Phone surveys are a wonderful way to conduct market research. If possible, schedule time to speak to someone in advance so that you don't catch them off-guard with your call. They'll be more receptive to spending time with you that way.

Another advantage to phone surveys is that people feel more free to express their true thoughts when they're not looking at you face-to-face. This is especially true when they're expressing negative opinions about something.

Call and Say Hello

To begin your survey, introduce yourself (or re-introduce yourself) and explain that you're conducting a brief survey that should only take a few minutes.

Performance Development Insight:

Time is money. Keep it short and to the point, no survey should last longer than 10 minutes ideally, but 15 minutes maximum.

Speak slowly, calmly, and in a warm, friendly way. Try to avoid sounding like a Gallup pollster who's making a thousand calls and is just trying to get through this one to get to the next. You'll have the most success and gather the most in-depth information if you treat your survey subject like a person not a "lab rat."

Once the preliminaries are over, it's time to get down to business.

The Anonymous Survey About Yourself

The questions below were created for an "anonymous" survey conducted by the owner of Widget Digital Photography:

• Are you satisfied with the service you have received at Widget Digital Photography?
• What would you say was your best service experience?
• What would you say was your worst service experience?
• What would you like to see changed at Widget Digital regarding service?
• Why did you decide to get your photos done at Widget Digital?
• Do you do business with Brand X photography studios?
• What did you like about that studio?
• What didn’t you like?
• What do you think makes Widget different from Brand X?
• What do you think makes Widget better than Brand X?
• What makes Brand X better than Widget?
• Can you think of any photo needs that we are unable to satisfy?

Surveys are a very valuable tool for evaluating your level of customer satisfaction as well as a means of developing your marketing efforts.

If you are considering offering new products or services, a survey of your existing customers wants and needs will give you statistics you can use to your advantage. You can capitalize on the survey results to make sure your next offerings are of interest to your prospects and customers.

Author's Bio: 

David Mason is president of Mason Performance Development Inc., a Speaker, Trainer , Performance Development Coach and internationally best selling author.

This article has been an excerpt from David's best-selling book, Marketing Your Small Business For Big Profits, visit

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