How to Survey Your Shoppers and Customers

As a marketer, do you ever wonder how you might survey your customers or shoppers to put their valuable input to work on behalf of your company or brand? At DMA Solutions, this has become part of our marketing DNA and is one of THE most important aspects of what we do, both for ourselves and for our clients.

Over the years we’ve learned that opportunities to survey customers are hidden in just about all of the marketing platforms we touch on a daily basis. If you are curious about what your customers and/or shoppers are thinking, just pay close attention to the mediums that you already have in place to gather input and make good use of it.  

Here are a few tried and tested ways that we have used to survey audiences on a frequent basis:

Traditional Survey

This is the most obvious way to survey your customers. If you want to know what they really think about specific aspects of your product or service, just ask! Oftentimes offering incentives to entice completion of an online survey can be beneficial but we’ve found that most of the time, people will answer because 1) they care and 2) they want you to improve so the products evolve as well. In fact, we are collecting input from our blog readers and would love your input! Please take a few minutes to answer these questions and help us better serve YOU in the coming year.

Incoming Calls and Contact Us Form Submissions

Marketers have the opportunity to listen to customer input on a year round basis via incoming calls and form submissions on a company website. When you find that your company suddenly begins receiving an extraordinary amount of input from calls or online form submissions with either complaints or compliments, you know something is going really well or terribly wrong. As a marketer, it is our job to take the input and communicate effectively so that customers are informed and armed with correct information to avoid confusion or negative backlash.

Social Media Commentary and Engagement

For the fresh produce industry, using social media marketing as a means to survey customers is still a notion that is marinating for many marketers.  Sure you can literally host a “poll” on social media networks, but I’m suggesting that you take your polling and measuring to the next level.  You can tell a lot about what your customers think based on the way they behave with your content. If they are likely to comment, like or share a post, you might be onto something from either a content or product perspective. Think about using your well earned ambassadors on social media to tease new products and promotions. Keep them engaged and let their voices and opinions help you shape smarter marketing initiatives.

General Website Activity

If you’re anything like the team at DMA Solutions, you can’t wait to get your hands on website analytics to better understand how your customers and consumers engaged with content on your company’s website over a specified amount of time. While this method of surveying your customer is a bit passive, it is still valid when it comes to gauging what they’re interested in during certain times of the year. As a marketing services provider, our clients rely on the DMA team to shape and execute annual plans that heavily involve website content and driving traffic to pages with key messages during certain times of the year. Armed with website analytics (the survey in this instance) we are able to effectively shape plans that produce better results in the coming months.

Gated Content

Gating your content (meaning requiring readers to fill out a form to gain access) is a great way to survey customers on a regular basis. In fact, it is the way that our company keeps a regular pulse on what your needs are in the fresh produce industry from a marketing perspective. When you gate content, you share the content once a few key questions have been answered. We vary these questions from time to time depending on the type of content that is gated (e.g. a social media related  piece of content vs. a public relations piece). Overall, we aren’t trying to be sneaky, we’re trying to be smart and help serve up content that matters to our website visitors, social media communities and blog readers on a regular basis. A great example of gated content is our 2019 Calendars! These hot tools are downloaded hundreds of times throughout the year but only after a few key questions are answered.  

The truth is, the survey is in the eye of the beholder as opportunities to capture information from your customers and shoppers truly is everywhere. Is there something we missed from the list? We’d love to hear from you and understand more about how you survey your customers and use the information to help shape your marketing.