One fact about being a designer is that you can never lose sight of your customer. You need to know her demographics, what she thinks and believes, her buying behavior and understand how she will interact with your products. One way to get this information is by creating a survey. It can provide a great deal of consumer insight because you can tailor the survey with specific questions about your business. Free resources like Survey Monkey are simple to use and allow you to design, collect and analyze information easily.
Peggy Li, a San Francisco-based jewelry designer uses surveys to glean insight about her business. At the start of 2103, she sent out a survey and shared her goals and learnings with The Emerging Designer.
How often do you send out surveys?
I send out a survey once a year to my customers.
What was your goal in this survey?
The goal of the survey was to gauge how my customers feel about my website, products and customer service. I am also looking for some hints as to how they might have found my brand and what kind of products and services they’d like to see in the future.
Have you been surprised with the results?
The first survey and the results were a goldmine of information and did surprise me! In subsequent years, I’m definitely on the lookout to see if opinions or tastes drastically change.
What’s been the most compelling feedback?
The most compelling feedback is when I ask my customers about how they feel about the quality and price of my items. I’m always very happy to see that they feel like they are getting great quality for the price.
How has that feedback changed your marketing and or product development?
Hearing this feedback from my customers reassures me that my standards of quality for my products are on point. I want to keep that high quality standard as my business continues to grow. It also has given me encouragement to test more price points.
Why are surveys important?
Surveys are another tool you can use to engage and learn more from your customers. People love to give opinions! Facebook and Twitter are great, but a survey allows for anonymous feedback where your customers can perhaps be a little more truthful about how they feel. You also get a chance to ask a series of questions so you can really hone in on the information you’re looking for.
You’ve been in the business for 10 years. What advice would you give to emerging designers?
I have three pieces of advice I always give to emerging designers:
1. Be persistant. You have to have a thick skin to succeed. Keep pushing forward!
2. Be professional. If you’d like your passion to be your job, you’ll have to treat it like one. Learn your craft as both an artist and a businessperson.
3. Know your customer. Your brand and product are built on your customer. Knowing your customer and why they love your product can help guide your product development and business.
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