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Thursday
Apr122012

Effective Surveys

 

Allowing Customers to Voice Their Opinions:

Surveys might not be the most exciting or edgy thing ever. They've been around for ages as a way to get direct feedback from customers, and they continue to persevere. When I think about it, I get asked to take surveys and give my feedback on various services and technologies quite often. 

While old fashioned, a well-prepared survey can be very effective. Today I'll go through some of the steps to make sure your survey will ultimately provide the feedback you are looking for from your customers. 

The first step in effective surveying is to build the survey with the end result in mind. Then gather the necessary questions that will arrive at this end result. Surveys that are too broad and that reach too large of an audience are unlikely to be of much use. It's better to focus the scope of the survey on a specific result. 

Also, make sure that the questions relate directly to an action you plan to take in the near future. Quesitons about planned actions or changes will give you a more well-rounded plan of action to implement fully. Or customers can also give you ideas of how not to approach your plans.

Investigate your customer demographics so you can tailor the survey exactly to your customer base and yet still get a variety of opinions by targeting multiple groups. Then take your questions and ask them from the customer reference point. Think about how the customer will interact with your product through every step of the process.

Make sure not to mislead customers into thinking that you'll be making changes you have no plans to implement. Asking questions that are not directly related to changes you plan to implement or are too vague may set expectations for customers that could lead to disappointment if they're not met.

And finally, leave some room for the customers to voice their needs and wants. You might get some ideas that you hadn't thought of yet.  

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