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How To Increase Sales Using Surveys: A Guide

Mathew Maniyamkott

10 min read

Acquiring new customers is harder than ever. Customers are not really looking at the next shiny thing because each entrant into the market showcases themselves like it. The guards of a prospective buyer is always high. They do not want to get involved with a product that wouldn’t make sense to their objectives and requirements. Did you know that sending a simple question where you ask your customer how satisfied they are with you not only helps your existing relationship, but is also great for getting new customers. Similarly, you can increase sales using surveys by rolling out online surveys. Read on to know more.. 

Getting feedback directly from your customers has a lot of benefits associated with it. Your customers who participate in your surveys are more likely to have a closer bond with you than those that don’t. It gives them the feeling of a community. It will make them feel heard and they are more likely to respond in the future as well. Your survey respondents are hoping that you will work on the feedback so that their issues are resolved. When you work on their feedback, they will feel assured knowing that you as a company care about their needs. 

How to increase sales using surveys:

1. Helps you find areas for improvement:

Online Surveys are a great way for businesses to find where they are lacking. Customers who have had issues with any of your products or services will find this as a way to talk about it. How you respond to these issues determines the kind of company that you are building. 

You will get to know the following:

  1. Are there areas for improvement in your product or service?
  2. Touchpoints that provide a less-than-ideal experience for your customer.
  3. Issues with the customer service team and how they handle complaints.
  4. Issues in the delivery of services.
  5. How happy are they with your product?

There are various other things that a survey helps businesses understand from the results of a feedback survey. 

2. Helps build awareness about your offerings:

When sending surveys, more often than not, the intention is to collect feedback or share some information. It is best advised to be careful when you’re trying to sell through research because there are laws that prohibit you from doing so explicitly. It’s best to put up a disclaimer on your survey link. 

The surveys that you send, ensure that you explicitly mention that you will be informing them about new products and services while also getting feedback from them. 

3. Net Promoter Score:

NPS asks a single question that is easy to understand and even easier to answer.

“How likely are you to recommend our products or services to a friend or family?”

The respondents are divided into three categories.

Promoters: These are those people who respond with a 9 or 10. Your promoters are extremely happy with your products and services.

Passives: These are people who respond with a 7 or 8. While they are not dissatisfied with your services, they are not gung-ho about it either.

Detractors: These are people who responded with a score of 0 to 6. Your detractors will leave your businesses and are more likely to talk to others about their bad experience with you. 

What can businesses do with the results?

The Promoters in your survey are people that are happy with you. You should put more efforts into retaining them, they could also be a part of your customer loyalty program, if you have one. They can give you testimonials that you can use in your marketing materials.

The Passives in your survey are more likely to churn at the first opportunity that they get. They’re always looking for something better so that they could make use of it. Find ways to provide them with better offers. Get on a phone call with them and find out how you can give them a better service or deliver better products. Your objective should be to convert them into a Promoter.

The Detractors in your survey will be leaving your business as they are extremely unhappy with it. Their expectations from you were completely unmet. Detractors are more likely to send negative reviews on internet portals and are also likely to share the same with their family or friends. Your objective should be to convert them into Passives. 

4. Use lead generation surveys:

You can increase sales using surveys to get new customers. Each survey that you send is an opportunity to be a lead generation tool. When you send surveys to your non-customers but who are your prospects, then ensure that you collect their contact information so you can use it to get close to them, understand their needs and offer solutions that work like magic.

5. Integrate loyalty programs into your surveys:

Loyalty programs are a great way to not only increase your retention rate, but also to improve your sales. Your existing customers who are already happy with your products will be more than happy to share your business with their peers, especially if there is an incentive involved. Loyalty programs provide that much needed push. 

Use the help of a rewards program tool that makes all of this integration possible. By putting your happy customers into a loyalty program, you can also use information about them and feedback from them to understand them better. Increase sales using surveys by creating products and offering a suite of services that your prospective customers want. 

6. Use a pre-sales online survey on website/landing pages:

Everyone who lands on your website cannot be a customer, but they are closer to becoming a customer than someone who never visited your website. So it is imperative that you need to capture their information and use any information that you get from these surveys as pivotal to your business. Integrate links to your survey on the website itself. Ensure that these are short surveys where you ask a maximum of three questions and nothing more. 

