Have you recently received a consumer survey from a retail establishment to access your shopping experience? They are provided by almost every business today so as to measure everything from their level of customer service to “Value for your Dollar” on the goods and/or services they provide.

Yet very few if any consider how someone without the internet and a computer, Tablet or Smart Phone can rate them and take advantage of special offers, discounts or a chance at a Gift Certificate valued at $500 to $1,000.

Consider the elderly individual that feels intimidated by the now fast paced world of technology and social media.  Does their opinion not count?  Are they not also the ones that help build the financial success as a consumer over the years to many of these Big Box Stores?

I keep thinking of my own mother.  She wants nothing to do with technology, heck it took years to get her to buy a “Pay as You Go” cell phone. All she kept saying was “What the heck do I need that thing for”. Recently she asked “I have been collecting Air Miles for some years now how do I cash them in?”. Well, first off she wasn’t even aware that all her points where in the “Dream” category, so she could not use them at a retailer that would redeem them at the time of purchase. So I said to her “you can order a product with the points you have accumulated“. She said “that’s great, how do I go about doing that?” Well guess what Mom, you need the “Internet”  After spending and hour or so going through the online catalogue, she got herself a nice Panini Press, something she always wanted.

What about the “Ease of Accessibility”?  how many businesses provide alternative options to online “Customer Surveys” for the disabled?

A few days ago, we received a really nice Domino’s pizza flyer.  It was colourful and did its job…it made us hungry and want to place an order.  Problem #1.  You could only order online.  They did not have a phone number on the flyer.  So we fired up the computer, went to the website and started by clicking the order button.  Twenty minutes later, we finally got the order placed. Yes, it was that difficult to do, and Gisèle and I are tech savvy.  Maybe we should have asked our son to do it for us?  After that ordeal, Gisèle asked me “what if your Mom wanted to order the pizza?“, and I answered “I guess she would phone us to order it for her on the internet thing-a-ma-jiggy

How about special offers? Take a look at the receipt from your latest purchases and see how many companies print “Visit our website for more Special Offers” or “Sign Up to our Newsletter and receive additional Coupons”, “Like Us on Facebook and receive 20% your next purchase”.

Whether it be fear of the technology, understanding it or in some cases the feeling that “I just don’t need it in my life”. What about the family or individual that does not have the money to afford the high cost of having internet access? Face it, we have children in school using the Library computers to complete homework because a computer and the internet are not in the family budget.

The playing field is no longer even, unless you have the internet, you lose out on many things in the world today.

Businesses find it easy and less expensive to simply make it an internet based assessment of their customers shopping experience. The numbers are tabulated in a database and some Marketing Guru will put their spin on what the company is lacking or doing well.

The challenge here is how many of these so called Marketing Gurus can come up with an idea to level the playing field, so Grandpa, Grandma even the non-techie can win that $1,000 Gift Certificate.

The real art of creative marketing is to get 100% of your client base to participate.   Go back to the quick “Survey Card” ask a couple of simple questions.

  1. Name
  2. Phone Number
  3. Did you find what you were looking for?
  4. Where our associates helpful and accessible?
  5. Was our location clean and inviting?
  6. Do you feel you received value for you purchase?

Other that the Name, Phone number and “Yes” and “No” check boxes, make it easy for the consumer to complete.

They can simply drop the card in a box should they have time or drop it in on their next visit.

Sure you won’t get as many replies as an online survey, however not every customer has to receive one, have your associates ask the customer, “If you don’t have the option of completing our survey online would you like a Survey Card to fill out and return to us on you next visit for a chance to Win a $1,000 Gift Certificate?”.

Or if you are giving away $5.00 off your next purchase for completing an online survey extend the same option to the customer who hands in the “Survey Card” on their next visit.

What a way to get a repeat customer… give away $5.00!  Depending on your average transaction value, a $5.00 giveaway could be your greatest draw card. Something to think about.

In today’s consumer market, people like to voice their opinion even if it is with a short Yes or No survey. Just take a look at Facebook and Twitter.

Let’s give everyone a fair chance to save a buck or two,  not just the tech savvy, in-tune social media followers and internet connected majority.

Thanks for reading.

Joe Butka
Legacy Designs