How To Use Surveys In Your Business

How To Use Surveys In Your Business

As the article title suggests, you’re about to get a crash course in surveying your audience.

The more you know about your audience, the more benefits you can provide for them in the form of…

  • Better content
  • Better products
  • Better customer service

And so on.

And the more benefits you provide for your audience, the more profits you generate for yourself. Win-win!

So, with that in mind, here’s a crash course in developing and distributing surveys that benefit both you and your audience.  There are five basic steps involved…

Step 1: Determine What You Want to Know

Step 2: Define Who Should Take the Survey

Step 3: Develop Your Questions

Step 4: Distribute the Survey

Step 5: Decode the Results

Let’s take a closer look at each step…

Step 1: Determine What You Want To Know

Your first step is to determine what are the most important things you want to learn about as a result of this survey. For example:

  • Do you want to know why visitors don’t take action on your site?
  • Do you want a better understanding of what your prospects want?
  • Do you want to know how to improve your products?
  • Do you want to know who your audience is in terms of demographics?
  • Do you want to know how to boost customer satisfaction and retention?

TIP: While you may want to know a LOT of information, it’s a good idea to focus in on a few high-impact questions, as shorter surveys tend to generate more responses.

Step 2: Define Who Should Take The Survey

Now that you know what type of information you’re seeking, the next step is to determine WHO should take your online survey. Namely:

  • Visitors to your site?
  • Prospects who’ve joined your mailing list?
  • Customers who’ve purchased something from you?
  • Customers who’ve purchased multiple things from you?

It’s important that you define this, as getting your survey into the right hands will help you get the most accurate information.

TIP:  Who you want to take the survey should be directly related to what you want to learn from the survey.

For example, if you want to know how to improve a product to increase customer satisfaction, then your survey would need to be completed by someone who has purchased the product.

Step 3: Develop Your Questions

Now it’s time to develop your survey. It may be short, medium or long – but keep in mind, shorter surveys (even as short as one question) will get a higher response rate.

The big key here is to make sure you’re doing two things:

  1. Focusing on high-impact questions. For example, use your survey to discover what your audience’s pain points are and what they want.
  2. Avoiding the use of leading questions. You don’t want the way you ask the question to skew the responses you receive.


Step 4: Distribute The Survey

Your next step is to choose a surveying tool and then distribute the survey to your audience.

  • Option One: For simple one-question surveys, you can simply have people email you their answers.
  • Option Two: For longer surveys, you can use a tool like SurveyMonkey, Google Forms as a quick Google survey, or something similar.

When it’s time to distribute your online survey, be sure to get it in front of a targeted audience.

For example, if you’re surveying customers ONLY, then send the survey to all the customers on your list (and exclude anyone who hasn’t purchased anything from you). This is a good tactic to find ways to boost customer satisfaction.

Or if you’re surveying prospects in your niche, you might use paid advertising to get your survey in front of a highly targeted market (both in terms of specific demographics as well as topics that interest them).

And finally…

Step 5: Decode The Survey Results

What you need to know here is that you’re looking for patterns.

While an individual’s answer may give you an interesting insight that you hadn’t thought about before – and perhaps it is something you’ll explore further at some point – ultimately, you’re looking for patterns that are shared across multiple people in your market.

Now you can take this information and apply it throughout your business. For example:

  • You can create better products that solve your audience’s biggest problems (if you know what those problems are), which increases customer satisfaction.
  • You can create more compelling sales materials that address your audience’s problems and how you can help solve them, which boosts conversions.
  • You can create content that really resonates with your audience (delivers the solutions they need), which boosts engagement and conversions.
  • You can improve your customer experience across your website, which increases customer satisfaction.

Let’s work through an example…

If you know your dog-training audience’s big problem is that their houses are beginning to stink because their puppies are having so many accidents, then your products and content can do two things:

  1. Teach people a better way to housetrain their puppies fast to eliminate the problems.
  2. Give people recommendations for using enzymatic cleaners, which make the house smell better and cover the scent so that dogs don’t smell it and “mark” it again.

You’d then use your sales copy or other content to specifically address the pain point.

E.G., “There are few things worse for a pet owner than being embarrassed to invite someone into your house because your puppy has been having so many accidents. Yes, you know your house possesses the faint smell of old urine stains – but it seems like no matter what you do, you just can’t get your puppy housetrained. You’re frustrated – maybe even feeling like you’re at the end of your rope.  But I’ve got good news…”

And now a few parting thoughts…

Your Next Step

And there you have it – you just discovered a simple five-step system for using surveys to create more benefits for your audience and more profits for your business.

Your assignment is to take what you’ve just learned to start planning an effective and useful online survey campaign.

This is a really beneficial (for your audience) and profitable (for your business) strategy, yet one that many business owners overlook. Don’t make the costly mistake of guessing what your audience wants (and hoping you’re right) when you can know for certain.

Surveys are a great way to get to know your audience, get busy creating the exact products they want and need, and get busy reaping mutual benefits for you and the people you serve.

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