If you read our content regularly, you will know how much value we place on customer research. It is the foundation on which successful growth strategies and digital marketing campaigns are built on.
The Case For Online Surveys
One of the most efficient ways of collecting customer data is online surveys. Not only are they relatively inexpensive when compared to alternatives, but they are also convenient for the user/customer. Finally, they provide a wealth of data that is hard to match by other (non-digital) means.
Well crafted and executed online surveys will give your sales, marketing, and product/service teams invaluable customer information and insights into emerging trends.
For example, here are the types of feedback you can collect using online surveys:
- Market research
- Product potential
- Service likes and dislikes
- Product satisfaction
- Support expectations
- Net Promoter Score (measure customer loyalty and relationship)
- Areas of improvement
- User experience
- Loyalty programs
NOTE: Online survey solutions are also well suited for internal (employee) surveys - helping you keep a pulse on your company's culture.
Which Online Survey Solution/Product Is Right For You?
SurveyMonkey is the most popular solution, and for good reasons, but it does not mean it is the best solution for your business. With that in mind, we recommend you look at a few well know (and proven) options before you make your final decision.
A few well known online survey solutions (listed alphabetically)
These are all great survey platforms, but which specific platform is best for your business will depend on your particular requirements.
Here are a few key features to compare:
- Available Templates
- Social media integration (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.)?
- Response Reminders
- Sharing/Collaboration tools
- Mobile compatibility (can the survey be completed on a mobile device?)
- Export format (e.g. CSV, Excel, PDF, Word, HTML, Google Sheets, XML, etc.)?
Most online survey platforms use SaaS (software as a service) business model; therefore, a monthly subscription is the norm. And the price you pay is dictated by two key factors - features and the number of users.
With online surveys, most small businesses should expect to pay between ($30-$100/mo). These are often starter plans, but more than adequate for most small businesses. And companies with larger teams should expect to pay $200 or more per month.
Most online survey solutions offer a trial or free version.
Survey Creating Tips
Creating an actual online survey is not difficult - all solutions we mentioned are polished and easy to use; however, the magic sauce is in the questions and not the platform itself.
- Only ask the questions that align with your survey goals
- Surveys with ten questions or less do best (in most cases)
- Limit low-value questions ("Yes" and "No" type of questions)
- Open-ended questions provide the most insight, but they can be demanding (for the user and survey reviewer)
- Avoid leading questions
- Timing is of utmost importance (spend time analyzing the best time to send your survey)
- Always test your new survey on a small group, before you distribute it to everyone else
- Offering an incentive to complete the survey always helps
There are many different avenues a business can use to collect customer information, but there are not many that can match online surveys for their simplicity, speed of execution, and affordability.
And some of the products we mentioned in this article are free to try, so we strongly encourage you to try them, because the insights you will gain from conducting online surveys are extremely valuable.