At the age of 17, I wanted to become a lawyer. At 19, I changed my opinion and started studying business administration. And shortly before my 20th birthday, I discovered the creator economy.
Five months later, I launched my first online course on Udemy, one of the world’s largest platforms for e-learning. After a month, I received my first paycheck as a digital entrepreneur - $1.34 in total.
While the sum might first seem miserable, this payout empowered me to become an entrepreneur and build a 6-figure online business at the age of 23.
The payout wasn’t satisfying, but the fact that I got paid for doing something I loved showed me that I have way more career options than I thought.
It also taught me that I could make money online while having an impact and helping people live happier, more satisfying lives.
Two years after that miserable payment, I proudly celebrated my first 5-figure online course launch and made $20,000 in three days.
Part of the journey from $1,37/month to a 6-figure business was understanding my customers.
In the past decade, thousands of people created online courses hoping to turn their knowledge into an infinite source of passive income.
But even though the e-learning market is expected to be worth $325 billion by 2025, the reality is that only a tiny fraction of online course creators make a satisfying income.
And one of the things that differentiate successful digital creators from the rest is their ability to keep their existing students satisfied.
Most people think of online courses as passive income and the key to financial freedom. They believe it’s possible to create a course once and sell it infinitely without ever lifting a finger again. Guess what? That’s not how it works.
If you want to grow your income and impact as a content creator, you need to keep your customers and followers satisfied.
The good news, however, is that customer satisfaction doesn’t need to be complicated or tough.
Ask your customers what they like
Asking your existing and potential customers what they like about your brand or product can significantly impact customer spending and purchase frequency.
According to a study, B2C customers who complete a feedback survey spend 131% more over 12 months than those who don’t share any feedback.
Research showed that asking for feedback (e.g., through an online survey) can improve average sales, even if the survey isn’t completed. This phenomenon is called mere solicitation effect.
However, what’s even more interesting is the mere measurement plus effect, which states that an open-ended, positive question can result in a 32.88% increase in customer spending compared to closed-ended surveys.
Here’s what this means for you as an online creator:
A) You can proactively influence the feedback you receive by asking the right questions. (E.g., What did you particularly like about the program?)
B) According to the mere measurement effect, measuring intentions can change our behavior and lead to more sales, even if you ask closed-questions.
Long story in short: you have nothing to lose but a lot to gain by asking your community and customers for feedback.
Start with an open-ended, positive question
When asking your customers for feedback, one of the most critical rules is starting with a positive, open-ended question such as What did we do great?
Answering these types of questions leads to positively biased memories.
If I ask you what you liked about a particular product or service, you dig deep into your memory to find the things you enjoyed — even if you have a few complaints.
Expressing these positive memories reinforces them and leads to even more positive memories and feedback.
Our memories can get influenced easily if we try to focus on specific questions.
So, when we’re asked to state what we liked about something or somebody, we dig deep into our memory to find a fitting answer. And we obviously focus on all the positive aspects, trying to decide which was the best thing about the product. While we do so, we barely think of the negative aspects.
Another bonus of these open-ended questions is that the positive effect often lasts beyond the survey. Because you’re forced to think about the pleasant aspects of the product, you now think of the whole product more positively.
Other questions you can use are:
- What did you enjoy most so far?
- Which chapter/module did you like most and why?
- What did you like most about the course/product?
- How did the course/product help you improve your career/income/health/…?
How you can do it
If you’re selling digital products such as ebooks, online courses, or online coaching services, you can set up a feedback system that automatically asks your customers for feedback at a specified time.
They might receive a survey after a certain period (e.g., 30 days after their purchasing date) or after using the product or service (e.g., when they completed 50% of an online course or after a 1-on-1 coaching session).
Send feedback for the feedback
A great way to show that you care about your customers is to send them feedback for their feedback.
This might sound paradox, but it’s simple: Give thanks to them for taking the time and completing your survey.
You can do so through a simple thank you note or get creative and create a little incentive for those who complete the survey.
I need the feedback to build better products and improve my business, so I’m happy to spend some time saying thank you to those who took the time to complete the survey.
However, you can also create a simple checklist or a video series and send automated thank you messages. It doesn’t need to be a live session like in my case — just make sure you acknowledge the feedback you received.
Encourage positive reviews
As a content creator, you can use feedback surveys from your customers and community members in two different ways:
- They give you insights into the actual struggles and questions of your audience, which helps you build meaningful solutions.
- Positive responses can serve as testimonials, improve your credibility, and lead to more sales.
And even if you also want to hear the points of criticism and learn what your customers didn’t like, you can frame your questions positively.
This is not about sugarcoating the reality but about reinforcing the positive memories they have. Additionally, it’s a way of ensuring overall customer satisfaction by saying what can we do even better? instead of asking what did we do wrong?
The way you ask your questions can leave a positive or negative impression on your (potential) customers and eventually influence the success of your business.
Go the extra mile
As a content creator, you can do so much more than just asking for feedback on your products and services.
You can also use surveys (and apply all the rules above) to better understand your community members and their pain points.
This kind of interaction helps you understand the questions, needs, wants, and desires of your audience.
Plus, it shows that you genuinely care about further improving your free and paid services.
When someone asks us for our opinion, we tend to have a better impression of them. That’s partly because we love talking about ourselves.
Asking your community and customers for feedback is a simple yet effective (and scientifically proven) way to improve their satisfaction and your revenue.
Don’t run surveys for the sake of running surveys. Ask yourself how you can use them to move your business forward and stand out from the sheer mass of content creators in the 21st century.