How Online Surveys Can Help Your Business
Surveys have been used by marketers for a long time, as a de facto research tool for fast-moving businesses. Today, there are online variations that make the whole process much easier – surveys used to require too much time and money, but are now quick, cheap and do-it-yourself online. By using them routinely, you can gain crucial information about the kinds of services, products and improvements your customers might be willing to pay for, but also demonstrate that you value their opinions by giving them a voice.
The online survey industry is growing, being estimated at $2.4 billion worth of business in 2011, and that’s just in the U.S. Conducting an online survey is so easy nowadays that it’s almost a crime not to do it and especially when you see the advantages laid out in this article.
Advantages of Online Surveys
By using online questionnaires, you don’t have to allocate resources and time to enter data into a database and you will save money on postage. All of this reduces your costs. The answers are processed automatically and you can access the results at any time.
When compared to traditional research methods, the time needed to complete an online survey is about two-thirds shorter because you don’t need to wait for the questionnaires to be sent back to you. The information is being gathered automatically and the response time is almost instant.
Quick to analyze and more accurate
The results can be viewed in real-time and are ready to be analyzed at any time. This allows you to react quickly, export data for further analysis, create graphs for reporting, and share your results. Another great thing is that the margin of error is quite reduced with online services. While traditional methods rely on their staff’s attentiveness (entering all details correctly), online surveying excludes the factor of human error.
Easy to use for both researchers and participants
Researchers benefit from online surveys with increased productivity. Online surveying saves them time as the data is available in almost real-time and can be run through statistical software for detailed analysis. On the other hand, people on the Internet prefer online over telephone surveys, because they can choose when to do them. Paid surveys online are an effective way to engage customers and hear their opinion. Financial stimulation will more likely make them take a few minutes to answer your questions.
More selective, honest and flexible
Online surveys allow you to target and reach only those participants who match your “perfect customer” profile with relevant questions that apply to them. When filling in an online questionnaire, people tend to provide longer, more detailed and honest answers than when answering a telephone survey. Also, you can change the order of the questions in your questionnaire or skip them (depending on the answer to a previous question), tailoring your survey to each participant as they proceed.
Ways to Survey Your Customers
Sending a detailed survey immediately after a sale can provide revealing information about how well your products/services suit and satisfy your customers’ needs. It will also show that you’re grateful for your relationship and that you’re dedicated to making improvements.
Finding out what your industry market prefers is one of the most obvious reasons for sending out a survey. You can greatly improve your future plans thanks to the valuable information you’d get by asking your target audience about the choices they make when interacting with services or products similar to yours.
Creating strong relationships with customers improves brand loyalty, so it’s natural that you want to deepen your relationship with them. One way to do it is to create a survey that asks them about themselves: their lives, challenges, problems and preferences. Process and use the data for product/service development.
You can keep your business operations in order by using short surveys to ask for customer feedback. Ask them about their experience with you and use that information as a guidepost to ensuring that you and your staff members are doing well.
Online surveys are a quick, cheap, reliable, and accurate way of gathering and processing the information you need in order to improve your business. It is critical to the development of any company to ask for feedback and act on it as soon as possible. The whole online surveying process is automatized and, with the right tools and software, easy to use for both the participant and the researcher.
Lauren Wiseman is an entrepreneur, marketing specialist and business writer for bizzmarkblog.com who is currently based in Melbourne. She thrives in helping clients grow their personal and professional brands in fast-changing and demanding market environments. Covering finance and investment topics, Lauren strongly believes in holistic approach to business.
Are you currently taking advantage of online surveys in your business?