If you are regularly surveying your customers, congratulations! You're on the right track. If you are unsure how to launch a survey program or need further convincing, read our earlier piece How to Add Surveys to Your B2B Marketing Strategy.
As with all marketing efforts, successfully running a surveying program will take patience and practice. In this article, we have assembled 10 tips that will help you gain valuable, actionable insights as you survey your customer base.
10 Tips on Using B2B Marketing Surveys
1. Establish your goals beforehand
Try to establish a one or two goals for your survey. If you send a roaming survey with questions about several aspects of your business, you may not get the feedback you need to take action. Resist the urge to get all the answers at once. After all, you may find that your customers are more willing to answer five three-question surveys throughout the year compared to one 15 question survey.
2. Keep it short and sweet
The popular online survey platform SurveyMonkey performed a comprehensive analysis on surveys processed with their tool and found that the more questions you ask, the less time the respondents spend answering each question. Like you, the recipients are real people who get get busy, fatigued, or annoyed. There is no magic number of questions to include, but keep in mind that a 10 question survey takes around five minutes to complete.
3. Use surveys to update your buyer personas
We firmly believe that having a strong grasp of your buyer personas is essential for making wise decisions. To position your brand or advertise in the right places, you need to understand how your customers think, consume information, and spend their time. If your personas appear outdated or shallow, send your customers a survey to understand them better. Not sure what to ask? Review our article with 8 questions to help profile your customers.
4. Use NPS surveys to trigger additional actions
Asking customers whether or not they would recommend your business is just the beginning. Use NPS surveys to take action. If respondents provide a low score, reach out to learn how you can improve their experience. If they provide an outstanding score, ask them for a testimonial. Marketing automation tools like HubSpot make it easy to trigger personalized email sequences based on customer feedback.
5. Use similar questions to track changes over time
If you send an annual survey to all clients, what questions should you include each year? It can be tempting to only ask the burning questions that affect decisions in the near future. To track changes over time though, you should also include a couple of the same questions in each survey.
6. Share your findings with the entire organization
Do not let the marketing department dominate the survey creation or analysis processes. Ideally, every department should be involved. At the very least, marketing should provide a presentation to disseminate the survey results. At that point, you can collectively begin a dialogue on how the survey results should inspire action.
7. If you ask, you must act
Do your customers prefer quick monthly updates from the CEO or comprehensive biannual reports from each department? If you need to reach them, would they prefer a phone call or email? Feel free to ask these questions so you can delight your customers, but be warned. Only ask for preferences if you plan to act accordingly.
8. Get feedback on your content marketing efforts
There are plenty of indirect ways to determine the success of your content marketing efforts. Inspect metrics like your bounce rates, social shares, and time on page. With that being said, feel free to ask your customers explicitly for their opinions. Do they find your newsletters valuable? Are your webinars too long, too short, or just right? Avoid bugging prospects with these queries, but some current customers should be happy to provide feedback.
9. Evaluate your branding strategy
If you have taken the time to craft and position your brand, you should also find out if it is working. If you just completed a rebranding, do customers understand what values your new brand represents? With online surveys, you can quickly determine how your brand perception is changing over time and if you need to implement any recalibration.
10. Use a tool that integrates with your CRM
In our previous blog, we highlighted survey tools that integrate with HubSpot, our preferred contact relationship management (CRM) tool. Regardless of which CRM you use, choose a survey software with a robust integration. Being able to automatically update properties or simply view survey responses directly within the CRM is a huge time saver!
Read more blogs about understanding your customers:
- Introducing: The HubSpot Service Hub
- Buyer Personas: 8 Questions to Profile Your Customers
- How to Define and Market to Your Customer's Pain Points...Accurately
Surveying your customers should be part of your larger marketing strategy. For help developing your personalized B2B marketing plan, click the image below to access our free planning guidebook.