Surveys have been in use for a long time since the colonial era by various colonial administrations including the British because they believed that a country had to be properly known before it could be effectively administered.
In fact, businesses around the globe have been using surveys as a medium to connect with their customers on a day-to-day basis as it provides a high level of general capability in representing a large population’s attitude & behavioral patterns.
Moreover, surveys can be used at any stage of a marketing campaign: in the preliminary stages to help shape the strategy; during a campaign’s run to see how the public feels about it, and in the post-launch stage to gather feedback. Consequently, surveys help enterprises in making informed decisions and planning a strategy based on the insights gained from the collected data.
Surveys are incredibly effective for businesses in identifying the areas of friction in the customer experience both internally and externally by asking the right questions to the right set of audience. This will help them to improve their processes and it leads to higher growth rates and an increase in revenue compared to peer businesses that don’t have corrective feedback by means of surveys.
When do surveys become ineffective particularly for businesses?
First of all, surveys should be rather compelling to engage involuntarily instead of being inflicted.
According to OpinionLab,72% of Customers said surveys interfere with their experience of a website. This particularly translates to the fact that the customers are mostly enforced to take up surveys within the websites which were primarily aimed to create a smooth digital experience to customers but failing its purpose.
Secondly, taking surveys shouldn’t demand much time and energy from the respondent. If the survey requires more time and energy, then the quality of data and the attention of respondents greatly diminish. For best results, avoid surveys that require more than ten minutes of the customer’s time unless you have a specific reason or you offer an incentive for completing the survey.
And Third, in particular, when surveys are conducted via web forms and links are emailed for responses, their corresponding response rates are very poor due to the fear of phishing and spam emails. So, try to publish surveys in custom domains which offers a sense of credibility to your marketing emails.
Fourth, surveys containing questions that are too vague and that contain closed-ended responses are prone to attract a lot of irrelevant responses that will render the existing data useless for analytics. Try to be clear and precise in framing questions that don’t allow room for any self-interpretation. Moreover, questions should have open-ended responses which require little mental effort so that respondents don’t take up surveys in auto-pilot mode.
And Finally, surveys that require some sort of confidential information (e.g: personal contact details) to be shared also get lower response rates. Also, the anonymity of surveys allows respondents to answer with more candid and valid answers. Surveys conducted anonymously provide an avenue for more honest and unambiguous responses than other types of research methodologies, especially if it is clearly stated that survey answers will remain completely confidential.
Creating engaging surveys with online survey tools
There are a lot of tools available over the internet in which I am listing a few popular ones.
SurveyMonkey is probably a well known online survey tool.It provides a free account or as well as a paid account. Essentially, the free account includes their branding, limits the size of your survey and only allows you limited question types and a linear flow (i.e. no logic).
The pros of using SurveyMonkey:
However, if you opt for SurveyMonkey as your preferred survey tool then you should also know its cons:
It simply means that for using every professional survey tool feature, you will have to unlock the payment wall at first that can turn this tool into a commercially usable one.
SurveyGizmo is a relatively unknown survey tool (relative to SurveyMonkey). The proposition is very similar to Survey Monkey. Again, there is a free account which limits the use in a similar way to SurveyMonkey. Also like SurveyMonkey, the paid options turn this online survey tool into mean data collection machine!
The best bits of SurveyGizmo:
However, the downside of using this survey tool are:
This tool provides a bit extra features in the free account compared to Survey Monkey in terms of data export but restricts other features.
Zoho Survey is also an established survey tool which has similar features to SurveyMonkey. It also offers a free account but limits the use in a similar way as in Survey Monkey. Again,this tool has paid options which translates it to data research workhorse.
The best bits of Zoho Survey:
However, the downside of using this survey tool are:
Survey Suit is a relatively new survey tool into the competition targeting enterprise level customers. It provides a competitive pricing strategy and even better features in its free account. Also,the product offers the ease of customisation to the customers to choose their own questionnaire from scratch without any biases in surveying and personal branding at free of cost.
The major features/pros of the product are enlisted below:
The product offers the piping logic available in the paid version of similar competitive products at free of cost where in the surveyor can choose to pipeline certain questions based on the currently answered option.
This is one of the exclusive features of the product which allows the user to provide feedback by means of audio/voice. The audio feedback is processed through NLP and segregated into various categories of suggestions,complaints & compliments that can be viewed in the dashboard as below
This is one another exclusive feature of the product in which the dashboard contains graphs representing the historical trends of answers with custom from and to dates.
Today, surveys play a major role in getting the customer’s thoughts and opinions. In this era of analytics, we need proper tools to gain fruitful insights from the data collected through these surveys which is the game changer in today’s market.