No matter what type of business you run, the ability to better understand your market, customers and employees is critical to your growth and future success. But you can’t do this unless you have good quality data to work with.
An online survey is one of the simplest, quickest and most effective ways to achieve this. That’s why we’ve provided an overview for you below of five of the most used surveys across different areas of a business and the benefits offered by each of them. Whether you are a Head of Customer Experience or HR professional, or your role encompasses market research or a related area, you should be able to find some useful takeaways from what we discuss.
5 Popular Survey Topics that can Positively Impact Your Bottom Line
1) Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Of all the many different survey types, customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys are one of the most widely used. Whether you encountered one during your last visit to a coffee shop, when you were asked to rate the quality of your drink and serving experience, or following a customer support call, where you were asked to rate the helpfulness of the customer support rep; we’ve all experienced one of these surveys before.
They are great for businesses and customer experience professionals, as they quickly enable them to assess how pleased customers are with their products, services or more widely with their business in general. It also enables them to identify areas where they are performing well or poorly, so they can develop strategies and actions to improve.
In a customer satisfaction survey, you should look to include questions that will help provide you with impactful insights that you’re able to take effective actions from. Some good example questions are:
- How satisfied are you with the support you received to resolve your issue today?
- How happy were you with your in-store experience, both with the quality of service you received and ease with which you were able to find what you were looking for?
- How satisfied were you with your shopping experience and is there anything you think we could have done better to improve your experience?
With the right questions, a customer satisfaction survey can deliver a wide range of benefits moving your business forward including:
- Reducing churn: as increased understanding and knowledge of how to keep your customers satisfied will reduce your churn rate
- Saving money: as you’re now able to retain more customers and spend less time and expense trying to acquire new ones
- Reducing the likelihood and scale of negative feedback: as you’re now able to measure satisfaction levels and tackle any negative sentiment, before it can develop into something more serious such as an individual voicing of negative feedback across more public channels like social media
- Creating brand ambassadors: from respondents who have indicated how happy they are with your product or service
For more information about how a customer satisfaction survey can benefit your business, as well as tips on designing, measuring and distributing your survey you might like to read about our customer satisfaction surveys.
2) Employee Satisfaction Surveys
Employees are one of your most valuable assets, so you will want to ensure they are happy and satisfied with their work environment.
An employee satisfaction survey is one the best ways to measure this, enabling HR professionals to assess how their staff feel about their company, culture, teams and any frustrations or concerns they may have.
Typical questions you might like to include could be:
- How satisfied are you with your working environment?
- What do you think of the company culture?
- How happy are you working for our company?
If you’re to ensure the best response to your survey, it’s prudent to ensure its anonymous. When people know their identity will not be revealed and there’s no fear of potential reprisal, more of them will respond and their answers are more likely to be honest and upfront, which is ultimately what you are trying to obtain.
An employee satisfaction survey can benefit your business in a wide number of ways:
- Identify areas that need improving earlier: this can enable you to take proactive steps to improve a situation, before it develops into something more serious for your company
- Boost staff morale: having given employees a platform to voice their opinions, you can make them feel more involved by including them in the process of improving your company
- Gain more tools to maintain employee satisfaction levels: by administering this type of survey on a regular basis, you can better track, control and improve satisfaction levels over time
- Enhance your strategy for improving employee satisfaction: as the insights you gain will enable you to spot any correlations or issues frequently being reported by respondents that you need to address and improve
If you would like more information about how to create and use an employee satisfaction survey, you will be able to find some good advice on our employee satisfaction survey page.
3) Exit Interview Surveys
Just as valuable as keeping your employees satisfied is to know why staff may have chosen to leave your company, as costs of having to replace employees are generally more than retaining them.
An exit interview survey can enable you to do this by exploring in more detail any issues that may have influenced their decision across areas such as working conditions, job opportunities, benefits, company culture and much more.
Common questions you may like to include could be:
- What’s your reason for leaving the company?
