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Customer Interest Polls

Q: Has anyone done a customer interest poll or feed back group on their own (as opposed to paying an auditing company)? I'm about to do one for my company and want to ensure that our method will be accepted by VCs/investors/customers. What should the questionnaire look like? What is the minimum number of responses? What format should I use?
[Tom White,]

  • I had always heard that doing your own feedback session versus using an outside firm was always a negative in the eyes of financiers because of vested interest.
  • For credibility, unfortunately, there is no substitute for a third party's logo on the report. This doesn't make the information any better but it's the only thing that makes it credible. (I think it's awful too, but that's life!)
    [Esther Smith,]
  • Have you thought of contacting some Business Development Centers in your area? I imagine some of them, especially those based at Universities and Colleges, should be able to help you design and implement a customer survey. Some Colleges might be able to set you up with some students who might take on your survey as a project.

    I think this would be a win-win situation, with the student gaining valuable practical experience, you getting credible research done, and the College providing its' students with real-life experience. Heck, some of them might even ending up getting jobs!
    [Katim Touray,]

  • I'm with the George Mason University Entrpreneurship Center and yes, there are several resources here and at the University that may be able to help you with your survey and getting your business started.
    [Kyp Sirinakis,]
  • I don't typically promote commercial services in which I have an interest over email lists like this, but the question was asked. One of my customers,, is in the Internet survey business. They help you design your survey, implement it, and analyze the results. They can do the survey via normal ASCII email, via the web, or both. They can even ensure that each customer only submits the survey once.
    [Steven Rubenstein, Emaze Software]


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