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7 survey mistakes you don’t want to make

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Creating a successful survey isn’t just about asking the right survey questions. Sure, they are important, but they aren’t the only road to actionable insights. What good are your perfectly honed questions if nobody opens your survey? How valid are your results really if you don’t know to which segment your respondents belong? We at CheckMarket have put together a list of the 7 survey mistakes we come across the most. As each one can be fixed so easily you’ll probably wonder at the end why you never thought of them yourself. Read on to find out how easy it is.

1) Not branding your survey

We notice that there are still a lot of surveys launched that lack a custom design and personalized emails. It’s one of the most blatant survey mistakes! Customizing the look of your survey to match your company’s branding will raise the response rate and gives your project a professional and polished look.

Studies show that when respondents receive a mail they first glance at the sender and subject and then if they decide to look at the content, they first look at the mail as a whole without reading the fine print. Give your mail a professional look without making it look like a sales mail. Make sure there are some key words that stand out. Try to be as true to your ‘house style’ as possible. This speeds up the name recognition and increases the trust factor of the mail.

2) Not using an incentive

Incentives are a great stimulant, not only to get the respondent to start taking your survey, but also to ensure that they get all the way to the end. Make sure that you mention that the respondent must complete the whole survey in order to be eligible for the prize. Don’t just mention the incentive in your invitation or at the beginning of your survey, make it tangible by adding a clear picture as well. The better the incentive the higher the response rate.

Adding an extra question at the end where respondents can enter their email addresses is advisable as well. Don’t forget to include the contest regulations, as this is required in many countries. Think carefully about your audience when choosing the incentive. While movie tickets are good for consumer surveys, they will have less impact on a B to B survey.

Let ‘marketing’ get involved; instead of sending the winners a bottle of wine, give them a coupon to pick it up in your store. There’s no delivery costs and you get some foot traffic.

3) Forgetting to ask the right demographic questions

Let’s say your company wants to check whether extended opening hours would be a good idea. You conduct a survey and find out that fewer people than expected are interested. But wait! Perhaps younger people were more favorable towards the extended opening hours than the elderly? Or what about people who work full-time versus part-time? Including these kinds of questions would have enriched your insights! So think carefully in advance about what you would like to find out.

If demographic questions are very important for the interpretation of the results, we advise you to ask them at the beginning of your survey. Alternatively, if you already have a contact list with interesting demographic information, you can add these demographics to custom fields and filter on them later in your reports. This way, you will be able to connect the demographic information to your respondents’ answers.

4: Not using the NPS question

We notice there is still a wide audience that doesn’t use the NPS question in our tool. The Net Promoter ScoreSM (NPS®) is a simple but powerful tool to measure client satisfaction with one single question, an indication of the growth potential of your company or product.

It gives your organization an unambiguous number that is easy to understand for all employees and useful as input for managers to steer the company. You can track NPS evolution over time, or compare it with a predetermined target.

You can also benchmark different areas or products, or check where your company positions itself versus the industry average if this is available. As the NPS question is a standard question in the CheckMarket SurveyTool, it only takes a few clicks to add it to your survey. Moreover, in our reporting tool, your NPS scores will be calculated automatically.

5) Forgetting to set up notifications

Conducting a survey without acting upon results is not only a waste of time and money, it is also disrespectful towards the respondents that took the effort to complete your survey! A great way to directly respond to unsatisfied respondents is through using survey notifications. When a customer expresses dissatisfaction, an alert can trigger actions such as sending an email, an sms text message, a Twitter direct message, creating a Zendesk ticket, creating a follow-up survey or making an API call.

This gives you the opportunity to break that perception and quickly interact with your respondents. Alerts, used correctly, can win back at-risk customers. They allow you to communicate with dissatisfied customers to learn and repair damaged relationships through coordinated follow-up.

6) Not taking advantage of positive feedback

When you are conducting a customer satisfaction survey, it is particularly important to ask dissatisfied customers why they gave a low rating. However, you can do the same with your satisfied customers and ask them whether you could use their opinions on your website or in a newsletter, etc. This way your existing customers convince your potential customers!

7) Ignoring the thank-you page / last page

A respondent just took the effort to complete your survey. Of course you want to thank them for this by writing a few words of appreciation on the thank-you page. However, do realize that you have their attention now and this is extremely precious! Take advantage of this situation by considering the following:

  • Get them excited about the new developments in your company, e.g. new offerings, promotions, (positive) reviews, etc.
  • Give them the opportunity to share on social media and to click through to your website.
  • Encourage them to tell a friend about your survey by using a tell-a-friend page.
  • Stimulate them to subscribe to your newsletter.

Net Promoter and NPS are registered service marks, and Net Promoter Score and Net Promoter System are service marks, of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc. and Fred Reichheld.

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