With so many Survey options, how to you choose the best ones and implement them correctly? We’ll help you here.

Opinionmeter Just Got a Whole New Look!

Opinionmeter Survey Manager, New Release May 2016

We’re excited to announce the launch of our new streamlined Survey Manager platform! And we’re hosting an upcoming webinar to give you an up-close first-hand look!

Coming in May to a device near you–an all-new, completely redesigned and streamlined user experience driving the powerful Opinionmeter platform that you use every day. That’s right, the completely redesigned UI/UX update will be available to all Opinionmeter customers beginning in just a few weeks.

And we’re excited to show you some of the new enhancements, offering:

  • Drag & Drop to create surveys the easy way
  • Faster Workflow puts your favorite tasks just a click away
  • Admin Dashboard gives you instant insight to survey progress
  • Responsive Design lets your create surveys from your tablet device
  • Localization offers a built-in experience just for you
  • Enhanced Feedback gives you real-time intelligence from the field
  • Streamlined Menu to give you access the functions you need quickly
  • Simplified Survey Creation to get up and running in 3 easy steps:
    Author, Brand & Distribute

Reserve your seat for a closer look at this exciting new platform. Sign up now for a guided tour webinar with Morgan Strickland of Opinionmeter, on Thursday, May 5th at 2pm ET / 11am PT.

[button link=”http://opinionmeter.com/opinionmeter-uiux-webinar-signup-new-contacts/” class=”” target=”blank”]CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP[/button]

7 Unexpected but Important Ways to Use Customer Feedback Once You Have It

7 Unexpected but Important Ways to Use Customer Feedback Once You Have ItIn our previous blog post, we mentioned how you can use survey results to assemble testimonials, find referrals, and generally spread the good word about your company’s quality offerings and exceptional customer care. in this post we’ll discuss how you can glean even more useful information from customer feedback if you know what to look for!

Below, you’ll find an overview of the nuanced but equally vital ways that survey feedback can target your company’s strengths and problem areas and help you improve them.


1. Capitalize on What You Do Well and Use It to Improve Sales

When you wow your customers with a product, service, or experience, they’ll tell you about it in the survey. Your company may receive high marks in customer service categories, or consumers may rave about the products you offer. Find the aspect of your business that gets the most positive reviews and customer satisfaction, and emphasize it in your next marketing campaign.

You don’t have to stop with your marketing campaign though. You can also mention your strengths in online sales copy and exchanges between employees and customers. However, keep in mind that this strategy doesn’t stop you from emphasizing new products or different perks that you want customers to know about-you still mention those things. You just capitalize on what customers already appreciate and are sharing with you through your customer feedback surveys.


2. Use Customer Feedback as Fuel for Innovation

Even if your clientele like what your company offers, they may have opinions on how to improve your products or services. Take these opinions seriously. If customers take the time to enter their comments in the written part of a survey, they do so because they find the information worth sharing. What they consider a minor inconvenience may produce upset with other consumers in the future, so improve now.

Additionally, if customers see that you take their customer feedback seriously and implement the improvements they suggest, you’ll be seen as a responsible and accommodating company. Your efforts could earn you customer loyalty, not to mention referrals.


3. Discuss Flaws and Problems With Your Employees to Find Solutions

Maybe the individuals who complete your customer surveys don’t have suggestions-they only have complaints. You can still use these complaints in a proactive manner. Brainstorm ways to avoid the problems that customers mention. And if you cannot think of ways to change, take the problem before your employees.

Your employees will appreciate the chance to make their voices heard, and they’ll tell people about this positive work experience. Consumers like to hear about a company that treats its employees well.

Additionally, your employees could come up with a brilliant idea that transforms your product or service into something extraordinary. Not only will you eliminate the issue your customers mentioned in the survey, but you’ll boost your company’s success.


4. Personalize, Depersonalize, or Otherwise Change Your Approach as Needed

Depending on your industry, you may need to personalize or depersonalize your customer service approach to help visitors feel at ease. Remember that as a general rule, customers appreciate it when a business tries to build a genuine relationship with them. Healthcare facilities, airlines, law firms, and similar industries generally benefit from personalizing the guest’s experience.

However, your customer service problems may have nothing to do with personalization. It may involve cultural sensitivity or response times instead. Your customer satisfaction surveys will tell you more. Just make sure you consider all the survey responses and make improvements where needed.


5. Adjust Tactics for Taking Care of Upset Customers

Some companies offer incentives for those who give positive reviews and then ignore the negative reviews that come in. So, if you conduct a customer survey and get plenty of complaints about people who needed help or recourse from your company and didn’t get it, take the opportunity to change your response tactics.

If you respond to and correct the situations that led to negative feedback, you could win those customers back and change them into loyal friends. You also show online visitors and shoppers that you care about their well-being and fix your mistakes when they occur. Consumers respect that kind of effort.


6. Brainstorm Rewards for Loyal and Happy Customers

Sometimes shoppers feel happy enough to just visit your business, take in the ambiance, and purchase your quality offerings. However, other shoppers may feel entitled to a rewards program because of their loyalty.

If you find requests for a perks program or similar incentive several times in your survey results, consider adding a reward for loyalty. You’ll build stronger relationships with your clientele if you have one.


7. Make the Purchase Process Easier for Your Clientele

Customer satisfaction surveys not only reveal what customers like or don’t like about your company. They may also show you where you can improve your website or purchasing process. If these elements of your company include too many steps or confusing instructions, your clientele might give up before completing their purchases. So if you see data that hints at too much complication, streamline your website or other features.


