A survey that offers continuous, real-time customer comments is a very valuable resource.
Companies who deploy a site intercept survey on their website and collect survey data for an extended time find this affords them extensive opportunities to improve their site.
Rather than trying to understand what your site visitors want, need or expect from your site within the confines of a brief window of time, consider tracking their responses over a full year of data collection.
The benefits of such a program?
- Allows you to determine if your online business site has seasonal aspects, and if so, when they occur. For ecommerce/retail sites this allows you to know around which holidays your site visits spike, and which ones are, in effect, duds. For travel/lodging sites you can see if your heaviest visit numbers come two months ahead of the summer vacation period, or at some other time. In both of these cases; you can plan online incentives, promotions and sales to match appropriate ‘seasons’.
- Enhances a Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) of your website by offering visitor suggestions about your website on a daily basis. These small, individual suggestions from your own customers can be evaluated and, if appropriate, implemented very quickly to improve your website.
- Enables you to present results to your marketing, sales and executive teams on a frequent basis in the form of ‘dashboards’. Interactive dashboards allow you to select a group of visitors who came to your site with a specific purpose and determine how successful they were in their visit. Perhaps more important, if your survey includes open text options, you can learn why in their own words certain visitors failed. It’s very empowering information!
- Frees you from your calendar. You are not tied to a specific, limited time period like a few weeks to gather input on how to improve your site. You can have your data 24/7. You can schedule your IT team to assist in regular/frequent upgrades through the year.
- Allows you to prioritize suggested ‘tweaks’ to your site. If you find that visitors are vociferous in their complaints about your login requirements, but complain not nearly as often about your checkout process, you can determine which improvement to place at the top of your ‘to do’ list.
Think of your site visitor’s comments and responses to your survey questions as raisins in a loaf of raisin bread. One slice of the bread will give you several raisins, yes, just as will a briefly presented online survey, but those raisins (and that particular survey) may not bring you all the information you need to make a business decision about your company website. It takes the entire loaf, and optimally an entire year of data collection to get the whole story…