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Why Surveys Don’t Suck

by Lori Taylor · 1 comment

So you own this pizzeria. It’s been in your family for generations and you just know that people keep coming back because they can’t get enough of Mama Rosa’s secret recipe-handed-down-for-eighteen-generations pizza sauce. Everyone in your family loves the stuff and the recipe is locked away safely in a safe deposit box to ensure the future success of your business.

In all your marketing, you mention Mama Rosa’s sauce because you know it sets you apart.

One day you sit down with a cup of coffee and a stack of customer comment cards and you have a revelation as something becomes blatantly obvious. Card after card after card, the customers all say they’d come back to the restaurant but the comments consistently mention the great service, the cool ambiance and the garlic bread sticks. Almost everyone said they felt like they were hanging out at a friend’s place for pizza night – in a good way.

But here’s the kicker – nobody even mentioned Mama Rosa’s sauce.

How could this be? You love that sauce.

But guess what? You are not your customer.

You’re too close to your business to see it the way your customers do and whether you’re a restaurateur, a mechanic or a chiropractor, unless you ask your customers what makes them come back you are very likely using the wrong messaging and in turn wasting your money by marketing to the wrong audience!

If you were this pizzeria owner and you came to me for help, I would urge you to further survey your market to find out if everyone agrees that the best part of your pizza joint is the ambiance, service and “where-everybody-knows-your-name” vibe.

If you discover that you’re the only one who cares about Mama Rosa’s sauce then get it out of your marketing materials and advertisements!

You can’t afford to throw away your marketing budget. Make it effective. Make it stick! Get people in the door by focusing on the experience the customer will get when they visit your place because you know after polling your customers that that’s what they want.

By doing this, you’ll be marketing to your ideal customer. See how beautifully that works?

I’d like to know why more small business owners aren’t using surveys…are they afraid to know the truth? Are you?

In a few days I’m going to post another piece about how surveys can help before going to market with a new product or service and I’ll share an easy process for you to use to survey your customers and potential customers. In the meantime, I’m going to let this sit with you and I hope you really think about ways a survey can help your own unique business. If you have any revelations, please share by posting a comment. I’d love to get a discussion going around this!

Lori Taylor

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