How to Create Online Surveys That Get Results
Fred Reichheld, the executive behind the online satisfaction survey devised by Bain & Co back in 2003, is tired of customer satisfaction surveys. He thinks that they have grown wildly out of control, and that they subtly (and sometimes not-so-subtly) nudge customers toward leaving only the highest ratings, whether they want to or not.
Yet online surveys are a tremendously easy and economical way to learn more about what your company is doing right, and where it could stand to improve. With the right form software, you can create custom online surveys that are inviting and that can deliver valuable, actionable information. Here are some thoughts on making online electronic survey forms that perform as you want them to do.
Do These Things with Your Online Forms
Online surveys should generally focus on a single objective. Often that can be as simple as a single question: “Would you recommend [our product or service] to someone else?” But sometimes you need to use multiple questions. For example, you may create a brief survey about your new website design. If that is the case, stick with that topic, and leave questions about your product for another time.
It’s also good to create surveys from online forms that are clear and easy to read, and that will take less than five minutes to complete. Questions should be specific and easy to answer, and it’s important to make your questions as unbiased as possible. Explain at the top of the survey why you’re conducting it and thank the survey participants for their time.
Don’t Do These Things with Your Online Forms
While multiple-choice surveys are most convenient for all parties, don’t leave participants whose answers don’t match any of the choices with no way to respond. Simply including an “Other (please explain)” option is one way to handle this, and another is to use open-ended questions instead of multiple-choice ones.
Don’t place too heavy a load on the shoulders of your online surveys. Some things should be tested, rather than surveyed. For example, what customers say they will spend rarely corresponds to what they will actually spend, so determining price should involve testing rather than a simple survey.
Finally, don’t ask context-free questions (“What is your favorite coffee?”) and hope to get valuable answers. A person’s favorite coffee may well depend on whether she’s making a pot at home, grabbing it on the way to work, or choosing what to have after a nice dinner out.
How One Company Used Form Software to Improve Survey Response Rates
Business consulting and survey company Affinity Management Group knows all about online surveys, because that’s a big part of their business. What they needed was a way to make the survey process both flexible and efficient so they could reach deadlines more easiley and customize surveys more precisely based on their client needs. They chose PerfectForms form software to power their online surveys and were delighted with the results.
PerfectForms was not only easier to use and offered outstanding customer service, it gave Affinity an expandable platform that allowed them to run client-based customer surveys, giving them a competitive edge and saving them (and their clients) thousands of dollars. What’s more, after implementing surveys created with PerfectForms, response rates rose significantly because survey forms could be customized meticulously and could be made to appear attractive, inviting, and professional.
Using form software to create online surveys can be a powerful way to validate concepts and learn more about customers. Using online forms to gather information about, say, whether to launch a new product or service can be efficient and informative, and with PerfectForms, the results can be fed right into a database or spreadsheet if you prefer.
With its intuitive drag-and-drop interface, PerfectForms makes it easy to create and deploy fully customized surveys that include your important branding elements and draw customers to your brand. We encourage you to read about Affinity Management Group and other case studies to learn how powerful the results can be when you have the right online form software.
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