A pre-sales survey asks questions on firmographics which will help the business qualify the leads. It will help you reduce the time spent on the wrong leads, increases conversion rate, etc. You can increase sales using surveys by creating a pre-sales survey that helps you increase the effectiveness of your sales campaign and helps with targeting. 

Here’s what you can ask in a pre-sales survey:

  1. Information about the objective of the company in working with a product similar to yours.
  2. Size of the company.
  3. Information about the visitor’s department, designation, responsibilities, etc.
  4. Collect pre-requirements.
  5. Find out their goals.

7. Helps you beat your competitors:

If there’s one thing that businesses are guilty of doing, it is not being receptive to the needs of the existing customers. Most of them do not engage in post-purchase engagement. Existing customers are more likely to fetch you more sales as they are easy to upsell and cross-sell to. They will even be open to the prospect of paying a premium for products if they are happy with your service and if your product helps them achieve their objectives. 

Doing online surveys consistently where you want the voice of your customers heard will keep you ahead of your competitors. How? Because you are constantly improving based on customer feedback. 

8. Helps you make better business decisions:

Many businesses do not conduct surveys from their customers as they are afraid of finding out what they might say. Customer surveys might raise their awareness of what is wrong with your company’s offering, this is something that businesses are afraid of too. When you make your business decision based on insights derived directly from information gathered from customers, the chances of those decisions becoming fruitful are high. 

While businesses can make decisions based on data that they have from their side, like sales, outbound campaigns, inbound leads, etc, these data does not necessarily tell you an overall picture. Combining this kind of data with feedback from customers can make all the difference. 

Insights from customers will tell you what they feel about your products and services, prices, buying process, and their opinion about each interaction touchpoint. All these pieces of information should be considered as nuggets of gold and acted upon accordingly. 

9. Use post-sales to understand how they feel about the entire experience:

Do you have a customer onboarding process? How effective do you think is it? As a business, it’s your duty to ensure that they have the best experience devoid of any friction. Happy customers are going to be the reason for your success and you need to know from them how you fared in making them happy. 

You can ask the following questions in the survey:

  1. How happy they were about the entire process of buying?
  2. Did they feel any difficulty at any point during the purchase?
  3. Is there any advice that they would like to tell us?
  4. Is there a touchpoint that they were impressed with?
  5. Would you recommend the product to their peers based on the buying process?

The answers to these above questions will help you understand the customer and how they feel about the buying process in an intimate way. You need to find out insights from customers so that you can ensure a much better process for new customers. 

10. Get feedback from your staff:

The buck stops with your employees, that’s how it should be. You should send online surveys to your staff too to understand how they are taking care of your customers. Ask your employees of various departments who directly correspond with your customers to document each process that they do while interacting with a customer. It could be how they handle a compliment, complaint, or a service call. 

Based on this, you check out how they have been interacting with their audience based on the results from customer feedback. You will be able to analyze any trends and see how each of your employees are performing. The business will surely be able to come up with solutions that will create a better customer experience. 

11. Know your positive areas:

While we keep harping on about how understanding areas needed to improve is one of the biggest takeaways from customer surveys, there is one more thing. You also need to know the things you are doing correctly for the following reasons:

  1. It will increase the morale of your team.
  2. You’ll be able to know if the efforts you are putting in are fetching results.
  3. It encourages your employees to do better
  4. It will tell you if an area needs to be made stronger

Getting to know about the efficacy of your systems is as important as finding out the faults in it. There needs to be a balance. If your team is only apprised of the areas where they need to improve, they will feel as if their efforts are not fetching results at all. Knowing about your success will help you better your process and increase sales using surveys. 

The above eleven ways in your online survey to customers will help you increase sales using surveys. Let us see how we can improve the conversion rate of online surveys so that it helps with your sales.

How to develop effective surveys:

You don’t require a Ph.D in Survey Designing, thankfully. Instead, you can follow the best practices that we have mentioned below to increase sales using surveys and to ensure that you see a good conversion rate for the same.

