The most effective way is to ask them, and the best way is to ask a whole lot of them at the same time, in a survey.
A survey is a great way to find out who your customers are, what they think about doing business with you, and suggestions they may have to make your company better.
The absolutely best way to conduct a full-blown consumer survey is to get a market research firm to do it for you as a telephone survey. The benefit? Real people talking to real people which allows for more in-depth questions and more detailed answers.
The most cost effective way to conduct a customer satisfaction survey is by email. If you have lots of time and know how, you can do it yourself, although it can be very time consuming. Your best bet is to hire someone, like a marketing agency, to do it for you. The agency will help you determine your survey goals, develop the questions, send it to your database on your behalf and then present you with the final results in a report format.
Wouldn’t it be great to know the demographics of your customers? What they think about your company and/or products? Which of your competitors they like and why? And just think about the comments you will get when you ask open-ended questions. Your customers are likely to be more honest when filling out an email than they might be face to face or on the phone.
Once you get the results, it becomes a lot easier to create a marketing plan because you already know what your customers are thinking. It almost sounds like an unfair advantage doesn’t it.
As business owners/managers we need every advantage we can get. Do a survey and find out what your customers are thinking and tailor your marketing message to them. Surveys really work, you should make it part of your marketing budget every few years.