Need ideas, inspiration, or simply want to connect with your audience and your customers? Surveys are a great way to do all three. In this post, we’re going to look at why you should use surveys, questions you can ask, and the top five tools to use.
Why You Need to Survey Your Audience and Customers
Whether you are talking about the people reading your blog or those buying products and services from your business, there is one thing that is for certain. Nothing makes a person feel more valued as a subscriber or customer than asking them for their input. It shows that, as a content creator, product maker, or service provider, you care about satisfying the readers, the buyers, and the users.
People who feel valued, in turn, are more loyal to your business.
Surveying your readers, customers, and users can also help you gain insight into the things they need. This insight will help you deliver more of what they need, resulting in more traffic, sales, and recurring income.
As an added bonus, surveys can help you prepare people for changes. It can make subscribers of your blog aware that you are going to shift the focus of your content. It can let your customers know that you are going to offer a new product. It can help prepare your users for an update to your platform.
By asking people to give their opinions and feedback, they will feel like they got to be a part of the change – that they got to shape the future of something they love. This is a much better feeling than blindsiding people with disruptions that might alienate them from you.
What Questions You Need to Ask
Not sure what to ask? Here are some questions to get you going:
- What is your biggest ____ challenge? Make it related to your business or industry.
- What topics would you like to see more / less of on our blog?
- What software features can you not live without?
- What software features are on your wish list?
- What are some services you wish we would offer?
- What online groups do you enjoy participating in most? LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, etc.
- What tools do you use the most in your business?
The Top 5 Online Tools to Use
Now, let’s look at some of the most popular online survey tools that you can implement quickly to get feedback from your audience.
1. Google Forms
Google Drive offers a free form that you can create to run surveys. Survey responses are stored in an Excel spreadsheet. You can either embed the form on your website or share a link. As an added bonus, when you share the link to your survey form on Google+, the form can be filled out without leaving Google+.
2. Survey Monkey
SurveyMonkey lets you create custom surveys with 15 question types and robust reporting of the results. Pricing is free for 10 questions and 100 responses per survey or starting at $24 per month for unlimited questions and 1,000 responses per month.
Qualaroo Insights lets you add a sliding box at the bottom of your website where you can ask an open ended or multiple choice question to your website visitors. Plans start at $79 per month for unlimited surveys and 1,000 responses per month.
4. Google Consumer Surveys
Google Customer Insights is a premium survey service that allows you to place survey questions in a sliding box at the bottom of your website. You can target the form to only be shown to website visitors that fit a certain demographic or have a specific answer to a screening question. Pricing is $0.10 per response per question, with a minimum purchase of 1,000 responses per question. You can sign up for a one-time or recurring fee.
5. Social Media
Just want to ask a quick question? You can get your answers all in one place by asking it on social media on Facebook or Google+. Or, if it’s an answer under 140 characters, on Twitter. With Facebook, you can promote your survey question to reach a larger audience and get the added benefit of boosting your page’s EdgeRank if you get a lot of responses.
To Share or Not to Share the Results
Once you finish the survey, you have two options. Keep the results to yourself or share them with your audience. Whether you should share them depends on if you got answers that back up how you want to proceed.
For example, if you were planning on adding a new feature to your software, but the survey feedback seemed against that feature, you wouldn’t want to share that and demonstrate that you are not sensitive to your customer’s wants. However, if you want to make a significant change that is supported by your customer base, sharing the results can make it a more accepted change in the long run.
Have you used surveys to help improve your blog or business? What tools are your favorites? Please share in the comments!