Customer and client surveys are a great way to learn more about what you’re doing well, what you could do better, and what really doesn’t work. Survey Monkey is a great tool for online survey creation, delivery, and even data analysis. While Survey Monkey is a great resource, there are steps you can take to maximize the benefit you receive from the process.
Know What You Want to Know
Before you design a survey, know how you plan to use the information. This may seem obvious, but a surprising number of businesses waste survey opportunities by asking questions that are too broad, too biased, or are selected by committee. In these cases, the surveys are unsuccessful in generating actionable information either because they don’t ask the right questions or become too long or disjointed and receive few responses.
There are several types of surveys used to generate meaningful and actionable information and the four most common are:
General Marketing Surveys: will seek to collect data that shows how a business is highly rated by customers, has a great reputation among clients, or is well-recognized in its field of competitors to be used in its marketing materials. This is often a broad survey of general questions designed to get a general feel of the company with regard to the community.
Client/Customer Education Surveys: allow a company to subtly market a new or underused program or service to its customer base. The questions are about a specific program, product or feature and inform the survey base about the benefits of the chosen topic through a questionnaire process. The goal is to increase the usage or purchase of the item/service in question.
Decision Making Surveys: requests customer input on a decision being made within the company, such as expansion or addition of a location, product or service. While this won’t be the only tool used to make the decision, it can add important insight and must include unbiased questions to provide meaningful information.
Feedback Surveys: are most often used if there has been a significant decrease in the use or purchase of a product or service offered by the company. The questions need to be as objective as possible to allow the company to determine if the goods/service can be modified to improve customer selection or if it should be discontinued.
Know Who You Want to Ask
Surveys need responses and you will maximize your Survey Monkey experience if you are clear who you want to receive your survey. The more general you goal, i.e. general marketing purposes, the broader your target base will be. However, for more specific surveys may have a smaller target base and elicit fewer responses, but you will receive quality information.
Know When You Need More Surveys
One survey cannot address every need and can become too confusing or long for survey takers to want to complete. The longer the survey, the fewer responses you will receive. Creating more than one survey will help you target each one to a specific goal and elicit more responses. You will want to spread the surveys out over time or send different ones to different target audience groups to keep people from ignoring them.
Let People Know Why You Want to Know
In most cases, tell your target audience the purpose of your survey, especially when it is for decision making purposes, i.e. you want to add or discontinue a product, service or location. Telling them the purpose of the survey will help them feel engaged, flattered and invested in the outcome, and thus your business.
Use What You Now Know
Use the data you collected for the purpose you intended. This may seem obvious, but a surprising number of businesses collect the information and don’t take any further steps. The information received may conflict with internal corporate goals or not meet expectations. Rather than ignore the information, use it to challenge unproductive beliefs or to address the disconnect between how the company views a situation versus how the public does. Public or corporate education may hold the key to greater overall success.
Knowledge is power only if the knowledge is accurate. Survey Monkey can help you gain the accurate knowledge you need to achieve your business goals.
This post was written by Leah Faul, marketing director of Onlinefaxes.com. A company that stands on it’s ability to understand and know their customers like no other in the faxing industry.