We all understand the importance of analytics as it relates to website optimization. But analytics is only one piece of the complex puzzle—it can let us know there is a problem, but not necessarily what to do in order to diagnose or fix it. To understand what’s really happening on your site you have to—as Steve Blank so famously said—“get out of the building” and talk to your users. While getting out of the building often involves real-life, face-to-face conversations, it’s also possible—and in fact, essential—to talk to your customers even when you can’t actually leave your seat. Let us explain…

To put it simply, in order to meet your users’ needs you must first understand what those needs are, and user surveys help you to do just that.

7 Specific Reasons Why Surveys Are Important

1. Because nobody is perfect. It’s likely there are aspects of your website that you know could be serving your users better. In a perfect world, you’d have immediate access to every piece of information you needed to make these improvements. That’s definitely not the world we live in. We can, however, get close—though you can’t read your users’ minds (yet), user surveys provide a direct conduit to, and a more complete picture of, your customers’ and potential customers’ motivations, frustrations, and needs.

There is no better way to communicate directly with the people who affect your business most. From hurdles in your purchase funnel to challenging user experience issues in your product—you can uncover objections that lead to lost customers and lost revenue. This is valuable intelligence that can be leveraged to improve all areas of your business.

2. Because guessing is expensive.If your job is managing and improving a website, conversion optimization is a core part of your responsibilities. Rather than randomly testing various elements, surveys take the guesswork out of A/B testing by helping you identify the opportunities that will provide the greatest return for your time investment.

We all have limited time and resources to put toward improving our websites, products, and businesses. We can guess about what we think visitors want and where to focus our optimization efforts, but that is inefficient at best—and incredibly costly in most cases. Surveys are the shortcut to prioritizing where to invest your time for the maximum return on your efforts.

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Guessing is expensive. Don’t guess. Survey your users and get insights to drive your business.

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3. Because it is a simple and cost-efficient means of gathering information from customers and potential customers. If you’re doing well, user surveys can aid in identifying what it is that’s making your customers happy, meaning you can double down on those efforts. If your progress is stalled, they can help you to figure out why, as well as give you direction for improvement. If you’re just getting off the ground, user surveys can save you a lot of time, anxiety, and money by confirming whether you’re targeting the right market for the service you plan to offer.

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There is no easier or cheaper way to find out if there is a market for your product. Survey before spending!

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4. Because surveys help you continually stack the odds for future success. Build a flywheel of performance improvement that pays off not only in the short term, but becomes a long term competitive advantage as you make your business continually better, adding more and more to your bottom line over time.

5. Because happy customers are key to long-term success. Word of mouth growth is like a tail wind at the back of all of your marketing efforts. If you’re lucky, your established customers will be an important source of new customers through their referrals of friends and colleagues to your business. But customers only refer others when they’re extremely pleased with your product or service. In fact, a recent study indicates that increased customer satisfaction doesn’t result in a comparable increase in profits—but actually 3.5 times the increase in profit. If your customers aren’t referring new users, you’ll never get the compounded benefit that referrals bring to your marketing and sales efforts.

6. Because customer churn can kill your business. The old adage that it’s more expensive to get a customer than keep a customer is true, so ensuring that you’re delivering ongoing value to your paying customers is critical. Study after study demonstrates that once customers leave, it’s as much as 7 times as expensive to convince them to come back. Insight from surveys helps you to do as much as possible to keep them satisfied before they decide to look elsewhere. (Source)

7. Because data is only part of the story. Analytics can only tell you so much about what is and isn’t working—they can never get into the mind of your customer to help you understand the why behind the what. People are complex; decisions are part rational, part irrational. Logic doesn’t dictate every action, which is why it’s important to regularly survey your website visitors. They may be reacting to something that’s not on your radar at all, and identifying these decision triggers means finding keys to building value that matters to people looking for and using what you’re selling.


Until the technology exists to let you read your users’ minds, user surveys are the quickest, easiest, and most affordable way to figure out what your users want—which is the first step to delivering it. The better you understand your users, the better you’ll be at meeting their needs and delivering value—resulting in higher user satisfaction, acquisition, retention, and so on.

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The better you understand your customers, the better you’ll be able to deliver real value to them.

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