Open up your email browser today, and I’ll bet you have at least a couple of offers to: “Take a survey! Rate us! Tell us what you think!”
How many times do you just not click? Hit delete? My guess is almost every time.
But surveys can help businesses take the pulse of their audiences. They are a great tool for figuring out where the most interest lies, and how best to move forward.
The problem with surveys is there are just too many of them. Many are redundant and require too much effort on the folks being asked to participate. Don’t get me wrong, I too want to know who likes my service or which pest bothers customers the most. But if you make taking the survey any less easy than falling off a log backward, I think you’ll be disappointed in the results.
The only caveat is if you have taken the time to build up your social media presence and engaged your audience honestly for long enough, they may be compelled to click “Heck yeah, I want to participate.” Here are two tips from my own trenches:
1. USE THE RIGHT WORDING. If I say in an email to someone I’ve never met, “I’m Jerry from The Bug Doctor and I want to know what you require most in a pest control provider. Click here to tell me!”
I might as well put up a “crickets” emoji. Instead, if the email comes from their longtime technician, Billy, you’re going to up the odds: “This is Billy Jones, your pest prevention specialist from The Bug Doctor since 2018. I’m writing you today to find out: How can I serve you better or more appropriately? Please check your choice(s) below.” A gift card or a prize drawing will help, too. But the bottom line is, you should be able to customize your surveys to your routes and services. By putting a face to the name, you should get better results.
2. USE THE RIGHT TIMING. I am consistently amazed at the response — or lack thereof — to the different subjects that come up in my Facebook group, Pest Cemetery. People post polls and survey questions all the time. Some spark huge responses; others flail in the wind. Then, say, six or eight months later, that same question will come up and wow, it leads to an all-night conversation.
While I haven’t quite cracked the code as to when something definitely will hit harder on our gabby platform — say, Thursday at 7:12 p.m. Eastern time when the moon is full — you may be able to identify trends among your customer base. Internet experts agree that for business-to-consumer surveys, sending on Mondays are best. For customer satisfaction surveys, they say the best time is within 24 hours of providing the service, as customers will still be able to recall their experiences.
So, to survey or not to survey? In my humble opinion, if you build it correctly, they will come.
Tips from the Pest Cemetery crew
“We send one customer survey a year to our top 10 percent of clients.”
— Ed Hamilton, Owner, Yellow Rose Pest and Wildlife Management, Missouri City, Texas
“Ask for reviews. It gives you more credibility when other people say you’re the best. It gives you even more credibility when you have more good reviews in a shorter amount of time than anyone else in your area.”
— Eden Miché, District Manager, Miché Pest Control, Manassas, Va.
“Best practices include using customer relationship management (CRM) software that automates your review generation process.”
— Chad Moreschi, President, Natural Resources Pest Control, Miami, Fla.
“We visit our top customers quarterly. Survey questions we ask are: What can we do better? What are we doing that you feel goes above and beyond? Would you recommend us?”
— Keith Romer, Owner, All Pro Pest Control, Layton, Utah