Know what your customers want from your website

on June 7th, 2017

How well do you know your customers? Do you know how they are using your website, and what they think of it?  Are you asking them for feedback on a regular basis?

Staying in touch with your customers is vitally important. You need to understand what they want, and more importantly, what they really don’t want from your website. Surveys or questionnaires are one of the easiest ways to find out if your online presence is giving your customers everything they are looking for.

What type of questions should you ask your customers?

Firstly, you need to draw up your objectives – list out what you are trying to achieve from this research and what you would like to know about how your customers use your website.

Here are some useful questions that will get you started with your customer survey:

– What is your first impression of our website?

– What was the goal of your visit?

– Did you find the website (or insert individual section names here) easy to navigate?

– Did you find what you needed today?

– How did you hear about us?

– How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?

– Is there anything else we can do to improve your experience on our website?

– Is there anything that would stop you using our website again?

Where should you place the survey on your website?

The key to a successful survey is asking the right questions at the right time.

It depends whether you want to get the opinion of new customers, existing customers or both. Having a pop-up survey on the homepage will likely attract everyone who clicks on your website. In some cases, you may want to ask questions of those who are at the buying stage, for example, at checkout. In some cases, you may want to zone in on those who are browsing your product pages. It can also be useful to get opinions from customers who have already engaged with or purchased from, your website.

Wherever you decide to place the survey, the design needs to be attractive and stand out from the rest of the web page.  Choosing a pop-up format is particularly effective, and you can time this so that it appears for the customer after they have spent a certain amount of time on your website. You can offer incentives to encourage customers to complete the survey such as entry into a prize draw.

For SMEs, a common software package used to survey customers is Survey Monkey. It is easy to design and publish online surveys on your website using this software – you do not need to be a technical expert. You can choose from a range of question styles, for example, multiple choice or 1-5 ranking options. You can also customise the look and feel and add your own logo.

Results are collated automatically, you can export them to PDF or Excel and you can access the results at any stage during the live survey. We’ve used Survey Monkey at IEDR for a number of years and found it to be very easy to use and offers good functionality to run and manage multiple survey types. 

Other alternative survey software solutions include SurveyGizmo and QuestionPro. In all three cases, the basic offering is free, with additional costs for surveys that are more complex or where there is more technical integration required.

Top tips for creating an effective survey:

Let your customers know how long the survey is likely to take. They are more likely to complete it when it’s only going to take 3 minutes out of their day.

Offer an incentive – if possible, give a percentage off a purchase, free shipping or enter participants into a draw for a chance to win something.

Don’t interrupt or annoy customers at crucial moments. Yes, it’s important to get their attention so that they participate in the survey but limit the survey pop-up to once per customer.

Don’t make them work too hard! Keep the questions short, easy to understand and relevant.

Follow up! Implement a plan internally so you act on the results. Let customers in on the key findings, for example, send an email to participants letting them know that you are making changes to the customer experience based on the feedback you have received from them.

This topic was covered by one of our panels at the 2016 Internet Day. Check out the video below to see the discussion on how technology can be used to transform customer experience – you’ll find some more tips on how to make the most of your website.

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