Magazine article Black Enterprise

In My Opinion: Online Surveys Make It Easier to Get Feedback from Your Customers

Magazine article Black Enterprise

In My Opinion: Online Surveys Make It Easier to Get Feedback from Your Customers

Article excerpt

Generally, the best way to get someone's opinion is simply to ask for it. Surveying customers has been a longtime business strategy, but now customer service and employee surveys have moved online. Companies like Quash Questionpro, and Inquisite are all providing businesses with the tools to create Internet surveys.

For many years, creating a customer survey meant either calling each client or sending out a massive mailing. Online survey software has lessened much of the energy spent on surveys by putting all the tools in one place. "The nice thing about Web-based surveys is that there's almost no cost and a quick turnaround," says Freddy May, CEO of Quask. "The tools are available to design the survey, and everything else is done for you."

While paper surveys could cost anywhere from 5 cents to 50 cents each for printing and shipping costs, online surveys start at about $49 for a basic package. In addition to the cost of paper surveys, there is time spent creating the survey and calculating the data. "The manual work in tallying data happens automatically online," says Kevin Battey, chief operating officer at QuestionPro. "Collecting and compiling data has been done in any number of ways in the past."

Survey creators should make content relevant to their customers, keep the survey concise, give their audience an idea about how long it will take to complete, and make the goals of the survey clear. Sometimes, it's worthwhile to offer incentives to complete the survey by offering a prize or posting the results, but survey experts claim that the most important incentive is to take as little of the client's time as possible.

Online surveys are not without challenges, however. Companies don't always have their clients' e-mail addresses, and even when they do, their requests for information are sometimes mistaken for spare. …

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