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You have dedicated tons of man-hours to building your product and strengthening your service. You are trying to ensure that your application is useful but, above all, that it succeeds at making users come back for more. But then, *gasp*, they don’t! Why? What went wrong? How can you get them to come back?
You can allocate time to analyze all the variables — performance issues, ineffective marketing campaigns, etc. — but ultimately, you will need to go to the source: the customers themselves. You must ask them the questions your data won’t tell you by itself. Long story short, you need to send them surveys.
Easier said than done. Think of the last time it brought you joy to fill out a feedback form or to answer a questionnaire. Crafting the perfect survey, one that will give you great insights and that users will love to answer, is an art. You just need to have the right tools to create your masterpiece.
Formally speaking, according to social researcher Alan Bryman,
“a survey is a type of research that employs a cross-sectional research design and in which data are collected by questionnaire or by structured interview.”
Informally speaking, it’s a tool to aggregate user feedback based on customizable questions.
You may have great product analytics when it comes to segmenting user data, tracking user behavior, or monitoring, reporting, and acting on product performance. But you cannot afford to not include, in these analytics, a Voice of the Customer strategy, and that includes surveying your customers.
Without using surveys you are missing out on a crucial part of your customer journey, and, in all honesty, you will be flying a bit in the blind if you don’t know what your customers are saying.
These customer satisfaction surveys (hence, the “CSAT” name) are arguably the best known of any survey targeted at gathering feedback from end-users.
Most CSAT surveys have an average of 5 questions, and almost never more than 10.
They usually start with some probing questions to identify and segment the respondent, such as age, location, role in a company, etc.
When to use them: CSAT surveys are usually reactive, with the premise is that the user was potentially satisfied by something your company did, such as a completed purchase, interaction with the customer support team, participation in a webinar, successful sign-up process, etc.
These surveys are hyper-simplified to the point of just asking one question with the only possible outcome being an incremental 1–5 range of responses, normally represented as stars or as emojis. The rationale here is that the user responds quickly, with minimal interaction. That said, normally there is a follow-up open question for the user to further explain why they gave the rating they did.
When to use them: Target users while they are using what they need, so that their impression is as factual as possible. Thus, it’s best to avoid asynchronous ratings requests.
These are the trickiest surveys because they involve asking questions with high variability in their responses. This means that processing them might be a bit more strenuous, as you will need to read responses or use software to identify common words.
You can obviously ask as many questions as you think your users might respond to. But since we all know how reluctant respondents tend to be, you might need to give an incentive (think: rewards or benefits) for people to respond. Also, you must ensure you have the capabilities to process the responses: since the respondents will probably feel some sort of personalization (as to why they were chosen or due to the incentive you give them), this survey needs to be part of a larger strategy or campaign.
When to use them: These responses take time to be given/written by the respondent, so they will have to dedicate time to the exercise. Use these questionnaires as part of a marketing campaign, live feedback sessions with selected users, and content for potential case studies or testimonials you want to put together. And don’t forget: only send these to handpicked users! Too many responses might backfire, overwhelming you with answers and leaving respondents feeling unappreciated.
Net Promoter Score® in a standard metric created in 2003 by Bain & Company. The idea is that by asking users a single, simple question similar to, “How likely are you to recommend this (product/app/service) to a friend, on a scale of 0 to 10?”, you can know how loyal your users are to your product and, if they are not, how likely they are to work against you.
Similar to ratings, after asking that one question, you can alternatively give users a chance to explain the reasons behind their response.
When to use them: All the time. Gauging loyalty has to be part of your feedback collection strategies from day one. It’s also a continuous metric, so it’s not tied to a particular moment in your product’s lifecycle.
There are infinite possible questions to ask your customers and they will all depend on countless factors, like customer base, medium of contact, type of app, and, above all, your industry. To help you a bit on that front, find below some examples of questions you can include in your different surveys, broken down into different industries:
These are just a few examples of how to approach the “we have to know what users think” moment that will undoubtedly come in your app’s lifecycle. However, each context for any survey type is important, so you must put in place strategies for how you approach a customer, when, and with what goal.
None of that is easy, which explains why a product analytics platform like Countly can be the make-or-break factor to the moment when you build those strategies. You need to know users at a personal level and understand exactly their current step in their customer journey, so you know how their experience with you has been so far, and keep getting insights from every future one. Contact us or get in touch for a demo so we can show you how to put these and other Voice of the Customer tools in place and never lose sight of your users’ opinions.