A business strategy is usually built around a set of hypotheses, some of which will be valid, while others will be erroneous.
It’s common knowledge that surveys are an unbeatable way to quickly validate hypotheses about your audience. Sometimes they’ll validate your theories and give you proof that where you wanted to take your business next was spot on.
But that’s not always how it is, right?
Sometimes, you’ll just rub your eyes in disbelief and will find yourself shocked about the misconceptions entire teams have been building their work around.
But hey, there’s actually a silver lining to such pivot-worthy discoveries.
You will no longer keep wasting time and resources on wrong concepts about your clients and leads.
So, if this sounds all too familiar, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and take a look at how other companies used a survey to verify their business strategy.
How Surveys Helped Six Companies Make Their Business Strategy More Bullet-Proof
1. Brand Packs had to pivot their entire company strategy
Adam McIntyre, the Community Manager at BrandPacks says that their business was primarily focused on creating add-on products for Adobe Photoshop. 18 months ago, they ran a simple survey to their audience of graphic designers asking which design tools they used the most.
As it turned out, over 70% of their customers actually preferred to use Adobe Illustrator. They used this insight to go back through their catalog of products and updated them for compatibility with Illustrator. Immediately after, they saw sales increase by over 200%.
Pretty good ROI for such a simple survey!
2. TechJury discovered that their clients aren’t who they thought they were
Nick Galov, the Content Manager at TechJury says that throughout his career, he had the pleasure of working as a marketing specialist for a data center and tech company in Arizona.
Since the company mostly focused on B2B, they typically assumed that the people who were renting out their servers were other tech companies that needed additional storage.
However, one day, they decided to introduce the concept of surveys to their marketing efforts, just so they can find out more about all of these companies they were tailoring their marketing to.
Little did they know that the survey would reveal a twist of fate.
As it turned out, the vast majority of their “target” audience and customers that were purchasing all of these servers weren’t business, at all. They were, in fact, gamers.
This odd little revelation helped them tailor their future marketing to the right audience, making their jobs more successful, more profitable, and ultimately, more fun.
In the end, a simple survey that they shared on social media completely reshaped their marketing approach and became the biggest game changer of that year, simply because it helped us shape our content to the right people.
3. Thera Specs found out about product issues and concerns
Greg Bullock, Marketing Manager at Thera Specs says that early in their company’s lifecycle, they implemented the commonplace Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey that they email to their customers several weeks after purchase.
This tool has been incredibly valuable in helping them understand how customers experience their product, and a few years ago it enabled them to get ahead of a particular product flaw with one of our frame styles.
Since it was not a widespread failure, the survey comments helped them understand just how many customers had been affected as well as pinpoint the exact issues with the frame.
They then adjusted their internal inspection process to pre-screen and eliminate
those frames that were most likely to result in a failure. This process allowed them to better communicate with and provide service for the customers who experienced the frame problem, and they subsequently introduced a new generation of the frame that corrected these issues.
4. Rent a Lorry discovered why users weren’t buying from them
Charlotte Ang, the founder of Rent a Lorry shares that 2 years into the business, they realized that their website was too SEO-focused and lacked a modern design. It felt almost like their company was traditional and old-fashioned because it was filled only with content without many pictures.
Hence, they decided to engage a web design company to change the feel of their website so it would look more aesthetically pleasing and modern.
They carried out a proper customer survey with the last 1,000 customers they had served over the past two years.
To their horror, 78% of the users complained that the website was too difficult to navigate because of the variety of services it had.
The menu bar did not break down the different services offered and visitors had to jump from page to page.
In the end, most of them ended up emailing or calling the company to inquire about the services, even though most of the information was already online.
This explained why their customer service department was always extremely busy during the day. With that in mind, the web design company rearranged the menu on the site and changed it to a mega menu.
It broke down into different main services and sub-services, which made navigation a whole lot easier.
It was a huge learning point for the company because they had always assumed user interface was the key to great design. Through this experience, they learned that user experience was equally important and it is definitely something they overlooked.
The survey has helped us reduced the number of people calling and emailing in to ask about our services. Bookings became more efficient and we were able to reduce the number of employees in our customer service department to answer the queries.
5. GetVOIP managed to find out what their competitors are faulty at
One thing that jumped out at them was that the established service providers were raking in the *1-star* ratings.
Being a startup themselves, they should have inherently understood that the customer service at disruptors was often their differentiator.
Established companies just have so much momentum and mass that they can steamroll over customers, at times. But, he never really paused to think about that fact.
After seeing that was a critical need for larger players in the game, it gave them a great point to touch on in outreach to them. And, it also provided valuable insight to the startup underdogs, themselves included.
6. Cardinal Digital Marketing has learned about the misconceptions their customers had about the company
Alex Membrillo, CEO of Cardinal Digital Marketing says they’ve used the Net Promoter based survey strategy to gain insights from their customer base and audience.
Net Promoter begins by asking the question, “On a scale of 0 – 10, how likely would you be to recommend our company to a friend or colleague.”
In addition, they always include a variety of other survey questions to gauge customer satisfaction and performance. They have gained some extremely valuable information from the surveys.
Results have influenced web content, email newsletter content and distribution, customer portal and reporting data, management roles, and hiring needs.
Some of the biggest surprises they found were regarding customer misconceptions. Additionally, they once uncovered a customer who was unaware that their account rep was no longer with the company.
This was a major communication concern that lead to a restructuring of their processes.
Hopefully, this article has inspired you to try surveys to test your business strategy hypotheses. The sooner you start, the faster you’ll be able to see results!