Conducting a survey is a great way to learn more about your customers and gain actionable insights that you can use throughout all areas of your organization. However, undertaking a customer survey can be a daunting project, involving a considerable investment of time and money. To make sure that your survey yields the results you are looking for, there are six critical steps to follow. In part one of this series, we’ll cover the first three.
1. Develop the survey questions
When developing questions for a survey, it can be tempting to include queries covering all areas of your business. However, it is important to keep the survey short in order to garner as many complete responses as possible, as survey drop off increases as the length of the survey increases. Try to stay focused on a few key areas versus a wider range of topics.
Questions for online surveys should be formatted as multiple choice responses as much as possible. This type of question is easy for respondents to complete, reducing the number of drop-offs that are typically seen when too many open-ended questions are used. If open-ended questions are used, try to keep them towards the end of the survey to discourage people from dropping off in the middle of the survey. With phone surveys; however, you can ask in-depth open-ended questions without risking too much of a drop-off in responses.
2. Build a list of contacts
When building a list of key contacts, it is important that the list is large enough so that you will receive enough responses as you need. You should also be prepared to compile additional names if you are unable to gather your target number of surveys with the first set of names.
Your sample audience should be comprised of companies or individuals that are representative of your entire customer set. For instance, if you have a customer set split equally among enterprise-sized, medium-sized and small-sized companies, your survey sample should also be comprised of the same proportion of each.
Additionally, if you are using a third-party to conduct your interviews, it is a good idea to have someone from your company reach out ahead of time to let your customer know to expect a call or email. This early introduction usually results in a higher response rate when scheduling interviews.
3. Gather responses
Whether your survey is conducted over the phone or online, sending an email to potential respondents can be an effective method of garnering responses. For phone surveys, you can then follow-up with phone calls to schedule those you have not heard from yet.
Once you launch the survey, you should continually monitor the number of responses and look for any areas of steep drop-off. If you notice any areas that are troubling, you may want to adjust your strategy accordingly.
If you are concerned about reaching your quota of responses, consider offering an incentive to respondents. This could be a small gift card or percentage off discount. Alternatively, you can structure the giveaway to be a drawing for a large prize.
In part two of this blog series, we’ll cover the final three steps to take after you have gathered all of the survey responses.