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Build a Solid and Truly Useful Customer Survey System

Build a Solid and Truly Useful Customer Survey System - Duct Tape Marketing

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Customer surveys are the most direct way of understanding your clients’ needs and preferences. The success of your business rests in their hands. If they are not satisfied, there’s very little you can do to make your business grow. A well-designed customer survey system can provide you with the tools necessary to predict future trends, and stay ahead of the curve.

How to Encourage Feedback

The basic building block of any customer survey system is the survey itself. Often, the biggest obstacles companies face when it comes to getting direct feedback from their clients is the lack of enthusiasm when it comes to filling in questionnaires. So, when deciding to survey your customers, you need to factor this in, when you think about the number of people you have to send it to. However, there are ways you can encourage your clients to respond to your questions.

  • State the purpose of your survey. If the participants know what the ultimate goal of a survey is, they’re more likely to take the time to fill in the answers. Many customers are reluctant to participate in surveys because they don’t know exactly what to expect. Of course, you can keep the subject of your questionnaire somewhat vague, so you don’t influence your participants.
  • Describe the survey before your customers decide to take it. Without being too specific, you should give your customers an idea of what to expect from the survey. Give them a broad description of the types of questions you’re going to ask them, what they need in order to participate, and a rough estimate of how much time it’s going to take. If your customers know these things beforehand, they’re going to be much more willing to start the process.
  • Questions should be concise. Long, sprawling sentences might make them difficult to understand, and the answers will inevitably be less accurate. Short questions, that are to the point are much more likely to yield useful data.
  • Avoid unclear phrasing. If the questions are too vague, or your customer is unsure about what you’re asking them, this might make them feel frustrated, and just give up. You may end up with a lot of information that is practically useless, or you might stop getting feedback altogether.
  • Keep It Short. Even if you do have a lot of questions to ask, try to keep your questionnaire short, with no more than 30 questions. It’s better to split up a long list of questions into several surveys, then to try to fit them all on into single, long one. When it comes to likely participants are likely to give feedback versus how much time it takes to complete the survey per se, studies seem to indicate that the shorter a questionnaire is, the more probable it is the participants are going to respond to it.

Avoiding Biased Answers

The information you gather through these surveys is useful only if it paints an accurate picture of your customers’ preferences. There are many factors which can affect the way in which your clients answer a questionnaire. There are a few things you can do ensure that the data you receive truly reflects your customers’ needs.

  • Move the questions around. if the participants start noticing a pattern in your questions, they might end up answering based on that pattern, rather than really thinking about the questions. You should try to keep your questions as varied as possible, and maybe even add some that are not directly related to the ultimate goal of your survey.
  • Change phrasing. Words and phrasing can affect the way in which a person answers a question. Certain terms may have a negative, or positive connotation that isn’t strictly related to what you’re interested in, but can change the way your participant understands the question. To make sure you get a relatively objective answer, ask the same question in more than one way. Use different terms, or change the focus of the sentence.

Planning Out Your Surveys

To keep the information you gather from your clients relevant, it’s best if you conduct surveys at regular intervals. How often you question your customers regarding your business depends on a lot on the method you are going to employ.

Telephone calls are a good way to ensure you get feedback, however, they tend to feel very invasive, so you should only do phone surveys once a year.

Online surveys are more flexible. Ideally, you’ll want to send your customers a questionnaire once every 3 to 6 months for more in-depth surveys. You can always keep a customer satisfaction questionnaire on your company’s web page at all times, so your customers are always able to give feedback when they want to.

If you are interested to know how a specific product or service is doing, you can offer your clients a chance to state their opinion immediately after purchasing the product or service. These surveys should be very short, no more than a few, straightforward questions. If you get too aggressive with your surveying, your clients might be put off.

When planning out your surveys, you should be prepared for negative feedback. While it may be difficult to confront criticism, there’s a lot you can learn from it. Negative feedback can be much more valuable when it comes to satisfying your customers, and improving your business.

Maintain a Dialogue

Customer surveys are not just means of gathering information from your clients once in a while. They are a tool that can be used to generate, and maintain customer loyalty. Make sure you take the time to show your appreciation for the fact that they took the time to answer your questions.

If you do implement changes based on your customers’ feedback, inform them about it. Explain what measures you took to address their complaints, or how you developed an idea based on the things they appreciated. This will let them know that you are truly committed to their satisfaction and that their opinions are genuinely taken into consideration. It might even encourage others to take your surveys in the future as well. You and your clients need to be in a constant dialogue for your business to succeed.

Amanda WilksAmanda Wilks is a Boston University graduate and a Digital Marketing Strategist. She has a great interest in everything related to content marketing, online marketing and corporate and personal branding.

3 Landing Page Blunders That Can Kill Your Conversions

3 Landing Page Blunders That Can Kill Your Conversions - Duct Tape MarketingCan you hear it?

Bounce, bounce, bounce.

No, that’s not the distant sound of the discotheque down the street. That’s the sound of visitors leaving your landing page. Visitors you’ll never see again.

Something on your landing page is throwing your visitors off and making them turn around.

Your landing page may be hiding a conversion killer.

