Hi John, our confectionery company wants to learn more about your preferences. Take our survey.

 

Hi John, chocolate or vanilla? Great, and while we have you, M&Ms or Maltesers?

 

The first example focuses inwardly on the company’s desires.

 

The second one cuts straight to the chase and opens a dialogue that the customer can immediately buy into.

 

In marketing, psychology is at the heart of every decision. A customer who has answered one question will have a higher propensity to answer the next. And a company that jumps on the front foot and engages with its customers in a way that feels human will always be better off.

 

In marketing, sometimes we fall into the trap of being too formal. We speak to our customers as if we are standing on a podium, addressing all at once. But the marketing campaigns that work are always those that build a personal connection.

 

So how can we design surveys to maximise engagement? Speak to your customer as if she is sitting before you.

 

Lead with a question and then drive the conversation in a way that remains relevant (with conditional logic).

 

Don’t offer an incentive. If you are talking to your customers about things that matter to them, you won’t need to.

 

Don’t feel the need to tell them that they’re participating in a survey or a poll. They’re intelligent enough to know that. But do tell them how their data will and won’t be used, and reiterate that their privacy is important.

 

When a survey is anonymous, let them know. This can move you leaps and bounds towards achieving good engagement, especially where trust is an important part of the equation.

 

And, if you can afford to do it, share the results with your audience once your survey is finished. Giving back is just as important as getting what you want.

 

Our world is becoming increasingly connected. Most things we need are just a web search away and customer transience is increasing.

 

If we are truly to build relationships with our customers, feedback has to be open and often, relevant and contextualised to their experience. And perhaps more importantly, acted on.

 

Designing customer feedback the right way is the first step.