Surveys are increasingly being used by many SMEs for many good reasons, not least of which is to gain a greater understanding of your stakeholders.
They come in all forms including customer satisfaction and retention surveys, employee questionnaires, exit interviews (common now after you’ve had a service call from a service provider such as Telstra), post course/presentation evaluation, benefits studies and other types of market research.
Surveys can be conducted over the phone, in person, via an email link to a website, through social media such as Facebook or provided as a hard copy in the post. And they can be qualitative (obtaining attitudes) or quantitative (for statistical analysis), or a mixture of both.
I believe the 5 key reasons to conduct a survey are to:
1. Learn how current and lapsed customers view your business.
2. Explore people’s motivations for their actions and decisions.
3. Find out about issues before they become a major.
4. Identify what employees love or dislike about your business.
5. Limit the risk in executive decision-making.
All of these are designed to help grow your business through a better understanding of your stakeholder’s needs, desires and problems they may have in dealing with your organisation.
Before you begin the survey process, have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and what you will do with the results when you have them. Care needs to be taken when formulating the questions so that results aren’t skewed through a ‘leading’ questions.
Having survey results is one thing, it’s what you do with that information and making sure you listen to what the results are telling you that is important. For example, you should be prepared to revise your sales and marketing strategies if necessary.
PR PRO TIP:
A 6th reason companies conduct surveys is to gain credibility and awareness for their company, product or brand. This can be achieved by undertaking a ‘made up’ survey where a survey is commissioned on a subject that is relevant to the business and the findings are published in the media including a social media campaign.
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