People are different – including your customers, prospects, and leads; they don’t think exactly the same way you do (shame).
So how do you figure out what your customers/leads/readers what? You can ask them in a survey – plain and simple.
In case you’re new to the survey world, let’s begin with a short survey definition:
What Are Surveys?
A survey is a research method used to collecting feedback from a pre-defined group of respondents. It can cover a variety of topics and include different question types. For example:
- Closed-ended questions (containing a fixed selection of answers)
- Open-ended questions (which don’t contain any predetermined responses).
If you’re interested in learning more about different types of survey questions, then check out this article.
Here are 10 creative survey ideas that you can draw inspiration from to make better business decisions.
1. To decide what content to produce
If you run a blog then you realize how difficult it is to continuously come up with content ideas. Especially knowing your readers might be interested in different topics. Therefore, it’s a good idea to run a short survey asking: What topic would you like to learn about.
You can either send it via email to your subscribers and/or run a web survey asking your visitors to state their preference.
For instance, here’s the first question from our ready-to-use newsletter feedback survey template:
Use a closed-ended question with a few article topics listed (this should result in a higher response rate), or use an open-ended question if you need fresh ideas.
2. To check if the article you wrote was helpful
So you published a new article, and you think it’s AWESOME! Good for you, it’s important to be proud of your work but it’s worth double-checking if your readers agree. After all, you’re not writing for yourself 🙂
You can use a rating question, to let your readers rate your article on a scale, or include a simple YES or NO. Target it at visitors who scrolled to the bottom of the page or on exit intent.
3. To ask your newsletter subscribers how often they want to hear from you
If you have a newsletter, then another good survey idea is asking your subscribers about their preferred communication frequency. If you email them too often, they’ll unsubscribe, if you email them too rarely, they might forget about you.
You can embed the survey in your subscription confirmation email, just remember to integrate it with your marketing automation platform.
4. To evaluate your product or a new feature
It’s good practice to regularly check if your customers are satisfied with your product. It will allow you to address any issues before they escalate. You can use a Net Promoter Score (NPS) for product/feature evaluations to get a broader overview of how happy your customers are with your product.
However, if you want to get more detailed insights then asking a few closed-ended questions or an open-ended one will be more beneficial.
5. To find out if your website lacks any info
Your website can be a great lead generation tool provided it contains information relevant for your prospects. Otherwise, they will bounce off your page.
You can use a website survey asking if your visitor found everything they were looking for, or if there is anything missing. You can even include an option to leave their email address, in case they required a response.
6. To evaluate the service you provided
Did your Customer Support/Experience department have to resolve any product-related issues recently? Use a survey to ask your customers how happy they were with the service they received.
Not only will it help you improve your customer service, but it will also allow you to quickly react in case you have any dissatisfied customers. Just like in the product scenario – you can use an NPS.
7. To find out why your customer churned
Customers come and go, and you’ll always have customers who’ll be dissatisfied with your product and will decide to leave you. It’s fine, but it should be in your best interest to identify their reasons for leaving.
So here’s another survey idea: ask your customers why they churned. And do it immediately after they decide to do so. The longer you wait, the less motivated they’ll be to provide you with an answer.
8. To identify your brand evangelists
Word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing. Customers trust other people more than they trust brands. Word of mouth marketing results in 5 times more sales than paid media, 90% of people say they’re more likely to buy from brands their friends recommend.
Use a survey to identify customers who could become your brand ambassadors.
Ask them how likely they are to recommend your product to others, again using an NPS survey.
9. To fill up any information gaps about your leads to improve lead scoring
Lead scoring is an effective mechanism of converting leads into customers. However, to introduce lead scoring you need to continuously gather information about your leads. Only then you will be able to score leads and identify those which are worth investing your time and effort in.
While a contact form is a good starting point for data collection, including too many fields (and asking too many questions) will have a negative impact on conversion. This is why it’s better to treat data collection as a process, not a one-off event.
You can send surveys to your database to gradually gather more insights about your leads. Just choose a survey platform that integrates with your CRM.
10. To find out how happy your employees are
Last but not least, surveys can be used to check how satisfied your employees are at work. The benefit of conducting surveys internally is that completing them is often mandatory.
This means you can include more questions and still get a high completion rate!
Remember to run them regularly, for example, every quarter, to compare the results after implementing feedback from the previous survey.
How to Motivate Your Participants to Take a Survey
Now that you know how you can use surveys, let me throw in a few tips on how to encourage your participants to take your survey.
Keep it short and to the point
Think hard about the issue you want to investigate and only ask the most vital questions. Asking too many questions will discourage people from filling in your survey. It’s better to run two short surveys, then one very long one.
Use an easy to understand language
Don’t ask your participants to read every question twice, use an easy language. If you like using big, complicated words, don’t. Make sure your question is clear and simple. Use a direct language.
Make sure the timing is right
Is there a better or worse time to send out a survey? Apparently, there is.
According to Checkmarket, Monday is the best day to send out B2B surveys, as they result in the highest completion rate.
It’s quite different when it comes to B2C surveys. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays all have a good response rate, while Thursdays and Sundays are better avoided.
Ensure it works on multiple devices
You don’t know the exact time your respondent will decide to take your survey. This is why you have to ensure it works well on different devices. They might fill it in sitting on a train on their way to work. Which means there is a high chance they’ll complete it on a mobile device.
Target it at the right people
Figure out what you’re trying to achieve with your survey. Do you want to identify the features your product lacks? Target your surveys at your most loyal and engaged customers.
If you target your surveys at the wrong respondents, it will negatively impact your results, and might potentially have serious business consequences.
Hopefully, you’re now more aware of the ways in which you can use surveys. Guesswork won’t take you far, and it might actually lead to bad business decisions. Since we’ve given you a few survey ideas you might as well test them out.