Category Archives: Survey & Questionnaire Incentives

Tips on Improving Your Survey and Market Research Results

improving survey results

Are You Surveying Customers for Honest Feedback?

Austin, Texas: Businesses are constantly talking about their willingness to listen to their customers and how much they value their feedback.

Is that so?

This past week, I just received a series of emails from five different vendors asking me to vote for them in particular categories for an industry magazine’s end-of-year awards list. Some of these companies I do not even remember, let alone want to take the time to vote for. None of them asked me for my feedback — just for my vote.

In addition, I got a call last week from a vendor asking me to rate him postively in several categories, so that he would get my recommendation for admittance to the industry as a bona fide supplier. Did he ask me any questions about how the transaction went or for any other suggestions or feedback?  No, just my recommendation.

While visiting a fast food restaurant the cashier handed me a receipt telling me that I can go online and complete a survey for a chance to win $250.   A chance to win? You’ve got to be kidding. I want to be rewarded for my time.  If I complete a survey, not only do I want to remain anonymous, I want to win a guaranteed prize–like a free dessert coupon, a music download, etc.

Do you really want to learn what your customers feel about your product and/or service?

If so, then you need to reward them for taking the time to give you honest feedback.

In addition, you need more than multiple choice answer boxes.

Leave room for engagement questions, like ” How can we improve our customer service” or “What menu item would you recommend to a friend who’s never eaten at this restaurant before”.

I exhibit at about a dozen trade shows per year — mostly for the opportunity of engaging with my clients and prospects.  I use these shows as inexpensive market research, testing new product introductions and getting feedback on our existing incentive programs.  

These trade shows always pay for themselves in customer feedback alone, as I gain a wealth of knowledge from these shows, as I act like a sponge, trying to get a picture of why my clients buy from me, what they’d like to see different, what they might prefer that my competition is offering, etc.

Are you managers at these shows asking engagement questions — or are they too busy to learn what customers want?

Ask open ended questions.  The next time a restaurant manager walks up to me right after I have just taken a bite out of my meal to ask me, ” Is everything great?”, I may end up choking on that delectable morsel.

Ask  for my feedback while in line, while bringing me the check, while waiting for the valet — or any time where I have a few moments to gladly answer some honest questions.

Ask the tough questions.  Ask me what I’d change about your reservation policy, or new website design, or hours of operation.

Don’t guide me towards useless answers that just elicit responses like “Everything is great” or “Just fine”.

Are you trying to stroke your ego, engage in mindless chatter or do some valuable market research?

Are you posting questions on Twitter that engage your audience? Sure, many people go online just to voice a complaint.  But if you engage with you customers online and ask for honest feedback (even criticism), then you have the opportunity to improve your business dramatically.

What will you be asking your customers over the next few weeks to better improve your product or service?

I hope so.  Make it part of your modus operandi.

Please share with me the kind of open ended questions you will be asking your customers and prospects.  I would love to share it on a future blog.

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Tips on Improving Your Survey Results

ideas to help improve survey results

 

Many companies do surveys.

Some hand out small sheet of paper with your bill at a restaurant and tell you to complete a survey online.

Others are sent to your email box—asking you to take the time to answer a survey to “better serve”.

Some offer a chance to win a prize—others don’t.

A key question is: What are you doing with these survey results?

Is it a feel-good poll to show management that things are sailing along just fine, like “70% of our customers say we’re doing a good job”?

Or are you looking to get to the crux of a serious matter?  Matters of importance –perhaps whether a price increase can be justified, or if a change in a delivery module will scare off customers.

Are you looking to see what areas of customer support can be changed to make things easier for your customers?

Are you taking a survey to eliminate redundancies in your procedures or to find new uses for your product or service?

Survey results can be very useful, inspiring new ways of thinking, leading to new ideas, changes in procedures, money saving tips and ideas – or they can be a complete waste of everybody’s time.

Before churning out our next survey or questionnaire, ask yourself: What are you trying to learn from this survey?

Make your questions thought provoking.  Simple ”Yes”, ” No” or “Maybe” choices or a 1-5 scoring system will not usually yield the most solid results.

Your questions should be asked with purpose  —  each question having some meaning in gathering new perspectives or in reaching a management conclusion.

