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TiedemanLLC
12-16-2011, 12:57 AM
So every year we always send out an end of the year survey to find things that we need to improve on, the services, their quality, prices, etc.

This year we decided to send out a combo survey, which included those questions, but also demographic questions from our clients. Age, income, education, where they live, employment, security questions, and forms of communication. In the past, we have more or less gathered our demographics from what we have pieced together from the clients. So it may not be 100% accurate, but it's what we thought was the best way to gather the information. Lets face it, no one wants to get personal about their income. But this time we made it personal. We informed the clients that we really needed their help and needed the personal information.

After one week with our online survey, we have received almost 50% response back so far and I must say, the results in some areas were surprising.

Couple of things really stood out to us. First of all, the income of our clients. We thought that most of them made over $150,000 a year, when in fact, only 15% of our clients make that.

They also ranked health, as the most important thing in life, over security, money, and valued possessions.

Their favorite form of communication, was not cell phone or land line, but email. And almost none of them liked communicating through social sites such as twitter and facebook. Which is really funny, because we have been putting the most effort in our social sites, but wondering why we haven't got any response from them.

Now don't get me wrong we got some things right too, such as the sex, age, education, and area of the client.

But the income level is what really threw us off. Most of our marketing material has been for the higher income levels, with the more expensive products. Our ROI hasn't been great, but expected. But now we have this new information, we can get to work adjusting our marketing pieces and make our ROI amazing.

mark123
12-16-2011, 07:38 AM
... we got some things right too, such as the sex, age, education, and area of the client. ...
Do you have instances where you can't exactly figure out the sex of the customer? :lol:

stevef1201
12-16-2011, 04:23 PM
Would like to see your questionaire

CHEESE2009
12-16-2011, 06:00 PM
I didn't know people were honest.. I wanna send out questionnaires now!!!

Steve
12-16-2011, 07:51 PM
This is a very interesting topic.

What should the newer lawn care business owners be sending out in their questionnaires and how should they take that information and utilize it in a helpful way?

Ducke
12-16-2011, 08:07 PM
This is a very interesting topic.

What should the newer lawn care business owners be sending out in their questionnaires and how should they take that information and utilize it in a helpful way?

Yes I find this very interesting topic, I would love to get a look at your survey.
I have thought about doing something like that but am not sure what to ask?
50% return sounds good I would have guessed 25-30%.
did you offer anything to get a response ? like a draw or something ?
What do you think you could do to get even more to respond?

TiedemanLLC
12-16-2011, 08:08 PM
This is a very interesting topic.

What should the newer lawn care business owners be sending out in their questionnaires and how should they take that information and utilize it in a helpful way?

Every year we always send out surveys to clients. Some of the online survey sites already have pre made surveys to help out, or provide a starting point. This is the first year we ever did a demographics survey though, so it was very interesting.

With the surveys you can figure out what clients you really need to market to, and in what neighborhoods. You can also adjust pricing accordingly, or offer services that they can only afford. If you keep on marketing outdoor kitchens over and over again, but the income level of your clients is low, then the chances of them purchasing an outdoor kitchen is probably pretty slim.

The big thing is that it is anonymous, so you get a better "honest' response from clients when it is anonymous.

Steve
12-17-2011, 02:28 PM
You can also adjust pricing accordingly, or offer services that they can only afford.

So potentially, would you raise your lawn prices the next year to customers who could afford it more?

TiedemanLLC
12-17-2011, 02:40 PM
So potentially, would you raise your lawn prices the next year to customers who could afford it more?

Well we just went through a price increase this past Spring, so we are not raising prices again any time soon.

I think you could perhaps raise the prices though based on results. Now I said perhaps. Let's say you find out your clients make a higher income level doesn't necessarily mean you should raise prices. What this means is perhaps change the way to market with them through different types of media or the higher end services/products.

@Ducke, basically we sent out an email to our clients asking them for help. We made sure to let them know that everything was anonymous and that it would only take 5 minutes of their time. I use Survey Monkey. They have some templates that are already pre-loaded with questions too. I more or less pieced together a six survey questions from multiple surveys, then I added about four of my own.

Stating a time limit on a survey really helps out and most importantly letting them it's anonymous. (on a side note, I went to school for industrial/organizational psychology, so I know how to work with surveys and how to get a good response out of people).

We also informed them that by filling out the survey it can help them in the long run too with the services that we offer.

So basically the steps that we followed:
1) Anonymous. They will fill it out more honestly knowing that they will not be held accountable for their results. (there is no punishment).
2) State a time limit. Make sure the surveys too are very short, sweet, and easy to use.
3) Give them a "benefit". For them the benefit of knowing that by filling out the survey they will actually see results from it and where we need to improve on.