One of the fastest ways to increase sales is to make better business decisions. A proven way to improve your decision-making skills is to gather targeted, effective and actionable data. In fact, research is essential for today’s small business; providing the insights necessary to compete and grow your bottom line.
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With the advent of technology, increased online usage and free online survey tools, gathering powerful data has never been easier. In lieu of paying $4,000 to $6,000 per session, for focus groups, small businesses can gather business intelligence for free. However, many entrepreneurs are left wondering, “Where do I start? How can I create online surveys and questionnaires that will benefit my business?”
If you’re ready to increase sales by leveraging real-time data, here are ten creative ways to use online survey tools to your advantage.
1. Deploy a pre-sales online survey on your company website.
When prospective customers land on your company website make every moment count. Capture customer data to inform business decisions. As CxFocus analyst Tim Leighton-Boyce suggests, in an Econsultancy post, “Add a survey to your site, treat the comments from your customers as if they contained nuggets of gold, and you’ll learn things about your business and your market which no ‘best practice’ guide could tell you.” For instance, start by integrating highly visible links to an online survey tool within your website, especially on key conversion pages, to gather data.
2. Use mobile SMS push notifications to drive market research.
Maximize customer interaction using mobile SMS and online survey tools. According to SMS marketing company Textsprout, “Ninety-six percent of smartphone users use SMS and 98 percent of text messages are read, while 70 percent of people in the U.S. would like to receive offers on their mobile phones.” Offer opt-in mobile phone subscribers SMS alerts with an integrated online survey, and then reward respondents with exclusive promotions. Before you get started read this 2013 Guide To Text Messaging Regulations & Best Practices report conducted by Mogreet, a world leader in text and video messaging.
3. Pre-sell new product launches and services using online survey tools.
Successful small business owners know that in order to maximize sales you must create and offer a product your audience has expressed interest in paying for. But the question remains, how do you know if they’re interested? Integrate online survey tools into your product launch page to validate customer interest, using open-ended questions to elicit feedback. Screen new product concepts by inquiring on likes and dislikes and purchase likelihood. Use customer data to decipher benefits that matter and deploy must-have features.
4. Improve loyalty reward programs with online survey integration.
Make your loyalty program work harder. Loyalty programs are set up to reward and encourage loyal buying behavior. But do you know what truly separates your loyal customers from those who are not? If not, integrate a brief online survey into your email communications with loyalty rewards members. Discover the psychological value that brings customers back for more with key questions on awareness, quality, and association to discover why they are loyal to your brand.
5. Create post-sale customer satisfaction surveys.
After the sale, the real work begins. As Open View writer Dayna Rothman explains, “If attention isn’t also paid to nurturing and engaging a customer post-sale, then all of the hard work that sales and marketing put into customer acquisition can be for naught.” Bring customers full circle and offer brief customer satisfaction surveys at multiple touchpoints. For example, include a link to your online survey directly after checkout, or via flyers imprinted with a vanity (i.e. personalized) URL for in-store purchases or order shipments.
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