Say what? 5 Things I Learned Creating a Survey

Have you ever been assigned a project and immediately realized, "I have no idea what I’m doing?" As someone fresh out of college, this happens to me everyday. Luckily at Ripl I have an entire team of people who are always willing to help me learn - anytime, anywhere. So this past week, when I was asked to create a survey for our customers, I immediately began the process of researching and asking for help from team members who had experience writing surveys. Like every project I have encountered in my new job, my experience creating a survey had two themes: I started out knowing nothing, and by the end, I had learned a ton! So… here are my takeaways.

1. Surveys are Important for Small Businesses!

When running a small business, the margins are small and every decision matters. During the times when you are rolling out a new product or deciding what is next, a wrong step can be near fatal. That is why reaching out to your customers through a survey can really help you stabilize and grow your business. Surveys give us small businesses a way to find new insights, explore different ideas, and update our products to meet our customer's needs. Even better, the results of a survey are objective; you do not have to rely on a gut-feeling or hunch. Instead, you get real data from your customers to drive upcoming decisions.

2. Have a specific plan of attack

What do you want to know? This should be the first thing you ask yourself before beginning your survey. Do you want to know the different uses your customers have found for your product? Or are you more interested in discovering something new that your customers are looking for? Keep your goal in mind as you design your survey. This allows you to ask pointed questions that drive useful and significant results!

3. Ask for Help

Here at Ripl, asking for help is an essential part of who we are, and it allowed me to successfully construct our survey. At your business, try and ask different team members what they want to know about your customers. For instance, at Ripl, our developers asked about what we can add to the app, and our customer support team had questions about how we can help inspire creativity. If you run a single-person business, ask around on social media, talk to other small business owners, or even reach out to us at Ripl. Asking for help allows you to create a survey that will help you understand the entirety of your customer's experience!

4. Keep it Short and Simple

Would you want to spend 20 minutes on another company’s survey? I am guessing the answer to that question is, "Absolutely not!" Nobody wants to sift through complicated wording and language that lengthens the survey and wastes valuable time. So when you are designing your survey keep it under 5 minutes and make sure to use language that makes taking the survey easy.

5. Spread the word

Lastly, in order to get significant data from your survey you need a lot of people to take it! Think about offering an incentive, maybe draw for a gift card or promote a discount for one of your products. Then, figure out how to get the word out - use social media and email. Who knows, you could even promote the survey in your blog.

Joe Zimmer

Joe loves everything communications! The youngest member of the Ripl team, he works to improve customer outreach and analyze marketing data.

Seattle, WA

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