Surveys are a fantastic way for merchants to get feedback from customers.
They negate the issue of relying on gut instinct when it comes to offering new products or services, as they allow you to gather information and views directly from your customers.
This can help to accurately identify issues that are important to them, rather than wasting precious resources and time on things that they donít care about, meaning you can offer more relevant solutions to meet their needs.
If youíre thinking about putting together a survey for your trade customers, there are a few things that are worth considering. Firstly, the key to a successful survey is defining your objectives e.g. exactly what is it you want to know? This should help to reduce the number of questions needed and produce more accurate results. Itís also important to explain to your customers why theyíre being surveyed, how youíd appreciate their support and what you intend to do with the information you gather.
When you come to write the survey, remember to prioritise your questions and think about them in a logical order. Itís a good idea to have some open-ended questions to give people the chance to respond in more detail about the topics and issues being surveyed.
It may sound obvious, but read through your survey before you print or email it to check it makes sense from your customerís perspective and ensure that you have provided them with enough space to fill in each section.
Finally, donít forget about your data protection obligations when carrying out survey campaigns. If you hold and use information from your customers you are legally obliged to protect that information and must follow guidelines set out by the Information Commissionerís Office.
Paul Lerigo is group marketing director at Archwood Group.