Guest Post: SurveyMonkey Discusses How Small Businesses Can Get Insights From Running Their Own Surveys

In business, people are often rewarded for the answers they offer rather than the questions they ask. But curiosity is what leads to new insights that can give small businesses the information they need to set priorities, make necessary changes in direction and ultimately help their business

Whether it’s to improve customer service, get opinions on services or products, or even to better understand employees’ needs, running a survey with a tool like SurveyMonkey can make sense for any small business looking for a cost-effective way to gain actionable insights.

Not everyone is a survey expert, but there are some guidelines that can help create a well-designed survey that will produce valuable information.

Design the survey. Briefing an outside partner can take time. With a tool like SurveyMonkey, designing a survey is simple and fast.  There are even pre-designed survey templates for specific types of survey.

Avoid jargon. Don’t assume everyone you want to hear from is familiar with your industry jargon. Use relatable terms that can be broadly understood.

Draw on best practices. Even if you aren’t a survey expert, you can design a useful and targeted survey by checking SurveyMonkey’s Question Bank. It’s a searchable database of proven questions prepared by the SurveyMonkey research team.

Learn from machines. SurveyMonkey Genius is a brand-new tool available with all SurveyMonkey plans. It uses machine learning to suggest changes to your survey that will improve completion rates and the time it takes respondents to fill out your survey.

Keep it short. SurveyMonkey looked at two years’ worth of surveys (more than 26,000 surveys) and found the median number of questions was 12. Shorter surveys also tend to have higher completion rates, which means they have overall better data quality. Sixty per cent of people don’t want to take a survey that takes longer than 10 minutes.

Make your survey mobile friendly.  Nearly half of respondents outside the U.S. take SurveyMonkey surveys on mobile devices, so it’s safe to say many of your respondents will as well. Images and videos will make completing your survey difficult on mobile, so minimize those elements and use the Preview/Test function to see how it looks on mobile.

Adjust the survey once you see results coming. Receiving results yourself means you can identify red flags or gaps in the information you’re collecting, and adjust the survey accordingly. This speed and flexibility isn’t possible when working with an outside agency, which may not provide results for weeks.

Benchmark your scores and responses against competitors. The Benchmarks tool will compare your survey results to those of other companies in your industry using the same metrics, such as an NPS score.

Act on your results. If your survey reveals an unhappy customer or client, you can reach out personally to address the issue. SurveyMonkey’s email collector also means you can do regular follow up surveys to go deeper into particular subjects and gain more insights.

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