Friday, June 15, 2012

Calling the 22Michaels' brain trust - your help requested!

We spend a lot time thinking about our customers. We always want to know each customer better and to understand better what marketing works.

I take every opportunity to ask people who call or visit, but it's time to be more systematic.

The first step is a questionnaire to our existing customers. I prefer something short with a good response rate to something that takes ages. The aims are to understand how people originally heard about us, to understand if they were in the market for glasses when they purchased (as opposed to spontaneously buying) and to get a benchmark on our Net Promoter Score.

I’ve put my draft below. I would love your thoughts:
- Is this the best approach?
- Do you have any feedback on my questionnaire?

The next step will be implementing continuous tracking on these points.

Thank you so much for any thoughts and help you can provide - please comment below!

I will share the outcomes here.

:-) Mark

1. How did you first hear about Sneaking Duck? (multiple choice)
- Personal recommendation from friends, family or colleagues
- Online Search engine - Google, Bing, etc
- Facebook
- Advertising on search engines or other websites
- Advertising in newspapers
- Press articles
- Other (+ free text box)

2. At the point when you purchased, were you: (multiple choice)
- Actively looking to buy new glasses at or around that time
- Not really looking for glasses at that time, but decided to buy anyway
- Don't recall / don't know

3. How likely is it that you would recommend Sneaking Duck to a friend or colleague?
Click scale from 0 (not at all likely) through 5 (neutral) to 10 (extremely likely)

4. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us? <paragraph empty box>

Image credit - get the t-shirt!


  1. Get your rating scale 1 to 12 it makes people think more clearly on their rating (less default responses). Your choice of "where did you find us" doubles up with search engines and search engine adverts ... Also as per Glenton have an "other" option to allow free text (limit to 120 characters or so). My best advice is google satisfaction questionnaires and see what others are doing!

  2. I have found that an offer to go into a draw to win something certainly encourages people to complete a survey. Secondly the scenario can be tiresome when you have to trawl through 2000 comments, however it does provide some interesting insights. Hope this helps!

  3. Phil - I agree on the 'default' responses point, however I'm just working on what I've read about Net Promoter Scores. Do you know of a way to get the benefits of NPS, whilst also getting the benefits of what you suggest?

    I know what you mean on googling . . however, it's very hard to sort out what people have done lots of from what has been really good.

    Mark - yeah, I've been wondering about this. It has the benefit of higher participation, but the potential cost of people clicking randomly just to enter.

  4. Jodi/Michael/Mark-

    Ask the consumer what they liked about the experience...and ask for suggestions to improve.....
    I like short forms like this-less bailout-
    Also, would consider adding a sense of humor to Qs....after all, these are not just any glasses....these are "Sneaking Duck"..if they like/recommend to pals...ask them to send a "Quack" to friends....have funny brand symbol etc.

  5. What we have found from previous customer surveys for our business for handmade textile goods:

    1. It is best to design the survey so it has 2 branches - one for customers and one for people who have not bought from you yet. This is especially important if you offer an incentive - you don't want any false submissions from non-customers, claiming to be customers. State clearly that everyone (customers and non-customers) will participate in a sweepstakes / get some other perk, whatever the incentive.

    2. We have had good participation rates for surveys on facebook even without an incentive. Not so much success with email campaigns, despite good open rates (40%+).

    3. One way to get more info and keep the survey short is to ask customers to rate/star several aspects of your business. Like this: How would you rate:
    Our service and support: 1 2 3 4 5
    Shipping and delivery: 1 2 3 4 5


    So it looks like one question, but actually you get detailed ratings on many aspects of your business. So if you have a lot of '5' ratings on service and a lot of 4s on deliveries you might look into shipping options... You would probably ask such a question in the "Customers" branch of the survey.

  6. I agree with Mike Hale about making it slightly quirkier. The questionnaire as you've drafted it has a much blander "voice" than your brand voice generally does, which gives it a fairly generic feel. I wonder if you'd get better engagement if you matched the tone more to the tone and style of your whole website. I also agree about covering several aspects in one ratings question.

    With question 3, I wonder if you might not get exactly the information you're after - by using the word "recommend", you might not capture people who are talking positively about you but don't feel they're actually doing as much as recommending. What about asking if they'd "tell" a friend or colleague?

  7. I like to add a question that helps you gauge your markets perception of where you fit.. Something like "Other than us, who is your favourite provier of product x". It helps to a) reinforce wether your brand and positioning is working and b) helps to identify competitors you may not have seen as a threat. This question is important not to use a multiple choice for as it leads the respondent's answers.

  8. Wow - thank you all so much. This is really useful :-)

    Mike, Angela - really good point. The current version doesn't communicate our brand properly. I'll get to work on that.

    Mike - this was the next question I wanted to ask, but was really keen to keep to 3. However bmiloev's point potentially provides a way to get around this!

    bmiloev - awesome to hear what has worked. I think I will go for a personalised note out to customers only at this point to avoid needing a branching survey. It's also really interesting to hear that you don't need an incentive to get engagement!

    Angela - Question 3 is a bit boring, but I'm trying to stick to the NPS methodology. I'm concerned that if I don't stick with what is the 'norm' then the results won't be comparable to benchmarks

    David - great question!

  9. Mark, good luck with the survey! It would be great if you could share how you intend to use the NPS results. I never quite figured out what to do with that metric, after the results come in.

  10. It's always tough to strike the balance with this sort of survey - you want to find out info from your market, but you don't want to wear out your welcome. I think you've certainly got the opportunity to ask a few more questions of your audience while you've got their attention... maybe ask about preferences for purchasing, online/offline?

    One thing to remember with the NPS is that you'll be wanting to ask the same questions into the future, every year, so structure them for now and when your business is older & bigger. While that's not necessarily aimed at you, Mark, it's one of my failings in a previous role in that we tried for NPS once, but never followed up to see if we were doing any different.

    Good luck with it!

  11. bmiloev - Good question! I had 2 things in mind: First, to track over time - I'd like this to be increasing. Second, to benchmark the absolute level against other publicly released figures. I'll certainly share how useful it is.

    Jared - Thank you for the thought, perhaps I am a bit cautious? And agree totally on NPS (see above!)