1. Focus on a single objective:

If your objectives for sending a survey are at least four things, then you can expect the survey to be a failure. There is no way you can incorporate so many goals for a single survey without confusing your respondents. Let’s say you are sending a survey for a customer who has just finished a purchase from you, it is better to ask about their purchase experience instead of asking about your website’s user experience.

2. Ask simple and clear questions:

Do not go overboard with the kind of questions you ask. Use simple words, avoid jargons, use slangs or an industry-specific term that your respondents might not be usually aware of. Draft the question in such a way that it is easy to understand in the first read. 

3. Short surveys:

While it might be tempting to bombard your respondent with 50 questions that cover everything that you wanted to know, please refrain from doing so. No one will be in their right minds after they finish answering 50 questions. It isn’t a survey, it is grilling. Every extra question that you ask will have an impact on the validity of the response, response rate, and so on. People are more likely to fill in those online surveys that takes less than 2-3 minutes of their time. 

4. Use incentives if possible:

Not all surveys require incentives, unless it is being directed to a special set of customers or if it asks for a significant amount of their time. Incentives usually have a higher response rate because the respondents are getting something in return for their time and sharing about their experience. 

5. Do not ask biased/leading questions:

“How much did you love using our product?”

This is the kind of leading question that your customers might not appreciate. Ensure that the questions which you ask do not end up siding the results in a particular way. 

6. Use open-ended questions, but sparingly:

Open-ended questions are a great way for giving the respondent a lot of space to share what they have in mind. But if an open-ended question can be asked in the form of a specific question, then do that. Why? Because customers are not necessarily well-versed with writing and might write something that will be difficult to comprehend. If there is an open-ended question that you can always use when sending surveys, it is the one below:

“Do you have any other feedback for us which will help us serve you better?”

7. Use response scales:

There are a lot of response scales that are used in surveys and are extremely popular. It is easy for the respondent to share their responses and it helps you understand the scale of their emotions towards that question. It provides an in-depth understanding of how your customers exactly feel without having to ask open-ended questions. 

8. Use images and videos:

There are times when you should use images or videos to support your query so that it is clear for the respondent. Ensure that the survey tool is capable of handling images or videos without affecting the experience of the respondents. It’s great way to get more insights from the customers without taking too much of their time. 

9. Explain the relevance of certain questions:

There might be some questions which the respondents might feel as if they are not necessary. But if it is important for your business, then you need to explain your respondents the relevance behind asking that question. 

For example: you might have a question that asks for the salary of the respondents and gives a few options. Most people would find it intrusive and will surely question you about its necessity. But you need to tell much in advance the reasoning behind knowing this information and assure them that it will not be shared with anyone. 

10. Test your survey:

Once you have designed the survey, send it to various stakeholders. Ask them to check whether there are any kinds of mistakes. See for areas that might need improvement, not only in terms of the question, but also design, placement, conditional logic used, and so on. It will be embarrassing to find errors after they have been sent to the customers. Based on the feedback, you can edit the survey, and make sure it goes through more rounds of testing again. It doesn’t hurt to be extra careful. 

Conclusion:

There’s been a lot of research about the effectiveness of the simple online survey. Before the advent of the internet and the ubiquity of smartphones, getting feedback from customers was a humongous process that required hours of preparation, tons of papers and thousands of man-hours which was to be spent on analyzing the data. Don’t forget that you had to hand in the paper survey to the prospects/customers personally, wait for them to finish it and hand it over back to you. Then you have to travel to the office and collate all the data and analyze them.

But today, literally everything has changed when it comes to getting customer feedback. All you need to spend is on the time required to draft the survey questions and you are good to go with an online survey tool like that of SurveySparrow. Input the questions into SurveySparrow’s online survey tool and use the various features that it has. 

With its highly intuitive interface, survey respondents are more likely to finish the survey. The results of the online survey can be viewed in a beautiful dashboard that makes understanding it simple. The survey forms are mobile-optimized and they are also put in a conversational style. Use conditional logic, conduct omni-channel feedback, use exceptional workflows, APIs, integrations, webhooks, and manage your audience easily. In short, to increase sales using surveys, SurveySparrow can be your safe bet.

Mathew Maniyamkott

Guest Blogger at SurveySparrow

Regular contributor to various magazines. Passionate about entrepreneurship, startups, marketing, and productivity.

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