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Currently, I sell hatching eggs as a small in home business. I've been having a 90% hatch rate with my own eggs this year but I have been looking into collecting data on the hatch rates of my customers, especially those that have received shipped eggs (this is because shipping typically reduces the hatch rate of eggs). Would it be too intrusive to ask a customer how their hatch rate was in a follow up email, maybe a month or so after the initial purchase? I'm also afraid that such an email might trigger an angry response and demand for refund should the customer have had a bad hatch. I can't refund for this reason since it is simply out of my hands once the eggs are shipped. This policy is clearly written on my shipping information page.

What would be the best way to obtain hatch rate data from my customers, if at all?

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  • Have you or other businesses similar to yours attempted this before? What were the customers' reactions? What kind of statistics are you looking to share with your customers, if any?
    – ElizB
    Jul 3, 2018 at 20:38
  • @ElizB A quick google search would tell you that plenty of other businesses have attempted this. Also, OP is trying to gain feedback, not give the customers statistics.
    – Jesse
    Jul 3, 2018 at 22:25

2 Answers 2

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Would it be too intrusive to ask a customer how their hatch rate was in a follow up email, maybe a month or so after the initial purchase?

A checkup email is socially accepted as non-invasive and used frequently by small and large businesses.

Apple, my bank, the local chess club and the company I work for all send checkup emails and although on the large part I would say they are ignored, it is a common accepted practice that you are not likely to receive much backlash from. That is not to say you will never experience an angry customer, I know of a couple examples from my work's checkup emails where the customer complained or asked for a refund but that is all part of the process and you would just deal with them the same way any other customer complaint, it sounds like you know the laws and have a policy in place already so I'm not going to give advice about that.

What would be the best way to obtain hatch rate data from my customers, if at all?

Although its fine to ask for feedback, obtaining useable data is another thing.

I only have two points so I will try to make it simple. First, there are lots of different ways to ask for feedback in your email so do some research and try and frame it in a way that is best for your scenario. One good way to do this is to try and open a conversation with your questions. My second point is that no matter what you do, an optional email asking customers to respond will not give you hard data. Since you cannot control who decides to respond, and there are a whole plethora of motivations that might cause someone to respond or not which would affect your data set it would be irresponsible to take the numbers received as fact. There is a difference between useful qualitative insight and an accurate statistic.

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It is not intrusive, it is a marketing strategy. All of the leading online vendor plattforms write these kinds of mails, mostly a few weeks after purchase. But make sure that you only contact those customers who agreed to subsequent emails.

Depending on what your goal is, there are different approaches:

Poll

Create a simple poll where customers can rate their satisfaction with the product in 4 - 5 levels. Write a short email with the link to this poll. This probably results in many data points, but little informative value. If a customer gives a low rating, you don't know whether they are dissappointed in the product or the delivery or the payment...

Alternatively, create a poll with several categories like "How satisfied are you with the hatch rate?" and "How satisfied are you with packaging and delivery?"

Inquiry

Write an elaborate email and ask your customers how satisfied they are with their order. The number of answers is a result on its own. If you get no answers, everyone was reasonably satisfied. Only those who really feel like they have to complain will do so. So you have to count the non-replies as positive results and the complains as negative results.

Combined poll and comment

This is probably the best approach, especially if you consider that leading online vendor plattforms use it (think of Amazon or any app store). It gives you many replies, but mostly short ones that don't consume too much time sifting through.

Use it as marketing

You miss a great chance if all you write in a mail to your customer is

Hi, here is a link, please rate my product.

Instead, use this opportunity to show your company in the best light.

Hello dear customer, one month ago you have purchased Product X. Delivering best product quality, great service and achieving highest customer satisfaction are very important to us. That's why we'd like to ask you for your experience with us in our poll.

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