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How can a small business gather customer insights on a very limited budget?

Alan Jones's Profile

Answers

Bryan Frey
Title: VP Finance/Corp Controller
Company:
(VP Finance/Corp Controller, ) |

Build a written survey and email it to your customer/prospect list if you have one. If you want something more personal, give the survey to an admin or, lacking that, have the business owners and workers call your customer list in off hours or slow times during the day. You will quickly get dozens of responses and not spent incremental $'s to do it. Your customers will appreciate that you care enough to ask for their input.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Surveymonkey.com. Free, easy to use.

Google Drive (formerly Docs) using "Form" tool in the spreadsheet. Free, not as easy as Surveymonkey, but works just fine.

Keith Richmond
Title: CFO
Company: GreenRope
(CFO, GreenRope) |

Businesses need an integrated system which not only include survey responses, but email campaigns, website analytics and social media capabilities. Creating surveys to gather customer insight is helpful, but understanding a customer's behavior and patterns offers a competitive advantage to any business. I suggest utilizing a CRM which offers all of these applications to SMBs at an affordable price.

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

Following are free strategies -

1) look to see what your business association has published
2) look to see if anyone has published information on the internet
3) look to see if the SBA or other government agency has published research
4) Mystery Shop your #1 competitor and infer customers' desires by what they offer

Caution this data will never be exactly what you need. If you are looking to change processes or develop products, nothing will beat targeted market research.

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