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  1. #1

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    Marketing and Related Professionals - Question for You

    Any opinions on customer surveys...methods, usefulness, etc? I guess I am specifically looking at comparing direct contact to customer (via hiring a firm to reach out via phone) versus something like surveymonkey which is cheaper but has a lower hit ratio. Is there any value in something like surveymonkey?

    Any other comments or links to resources would also be appreciated!
    What would Jenny do?

  2. #2

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    FWIW, I no longer answer the phone unless it's from a number I recognize. I do Survey Monkey if it's convenient and takes less than 5 minutes. Phone survey respondents tend to skew older and in the lower two quartiles on the income charts. Tool based skew younger and in higher demographic groups. I can't tell what type of customer feedback you're looking for. If it's existing customers, you might want to put a survey on your site and see what happens.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  3. #3

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    Thanks! We are targeting current customers at their place of work. We are business to business, not consumer sales. I saw the research that says phone responders skew older but I am not sure if that is as relevant if the marketing group directs toward the actual business customer?
    What would Jenny do?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    Thanks! We are targeting current customers at their place of work. We are business to business, not consumer sales. I saw the research that says phone responders skew older but I am not sure if that is as relevant if the marketing group directs toward the actual business customer?
    What are the objectives? If you just want some quick feedback, survey monkey is fine and the hit ratio might be higher if you say the survey is from you.

  5. #5
    Tinami 2012
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    Questions:
    1) How big is the audience (list) you're going out to?
    2) What type of customers? C-level? Mid-level manager?
    3) Can you treat all responses equally, or are some more important than others? (E.g., do you have big customers, medium customers, small customers?)
    4) How many responses are you targeting and for what reason? What will you do with the results? Do you need to break out by account manager, etc.? (If you can analyze all customers together and don't need to segment, 384 is your magic number, assuming your list is large.)
    5) How good are your e-mail addresses? Phone numbers?
    6) How much other contact do you have with these customers?
    7) What are you surveying them about?
    8) How long of a survey?
    9) How interested are they in the topic? (Is your company critical to their business?)
    10) Are you providing any incentives? (Gift cards? White papers?)

  6. #6

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    If a survey request tells me the number of questions ("four quick questions") I am way more likely to do it than if it does not. Been burned too many times on ridiculous surveys that go on for pages.

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    In addition, I am more likely to answer a survey if I feel somewhat confident that my answers are anonymous. If you have my phone number, even though you tell me that the caller will not know who I am or know my department/company, I don't believe you. I won't give you honest answers. If survey monkey link is sent to me via my email account - same thing if I have anything negative to say about your company.
    Don't know the purpose of your survey but things to think about.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    If a survey request tells me the number of questions ("four quick questions") I am way more likely to do it than if it does not. Been burned too many times on ridiculous surveys that go on for pages.
    This!

  9. #9

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    You can hire a research company to do this via the web, rather than phone.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

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    Sorry for the delay in responding. See responses in box.

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    Questions:
    1) How big is the audience (list) you're going out to?
    1,000 current customers.

    2) What type of customers? C-level? Mid-level manager?
    CEOs and CFOs

    3) Can you treat all responses equally, or are some more important than others? (E.g., do you have big customers, medium customers, small customers?)
    Equally.

    4) How many responses are you targeting and for what reason? What will you do with the results? Do you need to break out by account manager, etc.? (If you can analyze all customers together and don't need to segment, 384 is your magic number, assuming your list is large.)
    No need to segment.

    5) How good are your e-mail addresses? Phone numbers?
    Contact info is 95%+ good.

    6) How much other contact do you have with these customers?
    20% of the customer base has regular contact, 80% of the base has infrequent to no contact.


    7) What are you surveying them about?
    The value/importance of a particular program (profit-sharing back to customers) in their purchase decision.

    8) How long of a survey?
    4 questions.

    9) How interested are they in the topic? (Is your company critical to their business?)
    It is required that they purchase our type of product, but they don't have to purchase it from us. (And they don't particularly like having to buy this product.)


    10) Are you providing any incentives? (Gift cards? White papers?)
    No - or not unless necessary.


    Thank you!!!!!
    What would Jenny do?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    In addition, I am more likely to answer a survey if I feel somewhat confident that my answers are anonymous. If you have my phone number, even though you tell me that the caller will not know who I am or know my department/company, I don't believe you. I won't give you honest answers. If survey monkey link is sent to me via my email account - same thing if I have anything negative to say about your company.
    Don't know the purpose of your survey but things to think about.
    LOL. We hire a company to do phone surveys for customer feedback now. We get alot of perfect 10 scores. My reading indicates that if we go to survey monkey for all of our survey needs, expect the perfect 10s to go the way of the dodo bird. People are more willing to give 10s when talking to a live person and not so much when responding to an online poll. I assume because it feels more anonymous and people don't feel they have to be as "nice".
    What would Jenny do?

  12. #12

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    Just wondering if the C level folks are your target. I don't know any large companies where C level starts the process. You might want to think about who's actually putting the req through and target them instead.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6 View Post
    Just wondering if the C level folks are your target. I don't know any large companies where C level starts the process. You might want to think about who's actually putting the req through and target them instead.
    Mostly these are smaller organization (LT 500 employees, usually LT 200 employees) and this is usually a big cash outlay for them, so one of the execs makes the decision, or actually the recomendation, and sends it to the BOD for approval. You are correct that, for the larger organizations, they have someone else fill out the paperwork as necessary, but the decision is usually made a higher up.
    What would Jenny do?

  14. #14
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    If you go online, your scores will most likely go down compared to phone surveys for exactly the reasons you mention, but your answers will be more honest (and thus more actionable).

    Given that your survey is four questions, you may want to give online a try. A typical response rate for a customer survey in which the customer has reasonable engagement with the company is 8-20%, but you'd really need to get more like 25-35%. (275 should do it, given the universe of 1000.... could even get away with 200-250 responses, probably.) CEOs and CFOs are among the hardest respondents to get to respond, but the small company sizes and the short survey will both work strongly in your favor.

    If you go online, use a "short and sweet," catchy e-mail invitation. Mention that the survey is four questions. Place the survey link after the first paragraph (2-3 sentences at most) and don't include any other links in the e-mail so as to avoid confusion except the required opt-out link in small font . Tell the recipient what you will do with the results, if you can, to make them feel like the survey is worth their time. If possible, send the invitation from an e-mail address that the sender will recognize (and that won't be mistaken for spam). Make sure your email invite will look good in HTML and in plain text, and on whatever e-mail systems your clients use. Lotus Notes compatibility is still an issue in B2B. If possible (and it should be with four questions), make the survey accessible via BlackBerry and iPhone/iPad. State in the invitation that respondents can take the survey on their mobile device if they choose.

    Some type of incentive like a Starbucks card is probably too much effort for a four-question survey, but maybe you can try a charity donation - $5 to Salvation Army or a holiday-related charity (assuming you're doing it now) for each completed survey. A Sandy relief option could work, too. American Cancer Society or Red Cross are usually safe options, too.

  15. #15

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    Thanks everyone for all your help!!
    What would Jenny do?

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