- How would you say your opportunities for growing your role/promotion/personal growth were? (Rate on a scale from “very bad” to “excellent”.)
- Do you have any suggestions of anything we could have improved to encourage you to stay?
Running an exit interview survey can benefit your business in several ways:
- Identify any departmental, management or cultural issues you need to fix: running exit surveys can enable you to spot patterns in responses that may highlight problems with particular departments, managers or your wider company culture that you need to address to reduce the number of people leaving
- Re-assess the benefits and opportunities you offer: the feedback you receive can also enable you to compare what you offer with similar companies and job roles within your industry and make any improvement you deem necessary to retain more staff
- Re-assess job descriptions to re-engage and motivate staff: if you are spotting the same frustrations and concerns among your responses for similar job roles, you may need take another look at the job description and duties and make changes that will improve your staff retention in these positions
If you are looking to run an exit interview survey, but need more help with question types and issues that you should be covering off, you might like to take look at our employee exit interview example.
4) Market Research Surveys
Being able to get a better understanding your market is equally as important as knowing what your customers and employees think.
A market research survey is the ideal way to do this, with the feedback you collect enabling you to better measure any number of metrics, from brand perception, price elasticity or the level of consumer awareness in a specific market. It is especially effective when used to assist with the development of new products or understanding changes in the market and why a particular product is not performing as well as it used to.
Market researchers often buy responses for their surveys as they need answers fast. This is also known as a consumer panel service which allows you to reach the right people quickly and typically generates a healthy response rate as respondents will have opted in to take part in the research. To find out more about this service and its benefits, read about our consumer panels.
When you are planning your market research survey, you should look to include questions that will help:
- Identify any market gaps: through questions that ask respondents about their need or opinions about a particular product, service or concept.
- Examine what’s important for potential customers: by asking respondents about what aspects of a product or service matter to them the most across areas such as price, quality, popularity, availability and many more
- Get a better idea of your competition: through questions that might help reveal other products or services that your respondents could be using and what they believe to be their strengths and weaknesses.
Market research surveys can benefit your business in a number of ways:
- Its fast and effective: enabling you to quickly gain an essential insight into what people think about your products or services.
- You’ll have the insight for effective decision making: as data is collected in a structured way, giving you the essential insights you need for developing your strategy.
- You’ll know where you need to improve: as the feedback will allow you to identify your product’s strengths and weaknesses, making it easier to take actions that will improve your product’s overall strength.
Read more information and insight into market research on our market research surveys page.
5) Lead Generation Surveys
Lead generation survey are becoming increasingly popular. You can use them to quickly gather essential contact information and preferences from your target audiences or strengthen basic contact details you may already hold about prospects collected from lead generation forms.
Lead generation surveys are useful as they allow you to add contextual information about prospects such as their job title, job function, any pain points they are experiencing, the types of content that they prefer to receive, and how close they are to making a purchasing decision. While this can enable you to build a useful list of prospects, it can also help you to identify those most likely to buy your product, so you can maximise the efforts and success of your sales teams.
Some good questions to include in your lead generation survey are:
- Are you responsible for your department’s budget and purchasing?
- From the following list of [state number of] products, please indicate those you may be interested in purchasing of learning more about?
- During the next quarter, how likely are you to purchase a new solution?
An effective lead generation survey can benefit your business in the following ways:
- More leads: as you will now have a more detailed database of prospects to work with who are interested in your products or services.
- More qualified leads: as the questions you ask them with regards to their preferences will reveal when they will be ready to purchase and what they are looking for.
- Know exactly who wants to be contacted: thanks to the permission respondents gave you when they opted in on your survey.
Using popular survey topics to increase your success
There’s no substitute for strong feedback that gives you a better insight into the thoughts of your employees, customers and market. And by getting up and running with the surveys we’ve discussed you’ll be well on the road to achieving this.
Ultimately, when you better understand your audiences, you’re more in tune and able to deliver what they want. And when you can do this, you’ll be better able to keep the growth of your business on track.