When To Survey Users: The Best Times to Ask
As the saying goes, it’s strike while the iron is hot. But what does that mean in survey terms? As you prepare to implement or step up your survey strategy, it’s critical to understand the circumstances under which a survey is most likely to be beneficial—as well as the circumstances under which it isn’t.
You can and should use surveys to uncover issues and opportunities in your business from both new, existing, and exiting users. So what is it you want to find out? That’s the starting place for all surveys.
Begin by considering the aim of your survey, since what you’re asking determines both when and how you ask it (more on the How in Chapter 5). In addition to a handful of opportunities you likely already have in mind, we’ve presented a few ideas below to help inspire you on your path to building a survey routine that improves your understanding of your customer and ultimately the performance of your business.
Here are some situations in which implementing user surveys can be beneficial:
In order to determine where to begin, do the following:
and the list goes on. There’s nothing stopping you from doing all of the above and more. The key is prioritization. Start small and focus on the survey opportunity that has the biggest potential for improving your site’s performance.
In Chapter 9, we’ll discuss ways to encourage survey participation at length, but know that in general customers are happy to provide feedback as long as you follow some simple guidelines: don’t ask too much, too soon, or too often, and limit yourself to asking for need-to-know—rather that nice-to-know—information. Otherwise, you risk overwhelming users and causing them to abandon your survey to avoid the hassle, which defeats the purpose entirely.
What your main objective is determines both when and how you survey users. Know your direction before going forward! #SURVEYSAYS
Customers are willing to give you vital feedback, as they long as you don’t ask too much or too often! #SURVEYSAYS
Just like you wouldn’t reach for a screwdriver when you wanted to hammer nails into the wall, there are some cases when a survey simply isn’t the right tool. For instance, you should not use a survey if…
While all of these are reasonable goals, surveying is not the best way to achieve them. On the other hand, in situations that benefit from qualitative feedback user surveys are not only an appropriate tool, but the best one available.