When it comes to surveys I’m all about keeping it simple. I’ve done it the hard way and simple seems to work better for me. That’s why when I talk about simple survey solutions for small business owners I almost always go with the email route.
Look – if you are just getting started online or offline, keep it simple. For that matter – if you are more advanced and have lots of experience, keep it simple.
How to survey customers and prospects is so much easier today than ever before but I want you to understand that you can overdo a survey and this just happened to me.
In a recent email the publisher of our regional business journal sent us a generic survey that was so broad it seemed liked they were fishing for information and it just kept going on and on and on. Overall this survey looked like it was generated by the advertising department to see which areas we subscribers were interested in. Not only was the survey generic and long but it didn’t show any personalization or have any followup built in.
Surveys are great for data mining and better connecting with your subscribers and clients but each survey should be finely tuned, short, concise and to the point. That way you can achieve higher responses, better connectivity and ultimately more sales.
Remember you are always looking to connect with your subscribers and surveys can work for or against you. So be mindful of this as you develop your surveys and implement them in your small business.
Ask pertinent and relevant questions that your subscribers and customers will be open to respond to. This way you’ll have more than enough responses to the survey which should help you accomplish whatever it is you set out to do.
Now before I go any further I’m going to bring it up again and reiterate that a sale is a fragile thing and can break at any time. So you as a business owner, who is building a list of subscribers and customers, needs to keep this in mind every step of the way. Because the last thing you need is an ugly or long winded survey to come in and destroy all your hard work and cause a sale to be lost or delayed.
So here are Four Survey Options you might want to consider:
1. Email Survey are the best because you can use your email auto responder to do the heavy lifting and all you need to do is write a really simple message to your subscribers and clients. This message could be as simple as asking your subscriber for help and then listing a few questions.
2. Physical surveys work well if you happen to be a merchant, service provider or business with physical offices or location that has foot traffic on a continual basis. Physical surveys can be implemented through hand outs, mail, in person on a tablet, and even the good ole’ fax(I know it’s really old school but some businesses still use it).
3. Phone Surveys are a great way to connect especially when you’re speaking to and have the person live. There’s nothing like having a live human being on the other end of the phone so why not ask a few questions and find out what your prospects and customers like, dislike and throw out a few marketing questions if time permits.
4. Online Software is the last on my list because it’s the most complicated to implement and response rates might not be what you expect. This is not to say that online survey software isn’t good. Many companies use online software and must have good to great results. So if you as a business owner should decide to use online survey software – just make sure to shop around and do some testing before you dive in.