Would You Like an Easy Way to Get Customer Feedback?

By John R. Aberle | Small Business Management

Dec 20

Mary Ann and her husband have an electrical contracting business. While Chet handles the operations for their business and the direct customer interfacing, Mary Ann takes care of the back office work. In addition to accounting, she takes care of their marketing. At first, it was mostly advertising and direct mail pieces. Now she’s getting more and more into email and social media.

Screen capture of the graphic results from 8 responses to John R. Aberle’s DUBCN Survey

But, other than occasionally talking directly to one of their customers, she’s wanted an easy way to get customer feedback about how they are doing. The primary customers that she wants to follow up with are new home contractors where they work as a subs and remodelers and renovation specialists because those contractors they can sometimes give them work without the bid process used by government and commercial contractors.

So her question is, what can she do that isn’t incredibly time consuming or expensive? She’s heard about doing surveys but that seems like such a lot of work. Then her friend who does Internet marketing suggested she look at using Google Forms to create a survey form.

Using Google Forms to Survey Customers about Responses to Your Products

I recently had the same situation that Mary Ann found herself in. I wanted to get feedback from my customers as to what they valued about the product I was providing them so I asked them a series of questions about their experiences with my notes. (These notes are only available to members of the Directions University Bachelor’s Program so the survey never showed up in social media.)

If you want to create your own Google Form for a survey or any other purpose, like a checklist, go to Google Forms. You can create and analyze surveys, for free.

Without training, I pulled together the following simple survey:

How do you use your Bachelor’s Call Notes subscription?

I’m trying to figure out what others find most useful and what isn’t really that important because you never used the notes for that.  I find when I get into the notes to add the headings so I can create a table of contents that I get caught up wanting to fill in as much detail as I can remember as well as explain concepts someone else won’t know who hasn’t been in Gina’s program for years. The irony is that I suspect most people never really read the detailed notes.  Any insights you can give me will be appreciated.

  • Use them to review the call
  • Study the detailed notes covering the discussions
  • Refer to the table of contents for a quick review of what happened
  • Search your notes for the name of a program, app or person mentioned
  • Check time stamps to help you find the section that you want to listen to again
  • Apply the step-by-step procedures Gina or Jack gave
  • Build attach your own notes and insights on the DUBCN framework
  • Other – Please include in a comment or email me

Response rate of 58.3%

As the image above shows, there was the test response plus seven others for a 58.3% response rate. These responses because in general, they confirmed that customers use the notes as expected. However, the results included a surprise as half of the responses used the notes in a way that I suspected wasn’t important, i.e. “Study the detailed notes covering the discussions.”

NOTE:  This is not a statistically significant number of responses. Nevertheless, it’s important because the responses are from the people using the product.

You can send the survey in an email or post it in social media. If you post it in Google+, the form will be live and can be answered without going anywhere just by clicking on the image. Or, on the next survey, you can embed the form in your website, like in a blog post.

Show summary of responses

To get your own graphically image like the one above, choose “Show summary of responses.” You’ll find it in the “Forms” tab of the spreadsheet of your responses.

Use Surveys in Social Media

Screen capture of the Initial Results for Contest Survey IMAGE Properties

Because Mary Ann handles social media for their company, she wants to find out what is important to people other than her existing customers. So she decided to post a survey on Google+. This way her followers, who include people besides her current customers, can give her insights into the broader market.

Like Mary Ann, I wanted to get opinions about how successful online contests are that run over many days. Obviously I find them annoying even though I see the potential value as a marketer. However, they serve the marketer rather than the marketer serves its customers. This survey asks how you feel about these online surveys. Do you, in fact, find these surveys valuable to you. See “How Long Should Voting Contests Run?”

Google Forms make it easy to get responses from customers by emailing them or by sending the form only to customers in social media. They also enable you get a broader view of the marketplace needs and wants by making public posts in Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and twitter. So take a few minutes to start your own survey. It all counts towards engagement with your community.

For an example of a public social media post, please take the short survey, “How Long Should Voting Contests Surveys Run?”

Building your profits through strong relationships,


John R. Aberle, Scriberle

Aberle Enterprises

P.S. It really is a short survey, just fill it in then compare your results to the others who have taken it.



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About the Author

I have a strong love for small businesses, especially brick and mortar companies. After an 18-year career in sales and marketing, I started my own service company, which I grew in both sales and profits for the first five years. In my sixth year, the bottom dropped out of the printer market such that it made more sense to sell my assets and return to Southern California. There I went to work for an international small business consulting company. I spent over three years on the road with them helping small businesses to become more profitable and better managed. I then started my own company specializing in sales and marketing consulting, coaching and training. My emphasis is on heart-centered, relationship selling that empowers prospects to make their own choices.