Why don’t we just ask?

Why are marketers are often reluctant to ask for feedback? Surveys are so easy to do and people are so willing to tell you what they think. Yet surveys seem to have been overshadowed in a world of social media, and trackbacks, and the ability to dig deep and look at keywords.

While I am a huge promoter of keyword intelligence, it’s so much easier to just ask when faced with a dilemma. No matter what business you are in, I bet you arrive at that fork in the road every few months: Should we email the latest report, highlight the URL, or add an RSS feed? Does it make sense to redesign the product page, or simply add one more tab? How do we know visitors are finding what they are looking for, and is our “bounce rate” killing us? Do people prefer PayPal over credit cards? How could we know that?

There’s the arrogant way, assuming we know everything there is to know about customer behavior. And there’s the smart way, realizing that people’s expectations may have changed since the last redesign or the last campaign, that new users may have altered our demographic mix.

We could add a feedback channel to the site, definitely allow comments on the blog, invite customers to be part of an ‘advisory group,’ do small focus groups, or do snapshot surveys.

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