As marketers, everything we do is geared towards the end user.
We know that businesses need engaged customers to thrive. As an outsourced marketing department for hire, it is our job to make sure that our clients are communicating their value add in such a way that engages the end user. If what we say doesn’t resonate with our target audience, then we are wasting both our time and our valuable marketing dollars.
In order to understand what makes your customers tick, ask them in a survey.
Surveys are invaluable tools to better understand your audience and take your business to the next level. In addition to their integral role in product development and customer service, surveys are useful in guiding your marketing efforts and making the most of your marketing budget. Self-reported survey data and digital channel analytics come together as two pillars in a modern understanding of the end user; armed with both, we have insight not only into how our customers behave, but also into how they think.
In order to run a successful survey, consider incentivizing the customer.
Customers are often reluctant to take surveys because of the time commitment involved. Marketers have found that survey incentives in the form of rewards can boost participation by up to 20%. Your customers are taking time out of their days to help you collect data – thank them with a small gift and they will be that much more likely to go out of their way for you.
When building your survey, choose each question carefully.
Customers do not want to answer an endless list of questions. They might begin with good intentions, but with each passing question comes an increased risk of their quitting. Unsurprisingly, we see that longer surveys are correlated with lower response rates. Each survey question takes up prime real estate as surveys should be kept short and to the point, limited to only a handful of questions.
Research shows that one question rules them all.
Have you ever taken a company’s survey and answered the question “Would you recommend us to a friend?” If so, you have given the company essential information on how you are likely to act in the future. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, this type of “recommendation” question is the only useful type of survey question for predicting customer behavior. Richard Owen’s and Laura Brooks’ Answering the Ultimate Question explores this idea further: given a scale of 1 to 10 for the question, customers giving a 9 or a 10 are “promoters,” those giving a 7 or an 8 are “passives,” and those giving a score below 7 are “detractors.”
By asking the recommendation question, you can quickly determine which individuals are most likely to be your brand advocates, in essence generating a prime list for referral marketing. It is this segment of your customer base that will help you grow, and it is up to us as marketers to help you unlock this potential.
An additional question may help you bring your referral marketing efforts to the next level.
The power of social proof is ubiquitous in the marketing world. When your customers see others endorsing or using a product or service, they will be much more likely to adopt it themselves. Not all endorsements are created equal; some individuals, whom we call “influencers,” are much more visible than others due to blogging and other activities in the public space. With open-ended questions, surveys present an opportunity to find out to which influencers your customers listen. This investment in research is worth it – if you can obtain this key data on your customers, you are one step closer to dominating your market.
Have you launched a survey recently? What questions did you ask? Let us know in the comments below.