11 Underrated Strategies to Improve Customer Surveys

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SurveyQ: What’s one overlooked strategy for improving customer surveys?

A: Gamifying them. “One of the best ways to increase completion rates for customer surveys is to bring in elements of a game. Make it fast, fun and easy for them to respond, instead of asking them to slog through boring surveys that aren’t interactive.” Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

Including them in the login page.
“We’ve put the survey on the login page, right when a customer signs in. It works like a charm. We get a 50-percent-plus conversion rate. We keep it very short, where it’s just as easy to rate the survey as it is to close the survey. Our customers know that we put this on them every four months and they are really great about it. Try it!” John Rampton, Due

Crowdsourcing community leaders.
“Your brand’s online community leaders will be thrilled to have a voice in how your brand engages with customers, and they’ll have insights into customer pain points that you might not have. Crowdsource your customer survey questions from brand advocates and community leaders, and you’ll also reap the benefits of community building with your most engaged 20 percent.” Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

Using skip logic. “Chances are you don’t want to ask every customer the same question. By understanding how each respondent differs, you can customize questions to maximize the answers you receive. It’s better to get eight great answers from a customer than 20 so-so answers from someone who’s tired of taking your survey halfway through. Utilize skip-logic and other tools to personalize surveys and ensure relevance.” Brittany Hodak, ZinePak

Testing and validating your survey questions before deploying them in full.
“After deploying a survey in full, you may encounter something startling — that people misinterpreted the question or gave answers that were totally off base. That’s why it’s important to test your questions beforehand. You can do this qualitatively by discussing questions with people in your sample or quantitatively by testing your survey on a small proportion of your sample.” Ritika Puri, Storyhackers

Targeting and shortening. “Most companies deploy surveys that are quite lengthy in order to learn about the customers who are answering the survey. They then correlate their answers with customer profiles and demographics. However, if you more closely target customers based upon what you already know about them and how they use your service, you can shorten the length necessary for your survey, increasing completion rates as well.” Robi Ganguly, Apptentive

Asking contextual questions. “Ask questions that have a context within the customer’s current goal. If you’re running a website and want to survey ease of website use, ask the questions on the order success page. If you want to know how much they expect to order in the next year, ask that question via an optional section on the order history page. You’ll find those one or two questions get answered more frequently.” Brian Fritton, Patch of Land

Giving before you get.
“Relationships are give and take. A ‘give first’ mentality can go a long way. Timing your surveys after you’ve provided value, through things such as a webinar or white paper, will get a higher response rate. Small rewards also work well if you can maintain the incentive, as customers will get used to expecting something in return. Avoid large rewards, which typically cause unreliable results.” Jeff Rohr, SquareOffs

Mentioning how previous surveys have altered the company’s direction.
“We have found that reminding users that they are the company’s greatest voice by showing how past surveys and/or feedback has really helped the company motivates folks to complete new ones. So, we make a point to highlight a specific feature/functionality driven by a particular user whenever we ask them to fill out another survey.” Kofi Kankam, Admit.me

Including actionable questions.
“Companies often send out surveys that ask too many nonspecific questions, offer a rating scale of 1 to 10 and aren’t well thought through. Can anyone tell me the difference between a 6 or 7 out of 10? I didn’t think so. Ask questions that get you narrowed, actionable insights into what you can do better for your customers and whether or not your business is creating brand advocates or just customers.” Seth Talbott, CEO and Startup Advisor

Adding a comment field. “I completed a survey recently that had far too many questions and only one comment field at the very end. By the time I answered the 50th question I was even more irritated than when I started. Only a handful will respond, mostly those that really like or really dislike something, so take advantage of this and get real comments to help you improve, while also keeping it short.” Josh Sprague, Orange Mud

(Source: TCA)