Reading a recent email from Digital Marketer I was challenged in my thought process (and that’s a good thing when it helps you grow and learn!).  Surveys are often a GREAT way to get info from your fans and customers.  It’s a way to find out what people want and then as a service provider, work towards providing that for them.  But WHO takes your surveys?  Do YOU take surveys?

To answer that last question for myself… It Depends.  If it’s a short and simple survey that I will receive something beneficial in return… then YES I’ll take the survey.  If it’s a product or service that I’m passionate about and the company asks for my feedback through survey, the likely YES, I’ll take the survey.  If it’s one of those “wonderful” (yes, sarcasm implied) survey calls during election season asking if I would say I lean more to one side or the other “Always, Almost Always, Sometimes, Almost Never, or Never” then NO and I will likely just hang up on them.  😉

What does it take to get you to answer a survey?   And WHO is answering YOUR survey?  Digital Marketer says that there are two reasons why they “hate” surveys:

  1. Surveys give you the opinion of people who are will to take a survey (which isn’t always your BEST customers).  If the survey isn’t being filled out by your BEST customers, then the results will often not be reflective of your BEST BUYERS.
  2. At best, a survey will tell you what someone thinks they want rather than what they are actually looking for.  THINK about that for a moment.  You could build something that people think they want and make a few sales, but what if you built something so much better that people just have to have?  Can you see conversation rates soaring and your business bank account growing?

I still believe a survey can be a valuable piece of information for marketing.  However, after reading this challenging email this morning, it makes me realize that we shouldn’t throw EVERYTHING behind survey results only because the results may not correctly represent my ideal customer/client.  Therefore, if I designed an offer specifically to meet the respondents’ needs, I could clearly be missing out on the people truly want to reach.

Are the people answering my survey only doing it because they want something for free?  If so, then it’s quite possible they may never “BUY” services from me.  IF they are interested in my service, then It’s quite possible they will try to negotiate a price that is barely upon cost and then make it an unpleasant experience to serve them.  Are they answering without prompting because they truly love the service and value I give them?  Then those are likely the people I will value most and will be my ideal client.  Those respondents would be the ones in which I would want to craft the perfect product/service for them.

How about you?  Do you survey your customer/client base?  If so, what experiences have you had?