“There are no right answers to wrong questions.”
– Ursula K. Le Guin
If you want to get answers, you ask. If you want to know what your customers want, you ask. Ask… ask… ask.
Very simple, right? Asking your customers is indeed a very simple task. Ask 100 customers per day and in just a week, you’ll have tons of information. Despite having vast information, extensive studies and planning, sometimes you do not get the results that you want. Why is this so?
There are a number of reasons why sometimes customer surveys don’t work and will not bring your company to where you want to be, but let’s focus on three simple reasons that closely relate to each other and are easy to address.
a. List of Questions – Are you asking the right questions? Depending on the goal that you want to achieve, the list of questions that you should be using is specific and strategically formulated to give you the exact information that you need. Asking the right questions will give you the right answers. Asking specific, effective, and laser-focused questions will give you the answers that you need.
b. Customer Knowledge – Not all customers would take time to really know more about the products or services that your company or your competitors offer. Most of the time, they would just settle with what they know.
Let’s use cameras as an example. With the huge number of camera brands and models out in the market, it is quite challenging and even sometimes annoying for customers to decide on which one to get. Due to the technical nature of cameras and photography, camera companies have come up with different model types that would make it easier for customers to understand the camera’s features and relate it with the tag price that comes with it. This is more of a marketing strategy and doesn’t really help customers purchase the camera that they need based on their purpose for getting one.
As long as the camera is portable, takes good pictures, and the price is right, unless the customer is a photographer, most would not even bother checking on the lens, sensor, pixels, shutter speed, and so on.
c. Customer Articulation – Some customers may be knowledgeable enough about certain products and services, but not all of them may be able to articulate accurately what they want. It’s a fact that not everyone is good in articulating what’s in their mind. This is true with most of the people I know who are software developers. They are so good in what they know and do, but find themselves having difficulty explaining what they do in simple terms in order for a non-tech savvy person to understand.
If you ignore these three, you will still get information that you can use to study and analyze. However, the same information may mislead you from what exactly you need to look into. Not only will end up wasting precious time, energy, and investment, you will also be taking the risk of having dissatisfied customers.
As aforementioned, these 3 reasons closely relate to each other. Aside from buffing up information about your products and services through advertisements, social media, etc., you only have little control on how to address customer knowledge and articulation, since these involve personal choice to improve or not. However, having specific, laser-focused, effective list of questions can reduce the negative impact of these roadblocks. Questions that are appropriately designed will help customers who are not that knowledgeable about your products and services to better articulate their answers.
ExitShopping® can ensure that your survey questions are well designed and structured to guarantee information that you need to reach your goal and expected results. We practice effective and efficient techniques when interviewing customers to secure only relevant information that is essential to your objectives.