Checklist: Add Online Surveys to Your Site
BY John Towler
Surveys are becoming popular because they 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 as though 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.
Decide Whether to Design Your Own Survey, Use Survey Software, or Hire Professionals 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 they 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 carefully. They must be clear, precise, and unambiguous. A well-crafted survey asks carefully chosen, insightful questions.
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 manipulated to support numerous conclusions.