Getting the Most From Survey Results

Surveying existing and potential customers is an excellent way to learn their needs and priorities. The information received can then be used in the development of your business and marketing plan. The questions you ask, and the way you ask them, are very important in capturing information that is actionable and can then be used to increase sales and profits.

In order to get the best actionable results from a survey, thorough planning is required. Before a survey is conducted, consider the following questions:

1. What are my goals for this survey?
2. What do I want to get out of it?
3. What am I trying to accomplish? For example: Are my customers satisfied with my phone-in help desk? Do my members find value in our offerings? Is my website giving customers the information they need to make a purchase? Do potential customers have the information they need about your product or services?

4. Do I know who my target audience is?
5. Am I phrasing my questions correctly for this audience?
6. Are the questions I’m asking going to give me actionable information? For example: “Do you like my customer service?” is too vague. A better question is “When you call on the phone, is it answered in four rings or less?”
-Instead of asking “Do you use our XYZ service?”, ask “When is the last time you used the XYZ service?” Include answer choices.
-Instead of asking “Have you heard of our product/services?”, ask “How have you heard of our product or service?” Include choices and ask participants to choose all that apply: TV, radio, magazines, newspaper, Facebook, Twitter, website, family/friend, co-worker, etc.

7. Do I have the ability to make changes or implement new ideas that come out of the survey?

8. Do not ask for information and feedback that you are unable to respond to or take action on.

9. How will I communicate the outcome/changes from the survey? People are more apt to respond to a survey if they believe there will be some type of outcome from the results.

By using these guidelines, you can create a survey that will give you results you can use to more directly address client issues and needs; resulting in more sales and revenue.

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