How do your customers describe you?

36607072 As promised, I want to spend the next couple Thursdays talking about word of mouth marketing.  We all want our customers to tell their friends and colleagues about us but do we have any idea what they might be saying?

Here's a ten minute assignment for you. 

Go to your favorite free online survey tool, like Survey Monkey.  Create a new poll and ask these three questions:

  • Do you ever talk about McLellan Marketing Group (obviously, fill in your own company name!)
  • If so, what do you tell people about us? 
  • If you had to describe McLellan Marketing Group in a single word, what word would you choose?

Now, send an e-mail to all your clients, past clients, vendors, etc.  Explain that you're trying to understand how you're perceived in the marketplace and because you value the relationship you have with them, you're counting on them to be candid on a very quick, 3 question survey.

The power of this is two-fold.  One, you're going to get some eye-opening insights.  But second, you are making the people you survey feel important and valued.  And in a subtle way, suggesting that you might be talk-worthy.

Send out the survey and prepare to be surprised. Most of the time, people do not spout off your features and benefits.  They talk about what sticks with them, what feels different, something that surprised them.

What do you think they'll say?

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10 comments on “How do your customers describe you?

  1. Kelly says:

    Of course the negatives always stick out more than the positives, and people definitely let you know when something does not meet their standards. This morning was an exception, I got an email from a customer just saying that they love FixTunes and that it has saved them so much time. An email like that makes my day. I don’t mind helping people sending in suggestions for ways to improve, but a little positive reinforcement goes a long way.

    Your survey is a great idea, asking for feedback always gets us brainstorming of how we can improve. Beta testers that haven’t purchased your software also give great feedback (if you’re having users test your new versions of your software.) They love to give us their honest opinion. It’s helpful though and does shape how we build future versions of FixTunes.

  2. John Gillett says:

    Thanks for the tip, Drew…we check in with our writers to solicit their opinions on ways we can make their job easier, improve the revision process, etc.

    We rarely “check-in” with clients in the same way.

    Your suggestion of a quick 3-question survey is appreciated.

  3. Kelly,

    Ideally, if we are talking about word of mouth — it goes beyond customers talking to us. We want them to tell other people about us too.

    That’s the power of the little survey. It lets us know if they are talking and if so, what they’re saying!


  4. Karin H. says:

    Hi Drew

    You know, that idea of creating such a survey has been on the ‘to-do-list’ for a while now. Think I better spend time on it and really get cracking with it.

    Thanks for the nudge.

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  5. Chuck says:

    Great idea Drew. My only concern is whether anyone would respond. We are bombarded with so many survey requests these days that I wonder if the majority have learned to just tune them out.

  6. Drew – Great suggestion. Customer feedback should always be a major focus, even more so during economically challenging times. Online surveys are one of the best ways to gain insight into your customer’s mindset in order for you to market your product/brand as effectively as you can – especially when you can do the research for very little $$ or even for free.

    Studies have shown that loyal customers:
    Purchase your products and services again and again over time
    Increase the volume of their purchases
    Buy beyond traditional purchases, across product lines
    Refer your company’s products and services to others
    Become immune to the pull of the competition
    Give your company the benefit of the doubt when something goes wrong
    Keep in mind:
    It costs 7-10 times more to recruit a new customer than to keep an existing one
    A gain in customer loyalty of only 5% can lift lifetime profits per customer by as much as 95%
    An increase in loyalty of just 2% is, in some sectors, equivalent to a 10% cost reduction

  7. John,

    Excellent addition — a similar survey to your employees would also be great way to communicate that you care about their opinion and are looking for feedback.


  8. Chuck,

    From personal experience, both with our agency and our clients — customers want to be heard.

    If you give them a venue and make it short and sweet, I think you’ll be happily surprised at the response.


  9. Zoom (as I like to call you)

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. It just makes good sense to keep those current customers happy and coming back for more.

    Do you have a favorite way of doing that?


  10. Karin,

    Did you execute your survey?


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