As part of my Product Manager job, I get to find out how customers are feeling about Batchbook. One of the ways I do this is with a quarterly customer survey.
These surveys provide a ton of useful information to us as we continue to work on making Batchbook better.
Of course, the benefit of getting direct feedback from customers is not unique to us, so I thought I would share my process for running a survey and collecting and acting on its data. I hope you find it helpful.
Survey the right people
First off, the success of a survey really depends on sending it to the right people. I focus on users who have been active in Batchbook recently. This includes both long time users and new ones, so I get a wide range of views.
There are lots of ways to create your segment. Batchbook is a great option. Using advanced search, you can really drill down to a group of customers that you want to participate in your survey. You can then send those contacts to a handy email tool like MailChimp or ActiveCampaign.
Ask the right questions
One question is more important than the rest, but it doesn’t even appear on your actual survey. That question is, “would you take our survey?”. You’ll want to ask that in a way that people will want to say yes.
I’ll cover more about how you should craft your survey-invite email below.
Doing a little research will help you get better results. There’s a lot of great information on the web about crafting surveys, like this article from KissMetrics.
For our surveys, I always include a couple of components, things like an NPS question and an open ended question for more feedback. From there, we like to include a handful of other questions.
Prepping for responses
You may think you can just throw a few questions together on a Google Form and send out your survey. Well, you can, but will you be ready for those responses?
At Batchbook, we can get a lot of survey responses, which is wonderful, but it makes handling them a bit overwhelming. I personally read and respond to each survey response, and share them with our whole team so they can look at them as well.
We might also follow up with a few of the respondents to see if they’d like to be featured on our blog or in a case study. And, occasionally, someone will need some customer support. If their call for help sits in an inbox for weeks, that’s not a good thing.
Besides the follow up, I also need to review the responses and share the data with the rest of the team. Each quarterly survey helps us make plans for the product.
Whew, that’s a lot to manage from one survey. It may not come as a surprise, but I use Batchbook to help handle all that work.
Hook it up
Think about where you want to work with your survey results. Your options include right from your email inbox, from a spreadsheet, or my personal choice, from your CRM.
Batchbook has integrations with Formstack, Ninja Forms, and a ton of other webform providers like Wufoo, Typeform, and Survey Monkey via our Zapier integration. You can also use Zapier to hook up any webform that can send you the results via email.
In Batchbook, I create a custom field set with fields to match the survey questions. With each new survey response, a new contact is created in Batchbook, along with all of the form response data. If some of those contacts are already in my database, I merge them with the existing info.
Share the results
Having this data in Batchbook makes it easy to share with the team. As I go through the responses, I can assign tasks to my co-workers to follow up on customer service questions or to reach out about a case study.
Everyone at the company can look at the responses right in Batchbook, and even get some context on the respondents by looking at the existing info we already knew about them.
I use Batchbook mostly for handling the follow up to the survey, but I also create lists of contacts based on their survey answers. For instance, we might want to see everyone who mentions a certain feature they love, or a certain problem they’re trying to overcome. These lists can be used for future communication as well as just general reporting.
Send it out
Once I’ve prepped the survey and gotten it connected to Batchbook, I‘m ready to send it. The email here is very important. We’ve sent a lot of emails from Batchbook, and have learned a few things that work for us.
Keep it short
First, I keep the email short and to-the-point. This starts with the subject line, which should compel people to open the email. . Once they do open it, the email itself should be easy to digest.
Most people don’t enjoy filling out surveys. I try to mitigate this by quickly explaining that the survey is short. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to fill out, so I tell them that.
I also try to hint that this survey will actually be kinda fun. I may include a little humour in the copy of the email, and I often use a funny picture. I’ve found this increases click rates which leads to more responses.
Finally, I let them know that their opinion is really important to Batchbook. Every user who fills out the survey is doing us a favor, and I want them to know that they will be heard.
You need to get people to actually take your survey. As I said earlier, asking them to do it is the most important question on the survey. Don’t whiff on this.The whole email should help frame your question. Your goal: make it easy for someone to say yes.
Here is what our most recent survey email looked like:
A few notes on the survey itself
This could be a whole other blog post, but I wanted to share a few more helpful notes about the actual survey.
Choose software you love
Don’t be afraid to try several. For our most recent survey, I used Typeform because it allowed me to easily build a survey, view and export the responses, and integrate with Batchbook.
Other survey tools I would suggest include Formstack, which has a lot of great features, and SurveyPlanet which is simple and easy with some nice visualization for the results.
Ask one question at a time
I think this helps the respondents to not feel overwhelmed, and to focus on the question at hand.
Make it fun
Word your questions in a friendly manner, and don’t make them too difficult. You might also want to include some easter eggs in the survey to make people smile.
Use conditional logic
This is kind of advanced, but conditional logic is a great way to improve your survey. Basically, it’s setting up questions so they appear or don’t appear based on previous answers.
Using this can help you avoid asking pointless questions. For instance, if you have a new mobile app you want feedback on, you might first ask if they have used the mobile app. If not, why ask them any more questions about it?
If possible, personalize your survey. We used first names in our survey because we find them more welcoming and personal. At the end, we also thanked respondents by name and gave them a personalized link to go right to their Batchbook account.
It’s worth it to shell out a little extra money to the survey provider. This usually gives you extra features and lets you have your own branding on your survey. This just makes you look more professional.
Our most recent survey was our most successful yet, with 50% more respondents than our last one, and lots of helpful feedback. I spent a whole day personally thanking every customer who took the time to respond. Because they did, we now have a better idea of what our customers’ needs are and where we can improve our product. Next step is to start taking action.
Let me know if you have any burning questions or helpful tips about your own surveys in the comments below, and don’t put off doing a customer survey. It’s worth it!