Feature: If I Could Read Your Mind

Using web surveys to find out what your customers really want

By Joe Dysart

Today’s web survey solutions are robust, offering jewellers the ability to probe the minds of shoppers in real time to see what they really want—and help close the sale.

A web survey solution by Qualtrics, for example, can be programmed to pop up when your website senses that a prospective customer has been on your site for a while, and may need help deciding what he or she likes best.

“You may want to intercept any visitor who is idle on your webpage for more than thirty seconds and ask if they need help finding a product or service,” says Tog Bagnull, a content writer for Qualtrics. “This level of flexibility is essential for site owners to capture segment-specific insights and meet the needs of each customer segment.”

Moreover, web surveys can be programmed to further personalize a web visit by probing the customer for a few personal details. Then, the program serves up a survey about their jewellery buying needs that is custom-tailored to their age, economic status, life orientation, etc. For example, with just a few bits of personal data from a website visitor, the program can present a set of survey questions that are designed specifically for a millennial shopping on a jeweller’s website, while a different set of survey questions can be presented to a Baby Boomer. Ultimately, shoppers who complete a survey while they’re still on the jeweller’s website can be steered to a web landing page featuring jewellery items they’re most likely to buy based on their responses.

Additionally, jewellers can use customized surveys to drive purchases toward specific segments of their business. For example, if a retailer wants to push bracelet sales, they can create a survey designed to ask the customer’s preferences about the different types of wrist wear that they sell. Then, depending on the chosen answer, the program can drive the user to different web landing pages in order to browse the goods discussed in the survey.

Besides providing help with impulse jewellery buys in real time, today’s web survey solutions can be set up on a jeweller’s website to create a never-ending online focus group or “insights community.” Such survey-driven communities can be programmed to continually ask website visitors about what products they find most enticing, why they find those products enticing, what price points would make it impossible for them to resist such a purchase, and more.

Indeed, a jeweller could potentially convince thousands of website shoppers to participate in such surveys by offering to enter anyone who completes a survey in a contest to win a small prize—say, a hundred dollars toward his or her next purchase.

With never-ending data streaming in from the insights community, a jeweller can continually probe the minds of customers visiting their website, ask questions, refine their surveys, and get ever-closer to determining the optimum way to approach customers, entice them, and most importantly, to close the sale.
“An insights community will be an extension of your brand and will serve as an engagement piece for your customers,” says Dan Fleetwood, president of QuestionPro Communities, another web survey provider. “They will be empowered to not only share feedback, but through engagement tools, they will feel a real sense of community.”

Rachel Barker, a content strategist for Qualtrics, adds, “You don’t need a lengthy list of questions to get the information you need. You just need the right questions.”

Fortunately, jewellers looking to get their feet wet with online surveying will find that there are a number of free, short-and-sweet survey options available on the web from some of the top online survey companies in the world. The reason: there is a crowded market of web survey providers right now, and many provide free, somewhat scaled-down versions of their full-blown solutions to encourage businesses to give surveys a try.

Currently, jewellers can choose from more than 200 web survey providers, says Capterra, an orginization that specializes in advising businesses looking to make software purchases. Additionally, a great insight into what the market is offering can be gained by simply looking at the five most popular web software tools on the market. According to a 2015 study by Capterra, those packages are Survey Monkey, QuestionPro, SurveyGizmo, Fluid Surveys and Qualtrics.

Even with the basic version of these products—as well as those offered by other service providers—you’ll be able to design a web survey online for your jewellery store, launch it via your website, email or social media, collect data and get reports on results.

Many survey makers also provide more than one way to ask questions with their entry-level solutions. You may want people to respond on a scale of 1 to 5 for one question, choose from a, b or c on another question and input free form sentences in response to a third question.

Meanwhile, higher-end packages give you the option to get more creative with a survey, such as giving you the ability to ask a set of pre-qualifying questions that steer people down roads to different questionnaires, as highlighted by Qualtrics’ Bagnull.

Another premium feature includes the ability to view a spreadsheet of all survey participants to see who’s already responded and who needs to be prodded to return the survey.

Additionally, other survey providers include a wider selection of graphic themes you can use to design eye-catching surveys; guards against people looking to spam your survey; the ability to automatically shut down your survey after you’ve received a certain number of responses and more.

For a complete look at the market—including user reviews of individual packages—you can check out Capterra’s directory of offerings comprised of 200+ companies. CJ

Joe Dysart is an Internet speaker and business consultant based in Manhattan. Voice: (646) 233-4089. Email: joe@joedysart.com. Web: www.joedysart.com.

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