4 simple solutions to survey your customers

This article was first published by iowabusinessjournals.com

Getting honest feedback from loyal customers and employees is practically gold. While your knowledge and ambition may drive your business, thoughtful, outside perspective can be the fuel that makes sure your doors are open for the long haul. But what is the best tool to reach your invested followers?

Right away we can discount direct mail. Unless it's a package, bill or birthday card almost no one cares about the mail. So don't waste your money on postage. If we also discard all passive and intrusive survey methods such asin-person point-of-sale surveys, comment cards, and polling phone calls what eventually are left with is online surveying.

Amazon product reviews, Yelp, TripAdvisor- these are all wildly popular because they are a public social platform to vent frustrations and for consumers to act as food critics. Still all too often these platforms are not constructive for improving a business.

Direct online surveying is targeted, simple inviting  your most loyal customers and employees where your succeeding as well as highlight areas that need work. That platforms to execute these surveys are practically boundless. Survey Monkey is the most popular and pricey, Wufoo is a strong alternative with a great deal of customization but poor analytics. TypeForm is a straight forward, single question at a time platform which has it's been but could make users feel as if the survey is taking forever. Finally Google Forms is the free, least visually attractive, but straight to point tool that will help build a survey and deliver it the fastest and cheapest, but have the fewest customizations.

With the exception Google Forms, everyone of these platforms has a business offering that you can pay for and find all kinds of customization and user analytics. Ranging in price from free to $100 a month survey makers can use tools such as unlimited questions, individual survey taker profile (keeping names anonymous if requested), sub questions, pop up info displays, data visualization, question-by-questions trends and metrics and much more. Plus these platforms all supply survey delivery, website embedding tools, and use notification.

Of course not one of these is as simple as direct mail. If you're looking for a digital means to recreate that experience, look into the contact form options of your website platform. Many platforms allow for appointment scheduling and P.O.S. contact forms to auto pop-up. If your site offer this tool, you might already have the means to generate and replicate a small scale survey with every customer interaction.

Patrick Boberg is a central Iowa creative media specialist. For more tech insights, follow him on Twitter @PatBoBomb


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