By David Henzel, CEO of LTVplus 

One common trait that unites entrepreneurs is the desire to build a billion-dollar behemoth that services tens of millions of customers per year. Business owners have so much to consider on their path to this goal. For example, they are going to have to think about their marketing strategy, the products they are offering and their website design.

There's a common thread woven through all of these different categories and more: customer expectations. The possibility of creating a successful business starts with your customers and potential prospects who could benefit from your product or service. The big question here is, how you can leverage the experiences, thoughts and personalities of your customers to build a booming business?

You may be surprised to learn that the answer is shockingly simple -- put out a customer satisfaction survey to steer you in the right direction.

Ask pointed questions to identify pain points.

There are ways you can edge toward a business model that solves most problems in a particular niche by asking pointed questions. Instead of asking general questions like, "How would you rate your experience?" try specific questions that give you tangible data that you can use to improve your products and customer service. Here are some excellent questions to get you started:

  • Were you able to find everything you were looking for? If no, please explain.
  • Are there any specific quality of life changes you would like to see in future products?
  • How can we improve your experience when you shop with us?

All of these questions are very specific and provoke a complaint or compliment that you can measure. For instance, if you notice that 80 percent of the customers who complete the survey ask for a certain feature, it's a safe bet that a majority of potential customers feel the same way. Use this information when developing your next update or creating a new product to resolve the pain points experienced by customers.

Make it personal.

There are multiple ways you can make the customer survey process personal. For example, have you ever received a survey request from an Amazon seller three months after your purchase? You likely stared blankly at the title or perhaps had to look at your order history so you could figure out what on earth this person was talking about.

You never want to make your customers feel that way. When someone makes a purchase on your website, promptly send them a customer service survey so they can participate. Depending on the type of good, you may want to wait between 24 hours and a week so they can have time to use and experience your product or service.

Growing your business with a customer survey requires you to be prompt and personal. If you want to build brand loyalty among your customers, consider responding to the people who took the time to complete the survey. It doesn't have to be a long, drawn-out email. Sometimes something simple like, "Thank you so much for your feedback. We've been thinking about taking a look at (Problem), and we hope to resolve it soon!" This small gesture gives the customer a feeling of satisfaction and will keep them interested enough to come back for future purchases.

Analyze data and make changes.

Once you've received a substantial number of customer surveys, it's time to take action. Analyze the data and use what you've learned to improve your business model. For instance, if there are a large number of customers unhappy about making an account to make a purchase, you may want to consider adding a guest checkout option for speed and convenience.

Alternatively, if you notice that a large number of customers have the same problem, and your product doesn't address that issue, perhaps it's time to take a look at your product or service so you can make the appropriate changes. Here's a simple example: Let's say you have a website that teaches bloggers how to make money with their website. Your content doesn't feature much on affiliate marketing, but a vast majority of your customers want to make money using this method. That's a clear sign that you need to shift the direction of your blog.

The most important lesson you can take away from a customer satisfaction survey is there's always room for improvement. You would be hard pressed to find a business that is truly an all-in-one package. As you generate sales and send out surveys, you'll begin to develop a customer satisfaction formula that will help you improve your current business model.

David Henzel is the CEO of LTVplus, a company providing managed live chat services for e-commerce businesses to increase conversion rates.