Survey Writing Part 1: Getting the Most from Your Data

Survey Writing Part 1: Getting the Most from Your Data

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So, what's the true importance of data collection from surveys?

Simply, you're learning about your customers and gaining a better understanding of their tastes, preferences, issues, thoughts, and concerns.

Also, you're learning about the relative temperature of your company from your customers' point of view. What you're doing right, what you're doing wrong, and ultimately, how you can improve.

The customer provides more insight into your company than a team of hired consultants, feedback from your staff or even your bottom line.

Truly, the importance of customer surveys is market research: the more you know about them, the better you can serve them. That twenty years ago, marketers of any strip would most certainly give their eyeteeth for this epitome of market research; a tool and tactic. You have an abundance of information. Though it may be painful, disruptive and reaffirming, understanding this data is crucial to your overall growth and sales opportunities.

Only the brave ask for this unfiltered feedback, let alone, delve into potentially devastating information.

So, what do you do with it?

Learn. Listen. Change.

Identify the most important questions first.

  • Who are your customers?
  • What are their demographics?
  • Where do they live? (Optional)
  • How old are they? (Optional)
  • What is the annual household income? (Optional)
  • What is their purchase history?
  • What is the frequency of their purchases?
  • Do they have email updates?
  • Would they like contact from you?
  • What type of contact would they like from you?
  • Would they like recommendations for other products and services?
  • Are they likely to recommend your company?
  • What are their concerns with your products, services or customer service?

Though these questions seem simple and straightforward, these are the most crucial compared to any other type.

Essentially, getting the most from your data is to first understand whom your customers actually are. This will give you a baseline for future surveys.

Regularly review data collected.

Truly, there's no point in collecting the data in the first place without regular and consistent analysis. Beyond asking the right questions, it is even more imperative to understand and digest what exactly your customers are telling you.

Say, you send out surveys through your emails every couple of months, then that gives you less than a month to tear apart, digest and implement any changes learned from the information collected.

Say, you have a floating survey box that appears on your website. That means that you're going to receive data daily, if not hourly (though it helps, in this case, to provide an incentive to do so), then you have an obligation to review that information as it comes in. Compile it. Analyze it. Compare it to other surveys.

This is the best and only way to get the most from your data. This baseline is what you're going to build additional surveys from.

Even then, always, always, always, review your data regularly.

Watch for more tips on email marketing, Twitter, autoresponders and other online strategies in future blogs.

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