Customer surveys can be an extremely valuable way of collecting all kinds of useful data. What businesses often don’t consider is that customer surveys can also serve other objectives, such as to inform customers, to advertise a new product, or for lead generation.

If your marketing goal is “to inform readers about a new product or offering”, or “bring an advertising message to prospects and clientele”, then the satisfaction survey becomes a subtle piece of advertising.

Let’s say you’d like to introduce a new product to the personal fitness industry; you’ve decided to include massage therapy as a standard part of your programme. You might decide to send out a customer satisfaction survey with a cover letter asking your reader to complete a quick 6-question market research survey. This is a pretty short and non-demanding sort of request that most customers won’t mind doing.

You’ll improve participation rates if you offer a small incentive for taking part. Include an offer to let them know the survey results and you’ll have a great way to capture contact data and permission to be in touch with them in the future. List building alone makes the survey worthwhile for your business.

“Did you know the Fitness Fanciers Gym offers a massage as an alternative for one of your weekly gym sessions?”

[ ] Yes [ ] No [ ] Please call

“Do you think you or your partner would like a nice soothing all over body massage?”

[ ] Yes [ ] No [ ] Unsure

“Are you aware of others who would appreciate a body massage as part of their gym membership?”

[ ] Yes [ ] No [ ] Unsure

At this stage your real intention is to inform clients of your new service. Their answers don’t really matter to you (unless they ask you to call of course).

Continue your survey questionnaire and turn it into an actionable key question survey:

“Knowing that regular massage has been shown to improve health and fitness outcomes, have you planned to include it in your health regime in the future?”

[ ] Yes [ ] No [ ] Don’t know

“Are you worried about your ability to maintain your health and fitness as you get older?”

[ ] Yes [ ] No [ ] Please call

The answer to this question allows you to take action if clients answer in a certain way. You have achieved your objective of generating a lead - the opportunity for you to call the customer. Your survey has been successful.

Another excellent key question to include would be:

“How long has it been since you have had your general fitness reviewed?”

[ ] One year [ ] Three years [ ] Never, or if I did, I can’t remember

Regardless of their response, you have a wonderful opportunity to call the survey respondents – they would all obviously benefit from a review of their fitness if it’s been a year or more since it was checked! You might wrap up with a few other short questions which allow you to send out a useful set of survey results and stay in touch with your new contact list.

“70% of all respondents had not reviewed their general fitness in the last 3 years”. Our fitness expert Joe Blogs points out that failing to monitor fitness can result in… [more good information and stuff about your fitness review and massage services].”

So, if you’re designing a customer satisfaction survey, even an online survey, first decide on the objective; then design the survey to fulfill the objective.

The answers to the questions might not really matter to you, but the survey allows you to build your prospect and customer lists. If the objective is to get permission to contact your prospects, or get them to call you, insert just one or two relevant “key questions” to prompt the desired action. Make the rest of the survey questions simple, and follow up with the results - and the promised gift.