So you’ve just finished a major marketing strategy – perhaps it was your annual incentive trip for your high performing dealers, or maybe a short, sharp 3 month product push or even a new product launch. Either way, you put a lot of time, energy and money into it and perhaps you should send out a survey.

A very important component of successful Product Management is talking to and learning from customers.

Surveys play a key role in the product manager’s customer feedback toolbox. They are particularly suited for quickly gaining insights from a large group of customers.

Online surveys allow you to gather feedback from customers everywhere. The structured nature of surveys makes them easy to analyse and quantify the feedback.

Surveys are a good product management tool to use when you want to learn more about:

  • Strengths and weaknesses of your products
  • Prioritisation of features
  • The direction you are taking
  • Overall client satisfaction with your product or company

Getting Customers To Respond To Surveys

In order for survey data to be useful for drawing conclusions, it’s important to get sufficient people to respond to your survey. Surveys often suffer from low response rates because:

1. It’s challenging to convince even devoted customers to take the time to fill out surveys. Customers are busy and your request for survey feedback will be low on their list of priorities.

2. Survey length can make or break the success of a survey. You’d like to learn as much as possible from a survey, but customers all have limited time.

The key to getting good response rates for your survey is to express value for their time. This is where survey incentives come in

Using Survey Incentives

The reality is that everyone is busy, and taking time out of their busy schedules is something you have to earn. This is where something as simple as a $20 gift card comes in handy.

You will need to evaluate the survey responses to see if they were real, or rushed through just to get the gift card but based on the uniformity of responses for certain questions that required more thought, you will discover that the great majority of responses will be sincere. The reward simply motivated people to take the time to complete the survey.

Getting a large number of customers to respond to your survey can have a huge impact on what you learn. In addition, select a few key survey respondents as candidates for follow up calls. These respondents are particularly valuable users or users who had particularly interesting feedback. Since you’re relying on these respondents for future feedback, it is especially important to show them your appreciation for their time with a reward.