Use Online Surveys to Engage Your Customers
BY John Towler
People enjoy taking surveys when they feel that their opinions are 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.
You can use surveys to identify your customers and their preferences. For example, you may want to survey people who have ordered from you once but have not returned. Sometimes people like taking surveys because it makes them feel important and that someone values their opinions and wants to listen. If you post a survey on your site and make the results available online, people will visit your site again and again to view the results. Surveys are an excellent way to attract people to and build traffic on your site. An added bonus is that if your survey turns up something interesting and newsworthy, the media may become interested. This can generate some free PR for you.
You can survey people on just about anything. You can create surveys to learn what your customers like or don't like about your site, your services, or your products; determine their level of satisfaction; and research their buying habits. You can also measure their opinions on politics; news items; pressing community issues; and social, economic, and environmental issues.
Start by deciding what the purpose of the survey will be and why you want to do it. Be sure to take into consideration that the survey must serve your visitors first and you second. It must be worth their time to take it. They must feel that it is an important use of their time. They must also feel that they will reap a particular benefit from participating, such as making a difference in the community or in your company's direction, or winning a prize.