All businesses should be collecting insights that help them to refine their offerings and improve their services. The easiest and quickest way to do this is through a well-designed digital survey. Whether you manage this yourself or use a market research assistant to help run things, it’s a great way to gather data to support your business growth.

You don’t know if you don’t ask

Anyone who is proficient in market research for business will tell you, the best way to get feedback on your business is to ask the people who use it. Many business owners are worried about surveying their customers because they feel it gives them the opportunity to ‘just be negative’. But if your clients have negative feedback, you need to hear it so that you know what to improve – and if they have positive feedback, you know what to do more of.

You can use a survey to gather data for several different areas. Businesses use surveys to find out more about:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Product development
  • Employee feedback
  • Customer service feedback
  • Purchase process feedback
  • Lead generation and appointment setting

You may need to conduct more than one type of survey – don’t mix the questions in your surveys to catch lots of different data. That approach makes the survey long, confusing and less likely to be completed. Instead, be specific about the reason for having a survey and keep it focused so that you are gathering the data you need most.

Tools for digital surveys

A digital survey is easy to put together and send out, and when you use the right software, you’ll be able to get great analysis and data sets that can help you take the next steps. These tools have different pros and cons, but are good to investigate for both consumer feedback and business to business research. Some of the top survey applications are:

SurveyPlanet – easy-to-use templates that you can edit as you go, and with choices for answers. Has a free and paid option.

Typeform – this is a great tool for creating visually appealing surveys. You can add images, icons and more to increase engagement.

SurveyMonkey – an intuitive and quick-access tool that is great to use on mobile or tablet devices.

LimeSurvey – if you want to build your survey in-house because you’re expecting to collect some sensitive data, this is a great option.

QuickTapSurvey – this tool is specifically designed for offline surveys, which is useful for businesses that want to collect feedback at events or during training.

YesInsights – want a survey that has just one simple question? This is the tool for you. You can either email your survey question or load it onto your website.

Survey Anyplace – if you want to incentivise your respondents with an instant opportunity to win a prize, Survey Anyplace lets you add this functionality.

Surveybot – if your customers are mainly on Facebook, use this tool to design and manage surveys just for this channel.

SmartSurvey – need the input of other people in your business? SmartSurvey offers a collaborative approach to building your survey that saves time and frustration.

SurveyGizmo – using data from previous surveys to help you get it right, SurveyGizmo advises on questions, survey length, answer types and more to help you get the most from your survey.

SoGoSurvey – a free tool that offers unlimited surveys and questions for up to 200 respondents per year.

Google Forms – Google has some great tools, and Forms is one of them. The survey data is automatically collated into Google sheets for easy sharing, and it’s completely free.

Client Heartbeat – if you are running a lot of surveys, then it’s worth paying for a good tool. This tool has three paid levels, giving you access to a range of features.

Zoho Survey – the free version of Zoho is a good way to test out simple surveys for small numbers. If you want to do more, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid option.

JotForm – offers both a basic free plan and paid options, with the free plan giving you up to 100 submissions.

The trick to creating a good survey

A good survey is one where:

  • The respondent doesn’t have to take too long to complete the survey
  • The questions are relevant to the respondents’ experience of your business
  • The questions are designed to elicit specific and useful answers
  • The survey is designed so that questions flow logically
  • It is easy to distribute and collect answers
  • Answers can be easily analysed for reporting

This can take time to get right, which is why many small businesses choose to use a virtual assistant for market research and survey tasks. They can help you to identify the right tool, design a relevant and useful questionnaire that works for the data you want to collect, and manage the analysis and reporting so that you can take action to improve or change things based on your new insights.

Whether you use a market research assistant or not, surveys are a great habit to get into. They let you keep up-to-date with how your customers and employees are feeling about your business, and let you revise and flex your business so that you are giving your customers what they want.

If you’re short on time  and need help with designing and managing business surveys, feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above.  


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