User surveys are a powerful way to collect user feedback. A survey allows you to be specific and thoughtful about what you ask your customers, and gives you scale for the numbers to have a major impact.
Benefits of a survey
- Allows you to ask respondents specific and targeted questions
- Scalable to very high response numbers, providing near quantitative data samples
- Cost effective, as you can generally incentivize opt-ins with giveaways of only a few hundred dollars
Caution flags with surveys
- Clear objectives. Start out with what you want to learn, and get really clear with what you want your respondent to tell you on the subject. If you start with an unclear question you are guaranteed not to learn what you need.
- Have really clear questions. Respondents won’t be there to explain why they put the answer they did, so you need to think through every potential question interpretation to prevent data quality issues.
- Make sure you ask everything you need to make a decision. You can ensure this by running through response scenarios to make sure the questions you ask really help you make the decision you need to make.
So that’s it! Surveys are a great tool for direct feedback from customers, with numbers large enough to make responses actionable. But, be cautious and methodical with structuring the survey. If you have a market research department or access to someone with experience writing surveys, leverage their expertise. The expertise here takes time to develop, and these people can prevent you from getting unusable data. Best of luck!