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|Author||John Towler, Ph.D.|
|Date Published||September 01, 2003|
Surveys are an excellent way to better understand your customers' needs.
Surveys are becoming increasingly popular and are an excellent way to better understand your customers' needs, to offer them something interesting, and to keep them coming back to your site and buying from you.
You will need to provide an incentive to motivate visitors to complete the surveys. But if you can make answering the questions seem worthwhile, the survey results can provide valuable feedback to test promotions and/or alter product and service offerings and generate interest in your site.
Use Online Surveys to Engage Your Customers
People enjoy taking surveys when they feel their opinion is valued, and they like finding out what others are saying about an issue. Surveys are an excellent way to get close to your customers, to offer them something interesting, and to keep them coming back to your site.
Define Your Web Survey Goals
Before you can design an effective survey, you'll need to clearly define your goals. These include deciding what information you most want to gather, whom you are targeting, how long the survey will run, what will constitute a successful survey, and what you'll do with the information that you gather.
Design Your Survey Yourself or With a Professional
There are many ways to create a survey. Doing it yourself is certainly the cheapest way and, if you have the expertise and time, it could be the solution for you. If you have never created a survey before or you want to do something more complex, you may want to consider using one of the survey software packages or services that are available. However, if you want to create a professional, comprehensive survey that looks good and lends itself to sound statistical analysis, you may want to hire a firm that specializes in surveys and knows exactly what to do and how to do it.
Craft Effective Survey Questions
Everyone thinks that he or she can design a survey. After all, surveying is just a matter of asking questions, isn't it? Yes, but the questions have to be worded very carefully. They must be clear, precise, and not open to several interpretations. A well-crafted survey asks carefully chosen, insightful questions.
Introduce Your Survey Effectively
You'll need to make sure that your survey is well-placed on your site so that you garner enough attention, and you'll need to offer some incentives to generate participation.
Analyze Your Survey Results
You'll need to figure out what trends and issues the data you collect reflects. Survey software offers data analysis capability, and other good statistical packages are available to help you analyze your survey results. Beware of the pitfalls of statistical analysis. You don't want to draw erroneous conclusions. Data can be and have been manipulated to support numerous conclusions.
Re-printable with permission.
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