6 Easy Steps for Getting the Most from Your Customer Surveys


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Good small businesses listen to the concerns, suggestions and demands of their customers. The best small businesses take that feedback and make the essential changes needed to meet the needs of customers.

During this presentation, Rebecca Sprynczynatyk, Infusionsoft's director of product marketing, will touch on six steps for crafting a customer survey that gets the information you need while ensuring a good experience for your customers. From writing questions to analysis, this presentation will give you the tools you need to create meaningful surveys-and get meaningful results.

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  • The most effective surveys have clearly defined objectives with questions that can be tied back to the overall goal. This ensures the research is actionable and prevents the survey from becoming bloated with unnecessary questions.
  • Surveys are great at gathering two types of data – objective facts and subjective states. If your goal is to identify your most profitable customers, you’ll want to gather both objective demographic data (age, marital status) as well as more subjective information including behaviors, interests and opinions.
  • A / B Question (ex.True / False) Quick and easy. Good for dividing people into clear groups.  Multiple Choice (Radio Button or Drop Down Menu)What is your annual revenue? Under $49K, $50k - $99K, $100K - $249K,Over $250 Great for segmenting people into mutually exclusive groups.Make sure you offer options to capture all possible responses. Limit the number of categories to under 10 to avoid annoying respondents. Make sure answer options don’t overlap or you can confuse people. Multiple Choice - CheckboxWhich of the following magazines do you subscribe to? (Check all that apply.)Great for gathering info about traits or behaviors that are not mutually exclusive.Can be used to find correlations or relationships between two or more things. Limit the number of options to avoid annoying respondents. Include an “other” option. Interval ScaleHow would you rate the quality of our customer service? (Scale of 1-5)Great for measuring sentiment and intensity of an opinion or attitude. Can also be used to measure the frequency of a behavior. Limit the number of options to avoid annoying respondents. Be consistent in how you use the scale across your survey. Ranking ScaleSort the following items in order of preference, with the first item being your favorite and the last item being your least favorite. Great for understanding the relative value or importance of options. Keep the options simple and the list short (under 7 options). Open-Ended TextboxWhat is the primary benefit you get from our product? Good for gathering open-ended feedback. Limit these questions because they are time-consuming to answer and analyze.
  • The way a question is worded can have a big impact on results. Questions must be clear, direct and unassuming. Confusing, poorly worded or misleading questions can turn a promising research project into a mess really quickly. Here are a few pitfalls to avoid.
  • The majority of surveys today are conducted online. There are a lot of affordable, easy-to-use online survey tools you can use to setup and administer your survey. Each option has advantages and disadvantages, but regardless of which solution you use—always test your survey before distributing it to customers.Once you have tested your survey and are confident the questions are clear, it’s time to start gathering feedback from your target audience.
  • There are two primary factors that impact the number of people who will complete your survey--motivation and friction.  Offering an incentive for participation, such as a free gift or raffle entry, can greatly increase motivation, as can simply explaining the purpose of your research. It also helps to set a deadline for participation to create urgency.  Friction is anything that makes it difficult to take the survey, such as length and the difficulty of questions. Keep the survey as short as possible to prevent fatigue. Remember, as your survey gets longer, the number of people who complete it gets shorter. A typical survey should take no longer than 5-7 minutes to complete.  Don’t make your respondents think too hard which taking the survey. Limit the number of open-ended essay questions and complex ranking questions. Also consider limiting the number of required questions, which will increase your overall response rate.
  • Once you’ve completed your overall analysis, identify two or three possible ways of slicing your data for further review. For example, you could segment your data by industry or annual revenue to see if there is a difference in behaviors between the groups.  Avoid the temptation to extrapolate too much from the data. While it can be really exciting to uncover findings in your data, remember that outliers can skew your data in unexpected ways. Know your margin of error (link to calculator) and keep that in mind when comparing groups. You generally need at least 100 respondents in one group for the analysis to be meaningful or trustworthy.  Finally, don’t lose sight of the original goal of your survey. Charts and graphs are fun, but stay focused on the data that can support into your research objectives and provide insight into the bigger questions. Data and statistics can supply you with numbers, but only you can make sense of them in the context of your business.
  • 6 Easy Steps for Getting the Most from Your Customer Surveys

