Surveys are one of the most reliable ways to get real feedback from your customers. In the pre-internet era, running a survey was quite expensive and time-consuming, which meant not all companies could afford to use them.
Today, in the middle of the digital era, we have diverse software and communication technologies that allow business owners to conduct surveys with minimum expense yet maximum efficiency.
Customer satisfaction surveys are aimed to find out your clients’ opinions about the quality of the customer service you provide, the level of your employees’ professionalism, and your company’s overall policies and strategies. The more feedback you get, the more complete a picture you’ll have of the current state of your customer experience.
Rarely will you know what your customers don’t like about your product/service until you see their angry posts on review platforms. Take the time to prepare a quick survey to ask your customers about the quality or your product/service and their satisfaction level. You will not only see what improvements to implement but also show your clients you care about their opinion.
Conducting customer surveys allows you to see your business from a fresh point of view. This a good way to find out what your customers want the most. For example, if you are going to add some improvements to your product/service, asking your customers about these upcoming updates will give you the understanding of whether these changes are exactly what consumers need. There is a chance they are hoping for something completely different.
Constant communication with customers and attentiveness to their feedback and suggestions will demonstrate that you are a caring business owner. It’s very important to show your clients they are much more than a source of revenue to you.
Depending on what your goal is, you should choose one of the following kinds of surveys:
You can mix all these strategies to get as much diverse information as possible.
So now that you know how important surveys are, you can get started with conducting your own survey. Here’s a step-by-step guide so you don’t miss anything.
Before you start with the survey, you need to have a clear understanding of what information would be helpful to your business. Do you need opinions on your products or services? Do you want to get feedback on your customer support experience? Is your survey general or would it be more helpful if it was targeted at a specific segment of your customer base?
There are lots of different questions that can be used in a survey: open and closed questions, questions with single or multiple responses and many more. Most people prefer taking multiple-choice surveys as they are quick and easy. Please note that the language in your survey should be simple. Don’t make your respondents think or write too much.
Make sure your survey questions and possible responses are detailed, yet concise enough to ensure that respondents fully understand the target concept. If you are unsure about the quality of your survey and questions, send out a test survey to a small batch of respondents before passing it on to your full recipient list.
There are many ways to invite people to participate in your survey. To get more people involved, the survey can be promoted through social media, email, or SMS. The more channels you use to send out invitations, the better.
Collecting survey responses can be a real challenge. Keep an eye on your response rate, and work on an action plan in case you need to generate more responses. To improve your response rate, you can offer a gift or a discount for your products/services to motivate people to answer your questions.
Once you have all the responses, you need to analyze them to understand whether you achieved your goals and got answers to all the questions you wanted. Once you have a full set of data in front of you, create a report and dig in to find trends in the responses.
Any survey must be well-designed and easy-to-use so that your customers are actually willing to take it. If your survey is boring, contains tons of long questions, and requires customers to spend a lot of time, the response rate will likely be very low. We have prepared a short list of the most popular and effective survey tools for you to consider.
Consumer surveys are a valuable tool for any kind of business, especially for small and medium-sized companies. Despite their simplicity, surveys are one of the most reliable sources of information, and a great way to find out what your customers like and dislike, what they want and need. Collecting feedback through surveys will help you to take the pulse of your customers and make sure your processes are working properly and your clients are satisfied.
Author Bio: Olga Mykhoparkina is a Chief Marketing Officer at Chanty a simple AI-powered business messenger and a single notification center. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work. Having a 9-year experience in digital marketing field, Olga is responsible for Chanty’s online presence strategy, managing an amazing team of marketing experts and getting things done to change the way teams communicate and collaborate. Follow Olga on Twitter or feel free to connect on LinkedIn.
For many people, the idea of “being your own boss” is part of the American Dream. As a small business owner, you can set your own schedule, take time off when needed, and have full control of your lifestyle — in theory, at least.
In November 2015, Credibly conducted a survey of over 1,400 small business owners, asking them, “What was your primary motivation to start a business?” 42.3% answered that the “ability to choose my own lifestyle and manage my own time” was their primary motivator.
The desire for freedom of lifestyle skews even higher for women and younger business owners. 45.2% of female survey respondents selected it as their primary motivation for starting their business, compared to 39.9% of male business owners.
Among business owners aged 25-34, a full 52.14% reported that “ability to choose my own lifestyle and manage my own time” was the main driver for starting their businesses.
But does the dream of business ownership match up to the reality? When asked “What is your biggest challenge as a business owner?,” the second-most popular response was “Not enough time to do everything,” with 20.3% of survey respondents reporting time management as their biggest challenge.
“Not enough time” was the biggest concern for owners of manufacturing companies — 26.9% selected it as their biggest challenge — and it was a slightly more popular response for female entrepreneurs (21.4%) compared to male entrepreneurs (19.4%).
Speak to any small business owner, and you’ll get an earful about the long, grueling hours involved with “being your own boss.” According to Don Jaeger, co-owner of Next Level Health & Fitness and the Mack Athletic Complex:
“As a business owner, I don’t have a time clock. If I have to stay late because there’s something that needs to get done, it falls on my partner and I’s shoulders. There are a lot of times where we miss time with our friends and our family, and that is by far the toughest thing. The amount of time that you put in makes a 40-hour work week look real nice.”
So let this be a reality check for budding business owners who hope that small business ownership will give them more “freedom” than they’d have as an employee of someone else’s company: It’s hard to consistently manage your time when you’re the one who has to put out the fires.
Fortunately, the rewards outweigh the challenges if you’re doing something you truly love. “When you work for yourself, you will work harder than you ever imagined,” Jaeger explains, “and you’ll also feel more proud about what you do than you ever have before.”
 The second-most common answer was the ability “to do the work I love,” which was chosen by 30.6% of survey respondents. Just 22.01% of small business owners reported that their biggest motivation was “to build a profitable business.”
 The most popular response to this question was “Staffing / hiring the right people,” which was chosen by 20.9% of total respondents. Business owners from the health care/insurance industry led the pack for this answer, with 31.6% of them selecting staffing as their biggest challenge.
What are the best big cities for small business owners to make a splash? Credibly and Venngage have joined forces on a new infographic that lays it all out: The 10 Best Big Cities for Small Businesses.
We took the 20 most populous cities in the United States, then cherry-picked the 10 that had the highest Credibly Business Index scores, indicating their “friendliness” towards small businesses. (Cities with matching scores were ranked based on their annual small business revenue.) The result is a fairly definitive ranking of big cities that are fertile ground for business ownership and entrepreneurship.