Can you sleep peacefully, knowing that you might be driving potential customers away?

Let’s put those fears to rest today. Let me show you how to find those conversion killers and turn them into conversion boosters!

Designed (not) to Convert

Your landing page is one of the most important pages on your site. It’s where a majority of your leads and sales will come from.

As a result, if you make a mistake designing your landing page the effect is much more detrimental to your business than if you made the same mistake elsewhere.

At Thrive Themes, we’re all about conversions. In a recent case study, we asked our audience to send us their landing pages for review and optimization. Entries came in all shapes and sizes, but a few specific and fundamental mistakes kept cropping up over and over again.

Conversion Killer 1 – Why Should I Care About Your Offer?

 Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt: “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want to buy a quarter-inch hole!”

One of the biggest mistakes you can make designing your landing page is to focus entirely on describing your product or offer.

Feature: What is it?

3 Landing Page Blunders That Can Kill Your Conversions - Duct Tape Marketing

When your reader first finds your content, they’re not interested in a detailed description of your offer. All they want to know is why they should stay. That’s why your landing page must illustrate the benefit of your offer.

Presenting the DTM podcast in a very blunt, feature-oriented fashion. Doesn’t sound too interesting, does it?

Benefit-oriented: Why should you care?

3 Landing Page Blunders That Can Kill Your Conversions - Duct Tape Marketing

Here’s the same podcast, presented in a different light. Suddenly you feel engaged as if part of a story.

These examples are, of course, deliberately exaggerated. Everyone who does marketing stuff has heard of features vs. benefits, and most of us think we’re doing it right. What we’ve found is that a lot of people still make this mistake, even if to a lesser degree.

In other words: Just because you’ve heard of emphasizing benefits over features doesn’t mean you aren’t making this mistake right now.

How do you fix it?

  • Think about the questions “Why should I care” and “What is it.” With this in mind, read every paragraph and line of your landing page.
  • Make sure every line is an answer to “Why should I care.”

Conversion killer 2: Drowning Your Conversion Goal in Distractions

Have you ever landed on a page looking like this:

3 Landing Page Blunders That Can Kill Your Conversions - Duct Tape Marketing

See how many objects stand out on the page? You don’t know where to click. So many bright objects demanding your attention that you’ll be forced to click yourself out of there before decision paralysis kicks in.

Your navigation bar, your social share buttons, and your popular content links are great elements to have on your homepage or blog page. Visitors to these pages are generally the ones who have already decided to stay and look at your content more closely.

New visitors, though, they might not know who you are or what you can offer them. Your new visitor needs one single benefit to give them a reason to stay and subscribe.

3 Landing Page Blunders That Can Kill Your Conversions - Duct Tape Marketing

That’s why we design a landing page leading the visitor toward a single goal, usually a subscribe button or buy-button.

How do you fix it?

  • Design your page with only one attractive element, brightly colored to contrast with the rest of the content.
  • Remove any other distractions. Anything that isn’t explicitly helping your conversion goal needs to go.

Conversion killer 3: Failing to Keep the Scent

Your sales funnel isn’t so much a collection of different elements linked together, but a solid pipeline with a single thought and purpose.

If you’re designing your ads or writing your guest posts separately from your landing pages, it might lead to a disconnect in your funnel.

3 Landing Page Blunders That Can Kill Your Conversions - Duct Tape Marketing

Logistical disconnect:

Your ad promotes one specific offer with a specific benefit but links to your homepage. Your visitor needs to click through your navigation or look through several other offers to find the correct one. At that point, they’ll feel quite confused.

Disconnect in look and feel:

Your ad is bright and colorful but leads to a landing page that’s dull and clinical. Your visitor feels they ended up in the wrong place.

Value proposition disconnect:

Your promotional ad says “Get Your Free Business Coaching Session!”, but leads to a landing page with a business coaching video. Great video, but your visitor might feel lost after expecting to sign up for a live coaching session.

These sorts of things make your visitor think “Hang on, am I supposed to be here?” When you look at this from a visitor’s perspective, the problem is obvious. But how can you design your pages so that they surely keep the scent?

How do you fix it?

  • Run through your own sales funnel. For every step, try looking at it from the perspective of someone who knows absolutely nothing about your website or business.

Pro Tip: If you feel unsure about a part of your funnel, you can pinpoint the problem with tools like Hotjar. Surveys and heat mapping can be the key to reading your visitor’s mind.

Silence the Bounce and Boost Your Conversion

If you found yourself guilty of the above mishaps, you know what you need to start changing to bring in results.

Remember to measure results before and after every change you make, so you know what’s working and what’s not.

Let’s be honest, though. Going back to eliminate conversion killers can be exhausting. It’s much easier to design the page from the ground up with no such flaws. Check out how you can do it with our free RAPID landing page course!

Silence the bounce. Sleep like a baby, knowing that your leads are safely clicking through, as they should.

Jay PitkänenJay Pitkänen is passionate about copywriting, inbound marketing and turning marketing jargon into something humans can understand. When he isn’t waxing lyrical about conversion optimization on the Thrive Themes blog, you can find him roaming the streets of major European cities looking for business opportunities.

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