Business Surveys and Why Your Organization Should Use Them

Apr 15, 2021 9:09:35 AM

By Cathy Cain-Blank

Whether you want feedback from customers about a new service or to better understand the experience of buying from your company, surveys can be a powerful tool. They are also a way to demonstrate to your buyers that you genuinely want their input.

All you need to do is put together a list of questions, get the answers, analyze the responses, and you know the steps to take to make improvements. Sounds easy, right?

From a technology standpoint, it is easy to add surveys to your marketing and communications mix. But before you leap into signing up for a survey-creation tool, know that there are many tools to choose from and different types of surveys. You need to know how to create effective surveys that give impactful results. Anything less can result in half-useful responses and potentially bad decisions.

Why You Should Use Business Surveys

A survey is a powerful research tool that can be used to gather important data, information, and feedback using a set of questions. However, before you plan your first survey, here’s what you need to know:

  • What do you want to achieve with the survey?
  • What type of survey are you planning to create?
  • What type of questions are you planning to add?
  • How do you plan to distribute the survey?
  • What is your target audience?

First Things First, Begin with Defining the Objective

Think of the survey as any other project in your business. You don’t want to start without a solid plan, right? It’s best to create a comprehensive plan based on your objective before you dive in.

You can build a survey on single or multiple objectives. For instance:

  • You can send out a survey to determine what customers think about a new feature you’ve added to one of your products; this will be a single-objective survey
  • You can send out a survey to ask your customers what you can do to improve a product and rate the existing features; this will be a multi-objective survey

Setting the objective, in the beginning, will help you build a clear roadmap for creating the survey, sharing it, and collecting the responses.

Types of Surveys You Can Use

Once you have a clear objective, you can pick one of these survey types to get started:

Market Research Surveys

To improve your products and services and ultimately attract more prospects, you need to know what’s happening in the market. Market research surveys help marketing and sales teams identify behaviors, challenges, purchase decisions, and preferences of a particular target audience. By using these surveys, you can enhance your authority on a specific subject and become a go-to resource for that subject in your industry.

Some examples of market research survey questions are:

  • What is your typical budget when purchasing X?
  • What is one thing you love about online shopping?
  • What motivates you to shop online instead of going to a retail store?

Customer Feedback Surveys

Customer experience is the top priority for many businesses and will remain so in 2021. Also, according to Salesforce research, 76% of B2B buyers expect businesses to know their expectations and needs. This is where customer feedback surveys can help.

B2B companies can use customer feedback surveys to understand how customers are finding them, the experience customers have with their support staff, what they can improve in their products and services, and more.

Some examples of customer feedback survey questions are:

  • What would you like us to improve in product X?
  • How did you find our business?
  • Was our customer support staff helpful?

Net Promoter Score® (NPS) Surveys

Businesses can establish their NPS® by sending out surveys with questions that require customers to rate the products and services. 65% of businesses measure NPS.

Some examples of NPS® survey questions are:

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate our customer service?
  • How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or family member?

B2B companies can also use NPS® surveys to collect employee feedback.

Types of Survey Questions You Should Ask

Now that you know the types of surveys you can use for your business, here’s a quick list of question types that you can include in the surveys:

Multiple choice questions where respondents can pick one or more options

Example: What do you like most about our business?

  1. Your products
  2. Your customer service
  3. Your prices
  4. All of the above

Yes/no questions where respondents simply have to say “yes” or “no.”

Example: Do you want to follow us on Twitter?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Ranking-based questions where respondents have to consider all the options as answers and rank them based on the question.

Example: Please rank our products based on how affordable you find them, between 1-10, with 10 as the highest.

Product X  

Product Y

Product Z

Textbox questions where respondents have to fill in their answers.

Example: Tell us one thing that you like the most about our brand. When you get ready to map out your survey plan, give consideration to offering an incentive to boost the participation level. A gift card, discount off a future purchase, or branded promotional item may be what some buyers need to be willing to complete a survey, budget accordingly.