Surveys…we generally hate to take them, but we are often interested to see the results (especially if you’re a contestant on Family Feud). As an event planner, you possibly use surveys to get meaningful feedback when your events conclude. If you have a website for your event(s), you should also consider using an online survey to gain helpful feedback on how well your site is serving (and hopefully converting) visitors.There exists a delicate balance between the benefits of gaining visitors’ feedback and the damage of annoying participants, so you might be tempted to avoid this scenario altogether. If so, that’s understandable…but it’s probably not advisable. Survey data can provide insights you just won’t notice in the cold numerical analysis of typical web analytics.
I recently read the book Web Analytics: An Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik. While some of the material dealt with minutiae beyond the interest level of the casual reader, the book did contain some very easy-to-understand-and-implement ideas for gaining insights about one’s website. One such recommendation involved what he describes as The Three Greatest Survey Questions Ever:
- Question 1: What is the purpose of your visit to our website today? Provide a drop-down menu of a few options…if a participant selects “Other”, allow him to enter a description in a text box. If a reason appears often enough in the “Other” category, you can make it an option in the drop-down menu in the future.
- Question 2: Were you able to complete your task today? Provide a “Yes/No” drop-down menu.
- Question 3 (asked only if Question 2 receives a “No” response): If you were not able to complete your task today, why not? Provide a text box for the participant to enter his/her response.
Over the past few months we’ve conducted such an online survey on ridgecrestconferencecenter.org and received valuable feedback from it. We survey a very small percentage of the visitors to our site, but we’ve found the results to be statistically significant because the response rate has been much higher than is typical for online surveys. We notify each participant up front that we will ask only 2-3 questions, and we don’t ask them for personal information…after all, our goal with this survey is to improve their website experience, not to stuff their personal information into a database that we can then later use to market to them. I believe our high response rate is because participants appreciate our approach on both counts.
Our team recently met to review all reasons why an individual’s visit was unsuccessful, and to identify which ones we (a) could, and (b) should do something about. By reading our visitors’ feedback in their own words, we quickly identified some website changes that will improve the experience of individuals who come to our site. By doing so, we’ve taken a significant step toward improving the overall event experience for participants (and hopefully have gained some additional participants in the process!).
So now, we want to hear from you. First, let us know what you think about these ideas by leaving a comment below. Second, if you don’t mind completing a short 2-3 questions (I bet you already know what they are) survey about this blog, please complete the form below.