When finished, upper management should read each survey to get a better understanding  for what people are writing in—don’t just look at the finished complied scores.  There are usually hidden gems in the blank fields that customers fill in.

A survey can yield a wealth of information that can help organizations make better decisions –both in the short term and long term.

The key is to ask the right questions.

Is your survey yielding answers that can help your organization improve – or are they yielding pretty lame results?


—————————————

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Tips on Improving Your Survey Results

ideas to help improve survey resultsMany companies do surveys.

Some hand out small sheet of paper with your bill at a restaurant and tell you to complete a survey online.

Others are sent to your email box—asking you to take the time to answer a survey to “better serve”.

Some offer a chance to win a prize—others don’t.

The two key questions are:

1) Why Are You Doing A Survey?

2) What Are You Planning To Do With The Results?

Is it a feel-good poll to show management that things are sailing along just fine, like “70% of our customers say we’re doing a good job”?

Or are you looking to get to the crux of a serious matter?  Matters of importance –perhaps whether a price increase can be justified, or if a change in a delivery module will scare off customers.

Are you looking to see what area s of customer support can be changed to make things easier for your customers?

Are you taking a survey to eliminate redundancies in your procedures or to find new uses for your product or service?

Survey results can be very useful, inspiring new ways of thinking, leading to new ideas, changes in procedures, money saving tips and ideas – or they can be a complete waste of everybody’s time.

Before churning out our next survey or questionnaire, ask yourself: What are you trying to learn from this survey?

Make your questions thought provoking.  Simple ”Yes”, ” No” or “Maybe” choices or a 1-5 scoring system will not usually yield the most solid results.

Your questions should be asked with purpose  —  each question having some meaning in gathering new perspectives or in reaching a management conclusion.

When finished, upper management should read each survey to get a better understanding  for what people are writing in—don’t just look at the finished complied scores.  There are usually hidden gems in the blank fields that customers fill in.

A survey can yield a wealth of information that can help organizations make better decisions –both in the short term and long term.

The key is to ask the right questions.

Is your survey yielding answers that can help your organization improve – or are they yielding pretty lame results?

Isn’t it time to get better survey results?  Rework your survey to yield answers that can help shed a new light on potential problems or possible opportunities.


—————————————

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Tips for Improving Survey and Questionnaire Participation

improving participation of surveysWhen conducting online surveys or questionnaires, have you ever consider why the participation rate so low?  Could it possibly be because the survey incentive or reward itself is so lame?

If an organization is truly concerned with getting feedback to their survey, then the lottery-style survey reward they offer should immediately be changed.

Before taking your next online survey, figure out your goals.  Is management doing this with the hopes of minimal participation to prove or disprove their own theory or objective  —  or do you really want participation and input?

Most customers will not give up their time to log in to a website and share their information, feedback or opinions to an unknown entity just for the opportunity of being entered into a prize lottery—regardless of the price for a number of reasons, including:

  • Not understanding how their personal information is going to be used
  • Not trusting the website
  • Not knowing how much time a survey will take to complete
  • Realizing that their chances of winning the prize are slim to none

On top of these reasons, sometimes a poorly run survey can leave a sour taste on the person taking the survey.

I’ll give you two recent examples of survey incentives that I had participated in that left me with negative feelings toward the company, which were certainly not the original intent of the respective surveys.

The first one was a survey by one of my software companies that came to me as a new window while working in their software.  By completing a “short” survey, I had a chance to win a $100 gift card.  After answering 5 or 6 questions, I was getting bored and wanted to exit, but it wouldn’t let me out without going to my Task Manager to cancel the entire program that I was working in.  Nowhere did it tell me up-front how many questions were going to be asked, how long the survey was going to take to complete or how I was progressing – or giving me an easy escape button.  Poorly done, at best.

The second one was from my credit card company.  They asked me a series of 15 personal financial questions in return for a chance to win some money – if I qualified.   Then, at the end of completing this 12-minute survey, it immediately took me to a screen telling me that I did not qualify for the prize because I was not the right type of account for them.  Egregiously poor, at best.  I felt so used and frustrated that I have since switched to a different credit card company for my business use.

