Surveys are one of the best tools for business, when used correctly. Getting in touch with the opinions of your customer base is a sure way to improve products, services and communication. Imagine the frustration of trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak your language fluently. This type of broken communication can spell disaster for a business. A survey can be like a crash course on the language and mentality of your customers. The old adage is that knowledge is power makes survey is a powerful tool indeed.
When creating surveys, it is important to remember your ultimate purpose — information gathering. Every single question you ask must have a corresponding in-house explanation of what you will do with the answers. It’s tempting to make a long survey, but getting people to fill out a long survey is really difficult. Keep the survey as simple as possible. Invest time in creating questions that are very straightforward. Simple language and clarity of meaning will help keep the survey responder moving easily. Remember, participation in your survey is voluntary and questions requiring serious thought will lower your completion rates.
Most of the survey questions will be multiple-choice, rating items on a scale, or choosing more than one answer from a list. The answers to your questions should be simple and clear. Each answer should be clearly distinguishable from the others so that responders have an easy time choosing the best option. At the same time, answers should cover as much possible ground as necessary to get good results. Remember that you can always send more surveys in the future.
The point of the survey is for your patrons to communicate to the best of their ability. Give them easy-t0-read wording and short sentences. Like the questions, the goal is completion of the survey so help them answer as much as possible. This may require including an escape option like “”Other: _____” or “None of the above.” The most effective surveys have just the right number of answers to entice answers without being too long.
Attempt to make each part of the survey recent and relevant. If you want to get feedback about an event, for example, prepare to send the survey immediately after the event ends. There is nothing worse than struggling to remember old events.
Try taking your own survey and if you find yourself asking “What the point of this question?” rewrite or delete that question. You are trying to make the customer feel involved in your business, not waste their time. Spending time testing and simplifying your survey will greatly increase response rates. The higher the response rates, the better you will be speaking your customer’s language. The more effectively you can communicate with your customers, the better your sales pitch can be. The better your sales pitch, the higher your sales. Simple as that.
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