Using a survey to poll your clients/customers/members is nothing new in this day and time. Almost anyone can put together a survey and send it out to a designated population. The trick is asking the questions in a way that will yield results that you are able to make a splash with once received. A survey can consume a great deal of your time if you allow it. Here are our tips on creating a great survey:
1. Be honest with yourself about your current situation. When creating a survey, sometimes you realize that you may have to ask a question that you do not want to face the answer. Unfortunately, in order to improve, you will need to put down questions that are going to give you the good, the bad, and the ugly.
2. Be respectful of the time of the person that you would like to complete the survey. People are extremely busy and do not want to stop for 5 minutes on something that they view as a waste of time. Ensure that your questions are crafted in an easy to understand manner. Also, make sure that you are not asking questions that you do not need the answer to in some format.
3. Consider adding an incentive. People are more likely to answer your survey if you offer some sort of incentive. It does not have to be expensive. People just like free stuff. You have to decide if the results are worth a small token of appreciation.
4. Select the appropriate tool. There are several tools that can be used to take a survey of a group that you would like to survey. Some of the tools are free and some require a minimal investment. Right now, we are using Survey Monkey. So far, the reporting tools have been phenomenal. If you are already using a survey tool, let us know what it is in the comments section.
5. Analyze with objectivity. Its easy to have a bias toward the information. But, in order to gain the knowledge you need for improvement, you must look at the results with fresh eyes. If that is not possible for you to do, allow someone else that is not as close to the situation to analyze the results.
6. Market your survey. While watching your survey results, you will need to monitor if you need to do a little extra promotion of your survey. Just because you have sent out a beautiful email with your survey link in it, does not mean that people will actually fill it out. Sometimes, you may need to be a little creative with encouraging people to complete your survey.
Surveying is an underutilized tool as far as we can tell. For minimal cost, a business owner can find out what their base does and does not like. Some of these tools can even be used for free. January is a great time to survey your audience. Take this opportunity to see how you can be a better business or organization to your loyal following. You never know, this may give you some insight as to how to gain more people that would like to become your customer or client.