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Businesses across all industries collect data from multiple sources to help improve operations, increase sales, reduce costs and uncover product development opportunities. Surveys are one type of tool for collecting information from customers and employees.
Surveys allow a business to efficiently collect honest feedback, opinions and responses from customers and use that information to improve different areas of the business. Survey responses can confirm or provoke discussions on strategic business decisions and provide unbiased data to guide decision making. Feedback gleaned from surveys can also tell you what customers think about your brand and products, as well as provide a baseline for comparison over time.
There are two main types of survey techniques:
The following types of surveys can help your business in different ways:
A market research survey enables you to gather information about your market, such as how and where your products are purchased, your customers' needs, your level of competitive positioning within an industry and your customer demographics. You can use this type of survey to research a specific target market, measure brand awareness, communicate with a specific audience, and identify product and pricing opportunities.
You can conduct a market research survey when you have no data about an audience or a product (e.g., to evaluate a target audience's feelings about a product you are about to launch). You can also build upon data you've already gathered and measure it against a benchmark (e.g., to see how a newly launched product is being perceived in the market one year after launch).
Market research surveys can help you grow your business by doing the following:
A lead generation survey enables you to gather contact information and some preferences from your target audience. It allows you to assemble a list of prospects who might be interested in purchasing your product or service.
A lead generation survey should be focused, as you don't want to turn off respondents with too many questions. It should include a minimal number of form fields for gathering contact data (e.g., first name, email address), an opt-in checkbox that grants you permission to contact respondents by email and a question related to their preferences regarding your product or service.
Lead generation surveys can help you grow your business by doing the following:
A brand awareness survey enables you to determine how well your customers know your brand, the meaning of your name and logo, and what your brand stands for. It's important to be memorable so that customers will think of you when they're looking to purchase products or services.
Use the following metrics when creating a brand awareness survey:
Creating brand awareness is essential for building an audience. You can use a brand awareness survey, as well as market research data, to create marketing that communicates your brand name and the associated products or services.
Brand awareness surveys can help you grow your business by doing the following:
A customer satisfaction survey enables you to measure your customers' satisfaction with your company and your products or services. It can also help you to increase sales. Other customers will respond to positive reviews from other customers, especially if the reviews are published online. However, you cannot force customers to say they are satisfied or to fill out a customer satisfaction survey. Ask the right questions, and make it fun and inviting for customers to fill out.
Customer satisfaction surveys can help you grow your business by doing the following:
An event evaluation survey enables you to get customer feedback on your event. It also measures the success of the event after it has concluded, which helps you improve future events (or determine whether they are worth doing).
The event evaluation survey can also help you determine how attendees viewed the event differently from how you viewed the event. Some attendees might not have enjoyed some parts of the event. Although you should evaluate every part, keep the survey as short as possible; some feedback is better than none. Match the tone of your event evaluation survey to the tone of the event (i.e., if it's a fun event, make the survey fun as well).
Event evaluation surveys can help you grow your business by doing the following:
An employee satisfaction survey enables you to determine whether employees are satisfied with the work environment. It involves asking employees for feedback on different parts of the job and allowing them to list concerns or frustrations with the company. The survey should include questions about the company's atmosphere and how employees feel within the team environment. Positive survey responses can show that employee motivation is high and that there is a sense of strong team spirit.
Conduct the employee satisfaction survey annually, and keep doing it to monitor sentiment over time. Protect employees' anonymity when they are completing the survey, which will result in more honest answers.
Employee satisfaction surveys can help you grow your business by doing the following:
A job satisfaction survey enables you to evaluate an individual employee's views on the company and determine how satisfied they are with their job. It is similar to an employee satisfaction survey, but it targets specific roles. Conducting a job satisfaction survey can directly influence employee morale, so protect employee confidentiality.
Job satisfaction surveys can help you grow your business by doing the following:
A training evaluation survey enables your employees to provide feedback and opinions on company training programs. The survey can ask about the quality of the training content, how relevant it is to their role and how well the instructor did. It can also help you evaluate how well the course content was understood, allowing you and the instructor to address issues promptly. Conducting a training evaluation survey will help you get the most out of your training budget and resources.
Training evaluation surveys can help you grow your business by doing the following:
An exit interview survey enables you to find out why employees choose to leave the company. People might leave due to personality conflicts, a lack of advancement opportunities, better financial incentives at other organizations or personal reasons. Identifying the reason for a departure tells you for certain why someone left, which will help you determine if you can do anything to improve.
When combined with other surveys related to employee satisfaction, the exit interview survey can provide valuable information on how to improve the work environment. In addition, this type of survey can identify what employees enjoy and what you are doing well.
Exit interview surveys can help you grow your business by doing the following:
Key takeaway: There are many types of surveys that companies can use to achieve a variety of business goals. Which of these are right for your business?
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