The key is designing a survey that’s easy for people to complete and gets to what you really want to know about the people who purchase your product or service.
San Diego, CA (PRWEB) December 11, 2013
In 2014, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York embarks on a first-time Survey of Consumer Expectations. The goal of the nationwide internet-based survey is to "collect timely, rich, and high-quality information on consumer expectations and behaviors."
"Customer surveys are among the most effective way for obtaining first-hand thoughts and opinions about your business," says Jeremy Durant, business principal at Bop Design, a San Diego B2B marketing firm. "The key is designing a survey that’s easy for people to complete and gets to what you really want to know about the people who purchase your product or service."
What goes into the survey?
Start by drafting a list of questions. Then review those questions, deleting any unnecessary wording or phrases. From there, put each individual question to the test – does it absolutely have to be included in the survey or is it just information (like a customer’s name) that would be nice to have? The size of the survey can quickly balloon with too many unnecessary inquiries.
"The goal is getting to your open-ended questions, the biggest potential gold-mine of customer information," Durant says. These are more valuable than multiple-choice questions or answers involving scales ("1-5," "1-10", etc.). To make the task of responding less intimidating, Durant advises following up a well-crafted yes/no question with something along the lines of "Why do you feel this way?" At the same time, never ask more than one question at a time, as in, "Why do you feel this way? Have you always had this opinion? What would make you change your mind?"
For the best feedback, keep these additional tips in mind:
- Eliminate language that comes with built-in assumptions ("What are your thoughts on our state-of-the-art LCD display?").
- Delete all jargon or industry-only words that most customers won’t know.
- Ask for specific feedback or the survey will generate answers like "I really like it!" which offers no beneficial insights.
Encouraging customer participation
"When the survey’s ready to go, spread the word everywhere you can," Durant says. "This includes announcements on your business website and at the conclusion of blog posts (with a call-to-action), in your email newsletter and your email signature, as well as on all of your social networks. The more participation you get, the more helpful your results will be."
There’s no across-the-board consensus on the best day of the week to send the survey. According to the results of a 2011 SurveyMonkey study, the highest open and click-through rates took place on Monday, Friday and Sunday, respectively. A survey by UK-based ServiceTick suggests that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to send out an email survey, "with Friday being the worst." SoGoSurvey Blog says, "Focus on Wednesdays and Thursdays—you’re competing with fewer emails and lighter work schedules."
Given the difference in recommendations, a common-sense approach might work best. Try sending out the survey on a Monday afternoon or distribute sometime on Sunday.
Finally, to encourage greater customer response, think about offering an incentive to complete the survey. Typical giveaways include store credit or discounted service. The incentive should be designed so customers must complete the survey before becoming eligible for the reward.
Follow-up is crucial
There’s no point to devising and distributing a survey if you don’t take action on the results. This includes making contact with individuals after they’ve responded to the survey. "A call from a company representative can make a great impression on customers," Durant says. "It’s a clear signal that your business genuinely cares about what customers have to say and that you’re eager to act on their feedback."
Bop Design is a San Diego web design agency with offices also in Orange County, CA and the New York metro area. Specializing in B2B marketing, Bop Design creates holistic marketing plans geared toward lead generation and business development. Bop Design offers services in branding, logo design, website design and development, responsive web design, SEO, PPC, social media, and content marketing. http://www.bopdesign.com.