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Online Surveys Are a Great Way to Get Customer Feedback

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 10:05am | by Helen Hoart

Curious about what your customers think about your product? Want to get some additional product ideas? Looking to gauge your customers’ interest in a new product? Consider sending out an online survey.  Surveys have become easier and much less expensive to do and can yield valuable information about your customers' likes and dislikes.

Here are a few basics to remember:

Before you design your survey:

·         Clearly articulate the goals of your survey. Why are you running a survey? What, specifically, will you do with the survey results? How will the information help you improve your customer's experience with your company or product?

·         Make sure that each question will give you the right kind of feedback to achieve your survey goals.

·         Consider pre-testing the survey. Invite several trusted customers to take the survey and give you feedback.

Survey design:

·         The opening should introduce the survey, explain who is collecting the feedback and why. You should also include some reasons for participation, and share details about the confidentiality of the information you are collecting.

·         The introduction should set expectations about survey length and estimate the time it will take someone to complete.

·         Opening questions should be easy to answer, to increase participant trust and encourage them to continue answering questions.

·         Don’t ask about two different things in one question. Example:  How often do you shop at XYZ and what do you usually buy?  Instead, break these into two different questions.

·         Ensure questions are relevant to participants, to reduce abandonment.

·         To minimize confusion, questions should follow a logical flow, with similar questions grouped together.

·         Keep your survey short and to the point - fewer questions will deliver a higher response rate.

·         If you have sensitive questions, or questions requesting personal information, include them towards the end of the survey, after trust has been built.

·         Thank your participants after they've completed the survey.

Surveys can be done annually or bi-annually. After you've completed the first survey you can use it as a benchmark for the later surveys.

If you’re using an online survey tool consider resending the survey a week later if you feel you want a higher response.  The tool should be able to suppress the addresses of those who have already responded.

Online survey tools are reasonably prices. My favorite is SurveyMonkey.

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