Too many times websites are about selling to visitors and are not about providing the information that they need to make informed decisions. Most visitors come many times to a website before they fill in a form or pick up the phone and make a buying decision. Having a survey that is not obtrusive on your website to gain information can be very helpful to your marketing and overall business efforts.
The tool we use allows our visitors to be anonymous in answering questions, as that way you are more assured to receive honest answers. On each survey, we give them the option to provide their email and be contacted. This way for those that are interested, it is their choice alone to provide the email to be contacted.
The question(s) you ask need to be non-threatening in nature. We are not asking our visitors to provide private information; it is usually about their opinion as a business owner. It is generally one or two multiple choice questions with the second one being optional and a clarifying question of the first. We have found that visitors are more apt to answer questions that are easy to answer and already have choices for them to choose versus filling in forms.
You want to make sure that you provide positive as well as negative responses and are not only providing those that you want to hear, as you want to make sure that you get a complete picture. Make sure you are prepared for the answers to be brutally honest. We have made changes in services and business processes based on the information we received and find this is a very beneficial tool to our business. An example of this is the question we have now. We recently launched 2 new services where there are assessments and scores. We offer the overview assessment free of charge and then if the individual wants to get help, then this is a charged service. We asked the question regarding receiving a free assessment and what would hold them back to fill in the assessment. Our options are as follows:
- No Issue, send me the link
- Fear of someone stalking me afterward to sell me something
- Fear of knowing the truth about my business score
- Fear of providing information about my business
- Doing it online versus with someone
We felt the answer would be regarding them providing information about their business, even though the questions are not specific, they are ranges and most multiple choice, or choosing from a list of items. So far it has been split between “No Issue, send me the link”, and “Fear of someone stalking me afterward to sell me something”, which it not what we expected. On the other hand it provides us with information on how to make changes in our offering to get our desired result.
We change our questiona at the beginning of every month so that those coming back do not see the same question over and over again and once you have 30 to 50 responses that will give you a good indication.
There are a few features that you want to look for in a web survey product.
- Choose one that allows you to target certain visitors, such as location, number of visits,
- Choose a product that allows you to close the survey. You do not want to irritate visitors who are not interested in responding.
- Choose a product that provides different question types: multiple choice, ratings
- Look for a product that provides you the ability to collect their email as optional
- Look for a product that provides you analysis on the questions and also includes information on where the information was from (location) if you are selling in specific locations.
Surveys do not always have to be about selling, as visitors come to your website for several reasons and most are not there ready to buy for the first time. Some visitors come to educate themselves on the industry and the different products and services; others come to see what options are available, so they are most likely visiting your competitors at the same time.
Web surveys provide you with an opportunity to find out critical information that can help you in your business which sometimes is as important as sales.