Asking your customers for feedback can be scary—trust me, I know! Most years, I ask my customers and community to complete the Savvy Shopkeeper survey. 

While getting feedback directly from the people I serve can be nerve-wracking, it’s an overwhelmingly positive experience. 

Read on to learn how you can fill out this year’s Savvy Shopkeeper Survey along with my best tips for conducting a feedback survey in your indie retail business. 

The 2024 Savvy Shopkeeper Survey

Normally, I conduct a survey for Savvy Shopkeeper each year. I missed last year, though, so this is a bit overdue.

Conducting this survey is a way for me to hear directly from YOU. Whether you read the blog, listen to the podcast, subscribe to the newsletter, own the digital planner, or are a member of Master Shopkeepers, your opinion matters to me. I want to hear about your struggles, your wins, and learn how I can best help you work smarter, profit more, and grow!

This year’s survey has checkboxes, multiple-choice questions, and some open-ended questions. The easy questions are required and most of the open-ended questions are optional.

Take the Savvy Shopkeeper Survey and Get Entered to Win a Prize

As a special thank you for completing the survey, I’ll be giving away a $50 gift card to the Savvy Shopkeeper Marketplace! When you complete the survey you’ll have a chance to win a $50 gift card that you can use at the marketplace.

In the marketplace, you can buy templates, merch (like a Be Savvy Boss Up scoop neck t-shirt), tumblers, totes, and more. Or, you could save the gift card for the next Savvy Shopkeeper Digital Planner coming this summer!

For every 50 responses I receive, I’ll give away one gift card.

The Savvy Shopkeeper Survey is Open Until February 12 at 4 PM EST

Of course, your privacy is important to me. Your responses will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.

The survey will close on February 12, 2024, at 4 PM EST. That means you only have FOUR days to complete the survey.

What Happens After the Savvy Shopkeeper Survey?

The podcast and the blog are forms of one-way communication. I’m talking to you, but you’re not talking much to me unless you send me emails or DM me on Instagram. 

When I publish a survey, I get to hear from you AND I create a follow-up episode to summarize some of the things I learned. The follow-up episode is valuable to you, too!

When I share stories, especially about other indie retailers, you can feel validated or just enjoy that it’s relatable. These stories help store owners feel less lonely—and remind you that you’re not the only one experiencing certain thoughts or feelings. 

On occasion, readers and listeners even have aha moments from what I share in the Savvy Shopkeeper survey follow-up episodes! 

Ready to take the survey and enter to win a $50 gift card to the Savvy Shopkeeper Marketplace? Visit

Why You Should Survey Customers in Your Indie Retail Store

There’s so much value in surveying your store customers! 

Perhaps you haven’t thought about doing a survey before. Or maybe you have…and you’re afraid of what your customers might say. 

savvy shopkeeper survey

Surveying Your Customers Will Test Your Small Business Fortitude

Yes, you may hear criticism. Yes, you will be challenged. And yes, reading survey results can feel like a huge heap of rejection.

Dealing with irrelevant or unkind feedback on a customer survey is possible. But remember, you don’t have to take ANY of it personally. 

How to Manage Customer Survey Feedback

Building your rejection muscle to manage all of these survey response scenarios will leave you better equipped to navigate obstacles and learn from experiences. Here are a few ways that I’ve learned to manage my feelings when reading survey responses.

Maintain Professionalism

Regardless of the tone or content of the feedback, respond (if necessary!) in a professional manner. Avoid getting defensive or emotional. 

I know, easier said than done! But you’ll continue to build a relationship with your customers who had a less-than-positive experience and show that you’re willing to grow.

Separate Emotion from Response

Take a step back and separate your emotions from the feedback. 

Focus on the substance of the comments rather than the tone. Whether it’s a negative review or an upset customer who sent an email, I now know the best thing for ME to do is to wait to respond. Wait until I cool off. Wait until it’s a better time. Wait until maybe I’m not overwhelmed or frustrated—because negative words have a habit of landing at the worst times.

