How To Find Out What Your Customers Are Thinking (Part 1) – Polls

Author xlxmarketing 4.1.2011. | 10:08

Wouldn’t it be great to know what your customers are thinking so you can act on their thoughts and perhaps improve your store and reap better sales because of it? In this 2 part blog let’s look at how to do this and what they might be thinking…


When you’ve got an online store it pays to keep up-to-date with what your customers are thinking. We’re going to look at how to do this here in part 1:


I Can’t Read Minds!

If only you could read minds then everything in life would be easier. You’d know why your girlfriend was giving you the silent treatment, how cheap your supplier was prepared to go and you’d know what your boss really meant when he said that you were doing a good job!

Sadly most people don’t have this skill with the exception of clairvoyants, Mystic Meg and Yoda, so what options do us mere mortals have?

Ask Your Customers What They Think!

One area that online selling is more effective than over-the-counter commerce is in information-gathering. This is due to the environment and mindset of the customer at the time that you are asking them questions.

How many times have you been to a shop, gone to the till and seen the customer questionnaire and hastily ignored it in order to pay up and get out? How often have you ignored the market research person in the street?

To know why these ways of information gathering aren’t so successful you’ve got to think about the mindset of the customers they’re targeting:

  • They are already out shopping and hence are busy


  • These questionnaires and polls can be quite time-consuming



  • People don’t like being stopped and their space invaded



  • People can’t choose when to do it and it may not be a good time



  • The subject material may not be of interest


The net result? Many people find these irritating and will not respond.


Why Are People More Likely To Respond To An Online Poll Or Questionnaire?

If you think about it there are a few clear reasons why people will respond more readily online:

  • They are already sitting at their desk and therefore are unlikely to be rushing off somewhere


  • It is very easy to just click on a poll with your mouse



  • People are used to quickly filling out online questions



  • Online information-gathering is less intrusive than someone sticking a file in your face on the street


Therefore asking questions online to your customers is going to be more effective than in person.

Here’s a quick poll for you to try now!


How Can I Set Up A Poll Then?

Online polls are really easy to set up and can be made by anyone, even people who are not IT experts.

They are based on HTML code, but fear not if you don’t get HTML; you don’t even need to use it at all. Let’s see how…


You can use some great free poll sites such as polldaddy or micropoll which allow you to create polls and questionnaires for free and either embed them into your blog, site or just give a link to people!

Here at Chinavasion I work with polldaddy in WordPress, but to be honest the method of setting up a poll is pretty much the same between both polldaddy and micropoll. Here’s what the set-up screen looks like in polldaddy:

Once you have your poll written and ready there are 2 ways to ‘launch’ it. You can either ’embed’ it in your blog or wherever you need to put it (as long as HTML is accepted) or you can share a URL link for the poll to anyone that they just need to click on. You’ll be given these options once you’ve finished the poll.

Here’s what the ’embed code’ looks like in WordPress:

Here’s what the shareable poll URL looks like:

Join me in part 2 of this blog where we’ll look at what your customers could be thinking…


Author xlxmarketing 4.1.2011. | 10:08
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