Surveys are a powerful tool for transforming business practices to better satisfy both clients and coworkers. For a B2B organization, surveys can be used for various purposes including: customer satisfaction, market research, product feedback and company culture.
However, creating an engaging survey with a high completion rate can be challenging. Christa Kleinhans-Tuttle, Founder and CEO of Launch Marketing, shared her tips on using the best survey practices for clear results.
Before creating a survey, it is imperative to set an objective. What is the purpose and goal of your survey? Having a clearly defined objective will streamline the process of crafting questions.
Here are three common focus areas for surveys to consider:
- Messaging: The line of communication between company and client should be as clear and approachable as possible. A messaging survey can either influence the direction of messaging development for your brand or validate your current messaging procedures.
- Customer Satisfaction: Understanding levels of customer satisfaction allows businesses to supplement effective tactics and modify those not appealing to customers.
- Product Features/Functionality: If you’re interested in making product improvements or making significant changes to your website, a product-based survey can help identify the gaps in your product and help determine which additional features and functionalities would appeal most to your customers.
Once you’ve determined the direction you want to take, the process of creating survey questions can begin.
Creating the Survey
To ensure the audience completes the entire survey, keep questions focused and simple. Ideally, the survey should take no more than 3-5 minute to complete.
There are two basic types of questions that will appear in a survey: qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative questions are open-ended and require some type of original text response (e.g., “What did you enjoy about working with Launch Marketing?”). Quantitative responses, on the other hand, are answers that can be understood systematically, such as multiple choice options.
Using quantitative questions can simplify survey responses. These types of close-ended questions regulate answers, so the results are understandable and the survey is easy for the audience to complete. Open-ended questions should be used sparingly.
Quantitative questions should all have one clear answer. Avoid using confusing language that may complicate answers. For example, “Do you frequently use a mobile phone and a laptop?” could lead to a variety of answers and could be reworded to provide more insightful data.
Be sure to include a “N/A” option or an “Other” option to with a text box to give your survey recipients additional opportunities to accurately fill out your survey. These answers provide better insight than a non-answer and prevent biases that could arise from forcing participants to choose an inaccurate response.
Finally, all questions should be grouped thematically to guide your participants through the survey. Keeping similar questions together allows participants to complete the survey more quickly. The first questions should be easy and engaging to entice audience members. Demographic information should come last, if necessary.
Rolling Out the Survey to Clients
Once the survey is complete, send it to a small test-group. Testing the survey allows for time to amend questions that the test-group found confusing or that led to unhelpful responses. The survey can then be finalized and sent out.
Send the survey to the right people by identifying the target audience. If the survey is about customer satisfaction or Net Promoter Score (NPS), it should go to all clients. Company cultured-based surveys should be sent to everyone involved with the company. Sending the survey to the target audience will provide the most valuable responses possible.
The survey should include a brief introduction of survey procedures—estimated completion time, if the responses are anonymous, why the survey is being conducted and if there there are any incentives for completing the survey. Consider providing incentives to survey recipients such as a $5 Starbucks gift card, donation to a charity or a copy of the research findings upon completion.
When the survey is complete and the data has been compiled, follow up with respondents about the survey outcomes. Following up validates the relationship between company and customer and shows the respondents that their opinions make a difference. Additionally, customers will be more likely to answer surveys in the future.
Following these procedures will maximize survey responses and provide clear results on messaging, customer satisfaction, and features and functionality, leading to happier clients and better business practices for all.