What is the best way to run a survey?  Make everybody a winner.  That’s right, for taking the time to answer a questionnaire, the person should be given a survey reward.  If it is an online survey, there are many gifts that can rewarded online, such as music and ring tone downloads, restaurant coupons, free movie tickets and even some merchandise rewards.  These gifts can rewarded by issuing a discount code that the person can redeem at a site, like DownloadIncentives.com or other similar companies.

If you still want to offer a big prize, you can set up the program so that the participating person is an automatic winner of one of the smaller prizes and then entered into a chance to win a larger ticket item in addition.

Why should a person spend time filling out questionnaire that will benefit your company and not be rewarded for their time?  If everybody is a winner, your participation rate will increase, and the quality of your survey results will be more meaningful, as you open up the participating audience.

You can add immediacy to the program and work with a set cost by allowing only the first 500 or 1,000 respondents to participate.   As an added benefit, this will get your answers to you more quickly, while limiting your survey budget to a fixed dollar amount.

Try the “everyone is a winner” strategy for your next survey.  Measure the results, then decide for yourself.  Based on over 25 years in the incentive business, I can assure you that the rest of your surveys will follow this new approach.
—————————————

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Tips For Improving Survey And Questionnaire Participation

 

When conducting online surveys or questionnaires, have you ever consider why the participation rate so low?  Could it possibly be because the survey incentive or reward itself is so lame?

If an organization is truly concerned with getting feedback to their survey, then the lottery-style survey reward they offer should immediately be changed.

Before taking your next online survey, figure out your goals.  Is management doing this with the hopes of minimal participation to prove or disprove their own theory or objective  —  or do you really want participation and input?

Most customers will not give up their time to log in to a website and share their information, feedback or opinions to an unknown entity just for the opportunity of being entered into a prize lottery—regardless of the price for a number of reasons, including:

  • Not understanding how their personal information is going to be used
  • Not trusting the website
  • Not knowing how much time a survey will take to complete
  • Realizing that their chances of winning the prize are slim to none

On top of these reasons, sometimes a poorly run survey can leave a sour taste on the person taking the survey.

I’ll give you two recent examples of survey incentives that I had participated in that left me with negative feelings toward the company, which were certainly not the original intent of the respective surveys.

The first one was a survey by one of my software companies that came to me as a new window while working in their software.  By completing a “short” survey, I had a chance to win a $100 gift card.  After answering 5 or 6 questions, I was getting bored and wanted to exit, but it wouldn’t let me out without going to my Task Manager to cancel the entire program that I was working in.  Nowhere did it tell me up-front how many questions were going to be asked, how long the survey was going to take to complete or how I was progressing – or giving me an easy escape button.  Poorly done, at best.

The second one was from my credit card company.  They asked me a series of 15 personal financial questions in return for a chance to win some money – if I qualified.   Then, at the end of completing this 12-minute survey, it immediately took me to a screen telling me that I did not qualify for the prize because I was not the right type of account for them.  Egregiously poor, at best.  I felt so used and frustrated that I have since switched to a different credit card company for my business use.

What is the best way to run a survey?  Make everybody a winner.  That’s right, for taking the time to answer a questionnaire, the person should be given a survey reward.  If it is an online survey, there are many gifts that can rewarded online, such as music and ring tone downloadsrestaurant couponsfree movie tickets and even some merchandise rewards.  These gifts can rewarded by issuing a discount code that the person can redeem at a site, like DownloadIncentives.com or other similar companies.

If you still want to offer a big prize, you can set up the program so that the participating person is an automatic winner of one of the smaller prizes and then entered into a chance to win a larger ticket item in addition.

Why should a person spend time filling out questionnaire that will benefit your company and not be rewarded for their time?  If everybody is a winner, your participation rate will increase, and the quality of your survey results will be more meaningful, as you open up the participating audience.

You can add immediacy to the program and work with a set cost by allowing only the first 500 or 1,000 respondents to participate.   As an added benefit, this will get your answers to you more quickly, while limiting your survey budget to a fixed dollar amount.

Try the “everyone is a winner” strategy for your next survey.  Measure the results, then decide for yourself.  Based on over 25 years in the incentive business, I can assure you that the rest of your surveys will follow this new approach.
—————————————

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.