If you’ve sat around a conference table chatting about a project with your fellow creatives, you understand the energy that comes from sharing ideas with like-impassioned people. The distinct high of a productive brainstorm and renewed energy around an innovative product can be oh so rewarding.
However, if you’ve sat in these rooms long enough, you’ve probably also witnessed some of these ideas fail. If a new product launch doesn’t cause a raid on the store, it may be time to go back to the drawing board, recalibrate and try again.
While failure is a great teacher, one easy tool to help determine the success of a project is the mighty survey. Whether you’re wanting to get feedback about a new program or quantify your customers’ satisfaction, a survey is a great litmus test to see how brilliant your brilliant ideas, products or services really are.
A survey can also be a reality check. What may sound like the next life-changing idea on paper may not be marketable to your audience.
If you’re wanting helpful feedback straight from consumers or maybe an aspiring statistician, read on to learn more about crafting a survey for maximal results.
Define Your Goals
What you’re polling for should be easy to answer: customer satisfaction, usage rates, how you can improve, etc. While these may be good starting points, don’t stop there. A survey that is too general and ill-defined won’t give you helpful results. Asking users how satisfied they are with your business is open-ended, but crafting pointed questions about wait times, accessibility and employee interactions will give you accurate answers that you can actually use.
Dissemination should be determined by where your audience is. An in-store survey may work great in a reception area where customers naturally linger and a targeted, mobile-friendly ad will reach your on-the-go 18-35 year olds. An email database is another great place to start. A monthly newsletter will deliver your survey right to the mailbox (or inbox) of your customers.
Set a Timeline
A last-minute survey with vague timeframes and fuzzy deliverables is a waste of time. On the other hand, the words “ongoing survey” should make you shudder. Strike a balance between a nebulous, undetermined timeline and the stomach drop of a short turnaround. If you think of your survey as a practice run of your product with a clear launch and end date, you can expect informative feedback. Building your survey into your bigger marketing timeline will ensure the best results.
Be a Realist
Don’t expect all 700 customers in your email list to carefully complete your survey and return to you in reasonable amount of time. A survey is a great tool to determine averages and note outliers, but it’s not going to answer every question or catch every single area of improvement. The survey will, however, tackle the larger issues and be a great source of inspiration.
Survey results should provide meaningful answers and give you a clear direction forward. With a bit of planning and forward thinking, you can eliminate a large margin of error. A lot can be uncovered simply in the process of creating your survey and the results can be harnessed to improve your new product, initiative or service. If you’re still unsure if a survey is right for you, contact Sabo PR and we’ll make sure you’ve got the right tools and platforms in place for a successful survey.