mad men customer survey

Every business should be surveying these 4 customer groups

If there’s one piece of advice that helps practically every business it would be to survey customers regularly. The more a business speaks to its customers the better it understands whether its product / services are really meeting the needs of customers.

Many entrepreneurs find surveys boring, as well as confronting, which is why they usually avoid them, but it doesn’t change the fact that every business needs honest feedback from those that matter the most: customers.

Ignorance is never bliss when it comes to your business.

It’s better to know what’s broken than to never have the opportunity to improve and watch as customers walk off to your competitors.

So who should you be surveying, everyone? Well no. What you really want is to isolate key customer groups and find actionable insights from each. These are the 4 groups you need to be talking to.


High spending customers

high paying customers

So who better to start with than you high value customers. Value can be different for every business but it could be highest dollar value spent through to most engaged customers (e.g logged in the most in the last 3 months).

Why these guys? Well what you’re looking for is common trends that make these people your most valuable customers.

Why did they purchase so regularly with you? Who are they and how can you target them better? The more you can understand the your high value customers the easier it will be to find more of them

Things you want to find out from this group:

  • Why did they purchase as often as they did
  • How did they discover or find you?
  • How has your product made their life better?
  • What is the biggest pain point you solve?


Abandoned purchases

abandoned shopping cart

The next group you want to know more about is the people who decided you weren’t worth purchasing from (abandoned checkout or finished a free trial without buying). It’s sad, but it’s not a total lost cause. You can still go back to these people and find out why.

When you know more of why people chose not to buy, you can either fix the problems or address these concerns at the purchasing stage. Keep the survey short, these guys aren’t customers so they aren’t motivated to fill up a long questionnaire

Things you want to find out from this group:

  • Why didn’t they purchase?
  • What could you have done differently to make them a customer?
  • Is there a product / service that you’re missing?


New paying customers

new customers

Great, you now have a new customer! Like abandoned purchases, surveying new customers is time sensitive. You want to survey these customers as soon as they purchase so that the factors driving their buying decision are fresh in their mind.

From surveying these customers you’ll get a great picture for what resonates most when trying to convert leads into customers. For example an Ecommerce business may find that their loyalty points system is a big reason why people purchase. Based on that they should feature that prominently on product pages, checkout etc.

Things you want find out from this group:

  • Why did they purchase from you?
  • Did they consider purchasing from another company?
  • Why did they choose you over competitors?
  • How did they find your business?


Refund customers

Customer survey: The ones who asked for a refund

Well you can’t make everyone happy and sometimes you lose a customer or two. They ask for a refund or have cancelled a subscription – and you wonder why.

Again, a survey is a great way to understand what caused them to leave you. Find out how you failed to meet their expectations, what improvements they suggest and also and what improvements you can make and learn from them.

Things you want to find out from this group:

  • Why did they change their mind?
  • What expectation did they have about your product that was different to how it was delivered?
  • What changes could you have made to keep them as a customer?
  • Will they be switching to a competitor? If so, which one?


So what now?

Go out there and start talking to your customers. Remember to keep it simple and only ask questions that will give answers you can act on.

For a great survey tool consider using Survey Monkey, it’s pretty awesome.

Have you used customer surveys? What did you learn from them and what improvements have you made to your business? Share with us below!

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Julie Gozali

Julie is a Communications Manager who is curious about the intersection between technology and creativity. The web is her playground and she loves to play.

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