How a DIY Survey Can Provide Consumer Insights

By Madison Taylor
December 20, 2016

As a business owner, you’re constantly trying to pick your customers’ brains and get to know what they’re really thinking. What motivates and drives them to make a purchase? What do they actually think about your brand? How do you stack up to the competition? What are you doing that’s working, and what are you doing that isn’t impressing your audience?

While modern technology and big data analytics can allow you to study all of your consumers’ search patterns and track their movements online (and yeah, it’s pretty cool stuff!), there’s also a much easier way to figure out what’s going on in the minds of your customers: ask them.

Creating a survey or questioner tailor-fitted to your business needs and marketing goals is the most straightforward way to obtain valuable, honest feedback. You’re going directly to the source and asking questions of the people whose opinions mean the most. Your audience will be flattered that you value what they think and you’ll learn a lot — it’s a win-win situation. How ‘bout that?

But survey development involves more than just thinking up a few thought-provoking questions and hoping for the best. In fact, you could come up with some truly insightful inquiries and still get lousy feedback if you don’t put as much effort into the rest of the process. For the highest degree of success, we urge you to follow these simple tips when surveying your customers:

Keep It Simple

One of the biggest mistakes researchers can make is to develop a survey that’s just too long, convoluted, or haphazard. This happens when you try to ask too much of your participants all at once. Avoid this common pitfall by keeping your questions simple and direct, and by limiting the number of inquiries included in your survey. The magic number range for DIY surveys is anywhere between 5 and 15.

Consider the Results

You don’t want to get your survey results back only to be left with questions that you have no answers to! The best researchers will understand the importance of anticipating the different answers that may be given to certain inquiries and will come up with follow-up questions that will reveal even more valuable insights for your business.

Be Mobile-Friendly

Your customers are busy, and you need to be able to meet them where they’re at. So where are they? More than likely, they’re on their phones and mobile devices. Consequently, you need to develop a survey that’s mobile-friendly and will empower clients to answer questions on-the-go.

Plan for the Future

If you want to stay current with what your customers want and how they feel, it’s wise to survey them on a regular basis. Whether it’s once a year or once each quarter, this can be a very powerful way to monitor how a client’s opinions change or evolve with time. The best way to measure this is to come up with several questions that you repeat in every survey. You can even design these questions in such a way that they’ll reveal whether or not you’re really growing and meeting your business goals over time.

Have Fun!

Today’s consumer audience is constantly asked to take part in business surveys, so you need to make yours stand out. A dull survey will leave your participants bored, thus increasing the likelihood that they’ll decide to drop out or even fail to answer questions as honestly as they would otherwise. Make your survey interactive to improve engagement, or consider offering some type of incentive for participants.