Article: Asking For Results
From Surveys


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Asking For Results From Surveys

by Dan Ogdon

Do you want to create a user experience that will have your customers wanting to tell your story? Why not ask them how. Surveys can be one of the most effective ways to reach your customers. It answers the “why” of customer interactions with your product or website. Through surveys you are able to ’hear’ the voice of the customer.

Here are a few guidelines to gain results:

Less is More. A simple survey will return more results and a more rapid response time. Fewer questions allow a participant to better present their ideas and concerns more fluidly. Mix up multiple choice and open ended questions. Giving your participants the opportunity to share their opinions in tandem with multiple choice questions will generate the most useful information for you.

Ask the right questions. Avinash Kaushik writes a compelling blog post on his blog, Occam’s Razor <Link:>. He describes three questions every survey should have. Each of these questions can easily be reworded to address most situations and are meant to be used as a guide. The first is, “What is the purpose of your visit?” This asks the basic questions of “how do we know you and why are you here?” The second is, “Were you able to complete your task today?” And the last, “If you were not able to complete your task, why not?” The last question brings the voice of the customer to the forefront and gives you a window into how to improve the customer’s experience. Also, when your questions are thought out and well written you show your customers that you care.

Follow up. You can send a survey after an event, webinar, podcast, you name it, to ask them for feedback. The same three questions above can be applied. By following up immediately, you will be able to gain fresh insight from your participants. You can also add another personal touch by setting up an autoresponder to thank each survey participant. Within the Swiftpage emarketing editor you are able to create your own personal message and set it up to be sent out after a customer completes the survey.

Surveys can be used to reach infrequent customers as well. If you haven’t heard from a customer in a while, send them a survey designed to reach them and offer an incentive (see below) to engage them in returning to your product.

Link, link, link. Are you sending out an event recap email or monthly newsletter? Why not add a link to take your survey. This way you know the exact audience you are reaching. Want to reach an audience outside of your client database? Link to your social media outlets. Send out a tweet asking your followers to take a survey orcreate an update on Facebook to reach your fans. Want to hear feedback from your website? Link to a survey from your home page or target page.

Did somebody say incentive? Sometimes people need a little nudge to share their opinion voluntarily. Create an incentive for your participants – a free trial of your product, an entry into a drawing, discounted event tickets, etc. However, be careful in how you present your incentive. An incentive should be an appealing proposal, but don’t make it so over the top that a person will speed through the survey just to reap the benefits. Target your incentive to your audience so you can get the feedback you need.

Now what? A well thought-out survey will provide you with productive results. Your marketing team should take the results and analyze them. If your survey lends positive feedback, especially in open ended questions, you can use the comments as testimonials to your product, website, event, etc. However, remember before you post the exact quote, it is best to receive permission from the participant. If your survey provides negative feedback, you have the opportunity to act on it. View the not-so-happy comments as an opportunity to take your customer experience to the next level.