Identify Valid Points

Look beyond the delivery and try to identify any valid points or constructive criticism within the feedback. There may be valuable insights hidden behind negative language. 

I’ve also learned that if someone else’s words trigger BIG emotions in me, I need to pause, dig deep, and ask myself WHY.

Consider Trends, Not Isolated Cases

If similar unkind feedback is received from multiple sources, consider whether there might be a common issue or pattern that needs addressing.

Filter Out Irrelevant Information

If the feedback contains irrelevant information, determine if ANY aspects are relevant to your business and its improvement. Disregard personal attacks or unrelated comments.

Acknowledge the Feedback

Sometimes, you may want to acknowledge the feedback. 

You might be thinking, “But it’s a survey, I don’t have to respond!” However, expressing appreciation for your customer’s time and input can strengthen that customer’s relationship with you and your store. 

When I receive feedback that can help my business improve, I often reach out and say thank you—even if the delivery of the feedback triggers big emotions for me. Can you say humble pie? 

To be clear, though, I don’t respond to feedback that’s plain old mean or irrelevant. There’s a clear difference between “good intentions, poor delivery” and “taking out my feelings on a small business owner.”

Seek Clarification (if needed)

If the feedback is unclear or seems extreme, consider reaching out to the customer for clarification. You’ll show them you take their feedback seriously and want to understand their concerns.

Respond Privately (if necessary)

If the feedback involves a specific issue that you’d like to resolve, consider responding privately to the customer. That way you can address their concerns and come to a solution together.

Highlight Positive Aspects

Use ALL the positive elements in the feedback to help you maintain a balanced perspective. Most, or maybe all, of the customer feedback you’ll receive will be positive! You’ll get so much customer love.

Use Feedback for Improvement

After reading through the survey responses, managing your emotions, and reaching out to any customers who need a response, you’ll be in a good place to look at the bigger picture. 

What can you improve based on the feedback you’ve gotten? Could your customer experience use some work? Should you be looking at your business systems and processes? There’s always something to work on when owning an indie retail store!

Review Your Survey Design

Lastly, assess whether the survey design could have contributed to the unhelpful or irrelevant feedback. Make adjustments to future surveys if necessary.

savvy shopkeeper survey

Surveying Your Customers is an Excellent Way to Build Trust

With a survey, it is essential to focus on how you can improve your business, learn from valid criticism, be grateful for all the positive feedback, and, of course, be proud of what you’ve built! 

It’s also critical to maintain a positive and professional approach in your responses. By doing so, you’ll continue to build trust and strengthen your relationships with your customers—especially those who just want to be heard.

If you’re a member of Master Shopkeepers, there’s a sample customer survey for store owners in The Lab. It’s a Google form that you can copy with one click, then edit for your needs and store. You can access it here or search for “customer survey” in The Lab.

Not a member of Master Shopkeepers? Apply to join our territory-protected, community-focused retail training and coaching mastermind! 

Thanks in Advance for Completing the 2024 Savvy Shopkeeper Survey!

I know how busy you all are. In years past, I’ve always been blown away by how many of you completed the Savvy Shopkeeper survey. I DO appreciate it! 

If you can, please take a few minutes to complete the survey before it closes on February 12, 2024, at 4 PM EST. 

You’ll get entered into the gift card drawing if you enter your email address, as it’s the only way I can reach out to you if you win. If you’d prefer to complete the survey anonymously, just leave the last question blank.



  • [00:56] The 2024 Savvy Shopkeeper Survey
  • [05:31] Why You Should Survey Customers in Your Indie Retail Store
  • [06:50] How to Manage Customer Survey Feedback
  • [15:04] Surveying Your Customers is an Excellent Way to Build Trust
  • [16:01] Thanks in Advance for Completing the 2024 Savvy Shopkeeper Survey!

Connect With Kathy

Kathy Cruz is an Independent Retail Coach who helps store owners work smarter, profit more, and grow their brick and mortar businesses. 

Connect with Kathy and learn more here:

Instagram: @savvyshopkeeper
Mastermind Group: Master Shopkeepers

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