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Yes, you can talk to your customers.
The Internet is a two-way street (or superhighway, if you prefer), especially when it comes to receiving feedback from customers or prospects. If you have an email list or even just a website, use those vehicles to talk to your customers and find out what they’re thinking. Conducting a customer survey is much easier than you would imagine. There are several online services that simplify and facilitate the process.
SurveyMonkey.com, for example, offers plans that range from free to $200/year. They handle all of the software and security issues, while you just write the questions. Speaking of which, it’s important that you understand the art and science of writing a survey. You can search online for tips, but here are a few general rules: outline your goals beforehand; don’t ask too many questions; don’t make the questions long and arduous; and be sure to ask non-leading questions. This is one area where you may want to hire someone who understands research to help you create a survey that will not only produce understanding, but also drive actionable results.
It’s also a good idea to do a test run of your survey before you send it out to your entire mailing list. For instance, if there’s drop-off after question four, you’ll have an opportunity to retool. Cool.