Surveys are one of the easiest ways for a company to receive feedback. They help drive your business forward in more ways than one and can be an easy part of helping you make decisions as a company. In the past, collecting data was a long and strenuous process. However, recently, receiving feedback from your customers, employees, or even the general market has become easier than ever before. Surveys are an essential part of growth, and we're here to show you how you can create the perfect survey to help your business grow.
Surveys have a variety of important uses. They make it easy to gather the information you need to make informed decisions for your business. Rather than trying to guess what your customers need or want, what better way than to ask them yourself? By asking the right questions, you can find vital information you might not have otherwise known, such as what customers think about your current business tactics, new trends, feedback on new product ideas, what people are saying about your competition—the list goes on! Your customers’ feedback can be one of the most valuable tools you can use for your company’s success, and surveys are one of the easiest ways to obtain that information.
Many different factors go into the creation of a successful survey. Before you can even begin, you’ll want to define the goal of the information you are looking to understand. No matter if you’re looking for ways you can improve overall as a business or if you would like insight into the interest of new products and services, setting a goal will help you shape the rest of the questions that follow.
The best way to get customers motivated to fill out a survey is by offering an incentive. For example, if you are at a restaurant and asked to fill out a survey, most of the time, you don’t feel inclined to take the time to fill out their survey. However, let’s say they offered a free dessert along with the completion of the survey. You may then feel a little bit more incentivized to give them your feedback. The same concept holds true for your own business. Encouraging responses with positive reinforcement can help tremendously in getting the volume of feedback you are looking for and lets your customers know that you are thankful for the time they took to help you.
Let’s be honest, no one wants to spend a long time filling out a survey. Often customers are only willing to give no longer than 5 minutes of their time to fill out a survey. With only a short amount of time to gather all the information you need, it is essential to ask your most important questions concisely. When creating survey questions, you want to be sure that you ask questions that directly relate to your goals. It is also best to avoid any double-barreled questions asking for feedback on two separate topics as these can often be confusing and give inaccurate feedback information. For example, if you were asking your customers if you should offer more t-shirts and tennis shoes, you may misinterpret some of the feedback because you are asking about two different things.
One of the most common ways to skew feedback on a survey is by asking leading questions. Questions that encourage the respondent to answer a certain way can cause biases that don’t tell you what they’re really thinking. Be sure to ask questions that don’t encourage one answer over another or imply that there is a correct answer.
Besides your survey’s focused goal, another main goal is to make sure that your customers fill it out to completion. To help encourage this behavior, we suggest leaving the personal questions until the end. Engaging them with the survey before you begin asking questions like, “how old are you” will help them feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings on your business. For many these personal questions may still feel overly invasive; in this case, we suggest offering ranges so that your customer does not feel like they have to give up their privacy.
Speaking of keeping your customers engaged, another practice that helps with this factor is to include close-ended questions. Offering multiple-choice questions allows your customers to click through their options with ease. If you do need to ask any open-ended questions, limit it to no more than 2 and make sure they don’t require an answer. Remember, they are doing you a favor by filling out your survey, and you don’t want them to leave before they complete it.
Overall, surveys are an excellent way to get the information you are looking for quickly and easily. Remember to preview your survey and even let a friend take it as a test run before sending it out. Surveys are there to help inform your business. Keep an open mind when reviewing the answers you get back and allow yourself to grow with your customers’ help!
Mary Vasek is a Marketing Specialist and writer for Atwill Media. She graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with a Minor in Business Management.
When not at work, she enjoys spending quality time with friends, music events, and hiking.