Now is the time to keep a stranglehold on your most loyal customers. The best way to do that: Have a crystal-clear picture of their likes, dislikes, wants and needs.
A well-executed survey can be worth its weight in gold. Problem is, most companies do it wrong. Here are three ways to get it right:
- Have a gameplan. Like anything else, a proper survey should have a clear objective. Whether you’re trying to boost customer service or gather key info on your target market, every single question on the survey should be tailored toward achieving that goal.
- Find your best fit. Not only can surveys be remarkably effective, they don’t have to cost much. In fact, there are plenty of free services out there that may help you accomplish the goal without paying a dime. And if you’re looking for a more detailed report, many of the free-survey Web sites have paid upgrades.
Here are two of the more popular survey-design sites that offer both free and priced survey production:
- Avoid common pitfalls. When it comes to creating the actual questions, here are survey sins to steer clear of:
Way too many questions. Most people are willing to spend a maximum of ten minutes on a survey — plan your questions accordingly. (To add to this, be up front: Asking people to take a brief survey and then throwing 60 questions at them probably won’t get you the results you want.)
Leading questions. It’s very easy set up survey questions in a way that sways a respondent to answer in a certain way. Be extra careful of that from the start.
Open-ended questions. Multiple choice or questions that end with a yes, no or hell no are easier to track and interpret than the ones that invite respondents to go off on long, possibly unrelated tangents.