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Key Success Factor: Listen To Your Customers

Ask Your Customers

Two days ago I wrote about the Key Success Factor Number 1: Speed Of Implementation. Today I give you another “Gold Nugget”. Here it is:

“Listen to your individual customers and even to prospects”

Many business owners fail to do so properly. This could be one of your competitive advantages.
  • Do you believe to know what your customers and prospects want?
    Few admit that they don't know. But if you believe to know, you simply don't know.

  • Do you know, who your customers are?
This article has been featured on
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in the Carnival Of Small Business Issues.

This morning I talked to Michael, who runs an online shop as part of his business, and he told me,
“I was totally surprised when I got the results of my recent customer survey. We thought our buyers are much younger then they actually are. And many of them are buying our product for a different reason than we made it for …”

Only three weeks ago Michael had emailed a customer survey to his about 6000 subscribers and got 550 completely filled out forms back. That's quite a lot. Michael achieved this good return rate by combining the survey with a random draw for a US$ 700 prize, some additional smaller prizes, and due to the fact that his email subscriber list is quite targeted.

Since than Michael could increase his sales by 15% just by using this kind of information. What did he do? Not much just the following.
  • Modified the copywriting of two of his sales pages and created new experiments in Google's Web Site Optimizer to integrated it smoothly.
  • Added a few new pages to the info section of his Web site
  • Created additional AdWords Ads for his campaigns and split tested them.
  • Sent an "answer" newsletter to his customers.

The total input of labor for the survey, the analysis, and the implementation of the recommendations of the results was 4 person-work-days, altogether. Next time Michael will conduct a customer survey, it won't be even as much work anymore.

A customer survey via email is one choice to get more customer feedback. What are you planning to do or what have you done already?
  • Email Survey?
  • Feedback Form on your Web site?
  • Question Time on your Blog
  • Squeeze Page with attached questionnaire
  • Exit Question
  • Entry Question
  • Give-Away upon questionnaire

Are you listening carefully to your customers? As explained above, listening might not be enough, when you ask them, your listening will be more worthwhile. Otherwise you might not hear much of a feedback.


P.S.: Watch out for my next blog post, because I want to listen to you.



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Teresa Morrow on :



I have to say thank you for this is so important to LISTEN to our customers and I also use customer surveys at least quarterly to be sure I am on focus with what my customers want and need.

Also, another tip is when doing a might be wise to offer a free bonus or gift for taking the survey. Although, if you choose to do that, be sure that there is VALUE in the free offering. Because if there isn't value, the next time you ask for customer survey to be completed and offer a may backfire.

Thanks again John -great post!

John W. Furst on :


Thank you for the additional tip. An incentive definitely increases the response rate.

The best reward for your customers is to provide them with even better targeted services and products afterwards - the famous "Win Win" situation.

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