By Ryan Malone

 

How does your business get feedback from its customers? If you answered, “I don’'t know,” then you could be missing out on crucial information that can increase customer satisfaction and revenue.

Online surveys are a quick and easy way to engage with your customers and gain insight about how they view your business. Survey results will help your business to refine its offerings and better meet customer needs.

The Benefits of Online Surveys

Use a survey to ask customers for feedback about your customer service, shipping, pricing, products and services. A good time to ask for general feedback is right after a purchase or shipment receipt.

Content marketers can use surveys to find out which topics readers want to read about in future blog posts and articles. Or a survey can reveal how new customers found out about your business. Now that Google withholds information about its logged in users, many businesses see their biggest source of online traffic listed as “not provided” in Google Analytics. An online poll can provide more insight into where these “not provided” visitors are coming from.

Finally, a survey can help segment an email marketing list. Find out more about your email subscribers, including what types of messages they are most interested in receiving. This will decrease unsubscribes and increase email click-throughs and conversions.

4 Tips for Building Successful Surveys
When you are ready to implement surveys as a part of your online marketing strategy, keep these four tips in mind:

 

1. Keep it Simple and Focused

Think about what you want to learn with a survey. Work backwards from your goals and only include questions that target your desired information. For example, if your goal is to improve your shipping costs and times, then don’t ask questions about the customer’s social media usage. Limit extraneous questions and form fields, which may deter customers from participating.

 

2. Phrase Questions Objectively

Many marketers fall into the trap of writing emotional or confusing questions that lead to skewed results. When writing questions and answers, try to be as unbiased as possible. This post from SurveyMonkey, an online survey-building platform, shares best practices for effective survey construction.

 

3. Incentivize Participation

To increase the number of survey participants, offer a discount code or give away a high-value item to one lucky participant. Customers who see a free iPad giveaway or an offer for 20 percent off will be more motivated to participate.  If you don’t already have a comprehensive customer email list, a survey linked with a contest or give away can help you to capture more email addresses.

 

4. Say Thank You

When a customer completes a survey, they’ve spent time thinking about your business and engaging with your brand. Say thank you! Send the customer an email with a note of thanks and an offer code for a discount or free ebook or content download. This will leave the customer with a lasting positive impression of your business.

To get started with online surveys we recommend the following form providers: SurveyMonkey, Google Forms and Wufoo. What will you ask your customers about first?


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Ryan Malone

About the author

Ryan Malone is the founder and CEO of SmartBug Media and is a veteran of Deloitte & Touche, Seagate and several venture-backed technology companies. When he's not leading SmartBug and helping clients build high-octane marketing organizations, he's loving his wife and daughters and unsuccessfully learning the guitar. Go Terps! Read more articles by Ryan Malone.

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