The Why & the How of Surveys
Communicating with clients and staff is so important to gauge if you are heading in the right direction. Your clients will tell you if you are meeting their needs and your staff will tell you what works and what is a barrier to their productivity.
This is vital information for any business owner and yet most don’t take the time to ask the simple questions. If you’re strapped for time, hang on, because July will be all about planning and organisational tools.
This month the focus is on Communication
The only way to find out what your clients want is to ask them! They are best placed to tell you their frustration point. It’s the same for your team. They are working within the frame of your policies and procedures and will be able to tell what causes them grief and what makes their job a breeze. They are also a proverbial fountain of ideas.
While asking the question is a start, you’ll need a method for recording all of the information so that it can be analysed and put to use later. The best way to do this is to create a survey and the best surveys are short, to the point and targeted.
Online surveys have a much better return rate than paper surveys and they can be dissemintated to a wide audience very quickly. You can email them to your list, post them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ as well as link them to your website. You can also add to them from paper versions that you fill out or have your clients fill out in store. The best part is all the information is collated in one place.
My Favourite Online Survey Tools
I’ve been using the following online survey tools in my business to ask any burning question I have about products, services and future ideas. They each serve a purpose and while lately I’ve been leaning towards FluidSurveys, any one of them will be a useful tool in your business.
Survey Monkey – the free version offers up to 10 questions per survey allowing 100 respondents with access to 31 templates. Their paid versions are: Select at $19/month, Gold at $25/month and Platinum at $66/month all paid annually. It is quite easy to navigate and create a professional looking survey. (These prices are quoted in AUD$)
Google Docs – this is completely free, all you need is a Google account and if you have a Gmail account you already have access. Just go to your Google Drive and create a Form. You have some templates to choose from and it’s very easy to edit and create your questions. The responses are collated in a Spreadsheet and can also be seen in pie chart format depending on your question types. Not quite as professional, but great for the beginner.
FluidSurveys – the free version offers unlimited surveys of up to 20 question allowing 150 respondents and has a lot more formatting and analysis features than Survey Monkey. It is a little more complex, but still very easy to use. The paid versions are: Pro at $17/month, Ultra at $45/month and Enterprise which is price on application. (These prices are quoted in US$). They are also billed annually although it can be paid monthly with an additional cost.
If you’re serious about your business they you need to get serious about formally asking some questions.