’t mean it’s just “add Survey Monkey and stir,” though. The technology is just the means to deliver your survey. If you deliver a bad survey, the technology won’t help you at all. Bad questions alienate customers, whether they’re delivered with a sophisticated online program or a pencil-and-paper questionnaire.
To succeed, to build your community and your business, your survey must be crafted well. Follow the 3 steps we’ve given you, and you’ll have a great start toward building the community that will let your business thrive.
If you want to learn more about how to be in better connection with your current customers and clients and attract the right new ones, click here to discover everything we’ll cover during the the Free Webinar & Teleseminar and to reserve your place now.
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