August Rant about Customers

09 Aug 2017 8:41 AM | Dennis Pugh (Administrator)


I was chatting with a fellow ITRA member who was describing their business. I asked about some other products and services to try and was told “My Customers Do Not Use” those….

I couldn’t help myself and continued on this line by asking when the last product survey was they had completed to determine this… I was floored when I was told that, “If my Customers want that, they would ask for it”.  I am no Rocket Surgeon but if you are determining your trends and product mixes by what you perceive YOUR customers want, then, I have some swamp land in central Florida you might like for your retirement.

Your Lawyer will tell you that they never ask a question that they don’t know the answer, therefore you should write your survey to get the answers you want. If your purpose is to find out what gear people might rent try a couple of do you questions, do you rent drones? Have you ever streamed video of a live event to your site?

A typical business hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers.

                                Source: “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner

That Leaves 96% of "Your Customers" not bothering to tell you and more likely, not dealing with you again!

According to Survey Gizmo, “It can be difficult to predict the level of survey participation you will receive; survey response rates vary widely and a wide variety of factors can impact them. But if you investigate these factors you can take steps to improve your response rates, giving you more statistically relevant data and better ROI on your survey project”

I am the first to admit, that as good a salesperson as I am, I cannot cover all the bases during a call with a client to determine the future path of the organization. We have 10 new products and listing them on a call when all they want is a laptop is a complete waste of time.

I was also told by another associate that they tried it once and hardly anyone responded.

Again from Survey Gizmo: Response rates can be influenced by everything from the mode of distribution (email vs. in person) to the incentive provided (chance to win a gift card vs. right to view results). Some of the most common things that will impact response rates are:

    Customer Loyalty: Do the respondents feel a connection to the brand conducting the survey? A high level of loyalty will lead to a higher number of responses.

    Brand Recognition: A survey distributed by a well-known brand gets more responses than one coming from an unknown source.

    Perceived Benefit: Whether it’s getting early access to results or being entered into a raffle, most respondents need to clearly understand the benefit of completing a survey.

    Demographics: Some sections of the population are simply more likely to response to survey invitations than others.

    Survey Distribution: If your audience consists mostly of digital natives, sending out links via social media will net you some good response rates. If you’re surveying retirees, you may want to choose an alternative distribution method. An important participation incentive to survey respondents is that their opinions will be heard and that action will be taken based on their feedback. If respondents believe that participating in a survey will result in real improvements response rates may increase, as will the quality of the feedback.

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You should also be very cognizant of the number of respondents that you require to garner the results you need.
If an open rate is 28% and a respond rate from there is 32% and you would like a sample of 100 people, how many would you need on your mailing list?

That means you are getting a response rate of 8.96 out of 100. Therefore you would have to send out approximately 1,120 surveys.   1120/ 28% = 313.6/32% = 100 answers.

People always ask me if it is really worth it, well,

According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs,

On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.

So the next time you talk about “your customers,” do it from with knowledge and understanding. Plus it is another great reason to connect with your client list.

Cheers Dennis Pugh


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