    1. 1. Rebecca Sprynczynatyk, Senior Director of Communications @rebeccaspry
    2. 2. Learn How To: • Structure your survey to optimize participation • Choose the right type of questions to get the information you need • Avoid common pitfalls in question phrasing that can affect your results • Meaningfully analyze your results @infusionsoft @rebeccasspry #surveyeasy
    3. 3. Good small businesses listen to customer concerns, suggestions & demands.
    4. 4. But the BEST small businesses…
    5. 5. Gather feedback & implement essential changes to meet the customers’ needs.
    6. 6. Step 1: Set a Clear Goal
    7. 7. Step 1: Set a Clear Goal • Great way to gather info to make better decisions • Can be used to: – Gather feedback on new products/services – Measure customer satisfaction – Identify key traits of most profitable customers • Effective surveys: – Clearly defined objective – Questions related to the overall goal @infusionsoft @rebeccasspry #surveyeasy
    8. 8. Step 2: Ask the Right Questions
    9. 9. Step 2: Ask the Right Questions • Objective Facts – Age – Gender – Education Level – Marital Status – # of Employees – Annual Revenue – Industry – Geography • Subjective States – Satisfaction – Opinions – Ratings – Rankings – Behaviors @infusionsoft @rebeccasspry #surveyeasy
    10. 10. Step 2: Ask the Right Questions The type of question you ask can impact your results: • A/B Question • Radio Button • Drop Down • Multiple Choice • Ranking Scale • Interval Scale @infusionsoft @rebeccasspry #surveyeasy
    11. 11. Watch the replay here: http://www.infusionsoft.com/webinar s/market-research
    12. 12. Step 3: Pay Attention to How You Ask
    13. 13. Step 3: Pay Attention to How You Ask • How you ask a question impacts results. • Questions must be: – Clear – Direct – Unassuming @infusionsoft @rebeccasspry #surveyeasy
    14. 14. Step 3: Pay Attention to How You Ask @infusionsoft @rebeccasspry #surveyeasy Avoid Example Alternative Combining two questions in one “How satisfied are you with the cost & speed of our service?” Separate into two separate questions. Asking a question that implies or suggests a correct answer “On a scale of 1 to 5, how great was the movie?” Rewrite in a neutral tone. Overly general questions “How would you rate our company?” Be specific. Overly personal questions, unless they are directly related to the survey goal “How old are you?” Eliminate or provide a “prefer not to answer” option.
    15. 15. Step 4: Test and Retest Your Survey
    16. 16. Step 4: Test & Retest Your Survey • Always test your survey before sending to customers • Share with co-workers, friends & family for wide range of feedback • Check for spelling & grammar mistakes, leading questions & responses not mutually exclusive • Identify and correct errors before you deploy • Remember: “You can’t take it back.” @infusionsoft @rebeccasspry #surveyeasy
    17. 17. Step 5: Create Incentives, Minimize Friction
    18. 18. Step 5: Motivate, Reduce Friction • Incentives for participation can greatly increase motivation (i.e. free gift or raffle entry). • Friction is anything that makes taking the survey hard. • Survey should only take 5 to 7 minutes to finish @infusionsoft @rebeccasspry #surveyeasy
    19. 19. Step 6: Avoid Analysis Paralysis
    20. 20. Step 6: Avoid Analysis Paralysis • Once data is gathered: – Crunch numbers – Create reports • To keep it simple, start with an overall analysis that includes data from all survey respondents • 4 common report types @infusionsoft @rebeccasspry #surveyeasy
    21. 21. Pie Chart • Great for showing the percentage contribution of a segment to the whole • Often used to display demographic information @infusionsoft @rebeccasspry #surveyeasy
    22. 22. Bar Graph • Great for making comparisons and illustrating differences between groups • Commonly used for showing responses to multiple-choice questions and rating scales @infusionsoft @rebeccasspry #surveyeasy
    23. 23. Line Chart • Illustrates trends in data over time. @infusionsoft @rebeccasspry #surveyeasy
    24. 24. Crosstab Report • Shows you how data from two questions are related. @infusionsoft @rebeccasspry #surveyeasy
    25. 25. Step 6: Avoid Analysis Paralysis • Segment your data to identify trends – Industry – Annual Revenue • Don’t extrapolate too much—numbers only tell part of the story • Stay focused on your original goal @infusionsoft @rebeccasspry #surveyeasy