Customer surveys have more benefits than most people expect. Use your surveys to accomplish the tasks outlined above, and you could make your company more likable and successful than ever.


To learn more about Opinionmeter’s Enterprise Survey Solution, please contact Opinionmeter at 888.676.3837 or visit www.opinionmeter.com. And please share this with any of your colleagues who might find it of interest. Thank you.


Tips for Getting Started with your First Mobile Survey Project


So, you have been tasked to manage your company’s customer experience survey project. In addition, management has learned from their professional networking that a mobile surveyoptimized for smartphones and tablets – is likely to be the best way to conduct the survey. Congratulations, you’re in for an interesting and rewarding adventure!

But where do you begin, especially if you don’t know the first thing about designing and deploying customer experience surveys, let alone mobile surveys? Well, you’re in luck – there are some really great DIY tools available to help you along the way. First, we recommend you take some time to understand the basics of customer surveys, and then familiarize yourself with the state of mobile survey apps and mobile web solutions that are now available. Without a working knowledge of customer satisfaction surveys and the tools used for gathering the data, you may needlessly expend limited resources and not get the results you want.

Know what questions to ask and how to ask them…

As you begin drafting your customer experience survey, here is a checklist of preliminary questions and issues for which you’ll want answers:

1.  What are the objectives of your survey; what are you trying to find out?
2.  Who is your target audience for the survey?
3.  What is the best way to contact and interact with your target audience?
4.  What is the budget allocation for the survey?
5.  Do you have authority to contract with an expert in customer feedback projects?
6.  Is there a specific result or outcome expected from the survey?
7.  What is your time frame for gathering the data and producing reports?

As for deploying your mobile survey, here are a few important questions you’ll want to get answers to…

1. Do you plan to have your customers use their own mobile device or will one be provided at the point-of-experience (in-store)? If  your customers will be using their own mobile devices, you may want to consider a browser based app to avoid having to first download an app. However, if you plan to provide an in-store kiosk or employees will interview customers, then it’s best to go with a native survey app and benefit from the robust features (including offline data capture) that only a native app can provide.

2. Will you have an internet connection at the location where your customers will be responding to the survey? If not, you’ll want to use a robust native survey app opposed to browser-based app.

3. Do you want to include media capture as part of the survey experience? Mobile survey software now offers the flexibility of including media within the survey itself as well as providing the respondent the ability to snap pictures, record video or even leave a comment in their own voice. All pretty cool stuff, but may or may not apply to your survey objectives.

4. How about incentives. Do you want to provide a fun incentive or quiz-related feature within your survey? When providing point-of-sale surveys through mobile means, often an incentive is not necessary to maintain a healthy response rate, but it still can add fun to the process for your respondents!

5. Given we’re talking about mobile surveys – how about giving your customers a social media connection and allow them the option of posting their feedback to their social media site of choice? just a thought…

6. Now that you’re capturing all this cool point-of-experience feedback in real-time, why not add some action alerts. You can set triggers in your survey instrument (fancy for “Questionnaire”) that will trigger email or SMS texts to anyone you want (most likely management at the store level) who will receive the action alert in real-time, giving them the opportunity to interact (or intervene if necessary) with the customer while they’re still in the store!

7. What kind of output format do you want from your survey data? Do you want simple summary reports, cross tabulations or web-based live dashboards? Do you want your reports to be scheduled and delivered to you by email (as an Excel, PowerPoint or PDF document)? Do you have your own statistical software package and only need the raw data or would you prefer using a cloud-based reporting engine?

For more information about Opinionmeter and their impressive range of customer satisfaction survey products and services, please visit opinionmeter.com today.

10 Steps to a Successful Website Launch


Earlier this month we launched a completely new version of our website – http://opinionmeter.com.  We were looking for a modern, responsive design with intuitive navigation allowing visitors to easily find the information they were looking for.

Throughout the development process, we documented the lessons learned, and have compiled them here for those of you who may be considering a similar project in the near future. We hope your next web launch can benefit from our hard-earned lessons!

1. Listen to your audience.  At Opinionmeter, we know too well the value of Ask, Listen, Learn– so when we reviewed our feedback data and website usage analytics, we realized our old site was missing some key components that could truly help our audience find the information they needed about our products and services.  Having this information at our fingertips helped us make informed decisions about the design, content, and even the images. For example, our data told us that our customers were looking for more information about Enterprise survey software for specific solution use-cases such as: Customer Experience; Patient Experience and Electronic Data Capture. We built the new pages of the site specifically around those topics, with bright visuals and clear Calls to Action for the end user.  RESULT: So far, our bounce rates are lower than ever, and our audience feedback has been positive!

2. Choose the right partner. We had several options: Build it in-house, hire an agency, or hire a freelance designer. Since we knew we wanted a WordPress hosted custom site, we could narrow our choices. We reached out to several agencies, and chose a partner based on three things they did right:

  1. First, they thoroughly answered our questions during our back-and-forth emails
  2. They sent a detailed Contract, complete with timelines and specific deliverables
  3. They provided direct access to the lead designer with unlimited change requests

When we asked our web provider how he sets up communication plans with clients, he responded:

Successful-website-launch“It’s very important to make sure the scope is clearly defined and then redefined as necessary throughout the project. It’s also important to remember that a creative project is fluid, so both parties need to remain flexible and understanding as they work towards a successful outcome. “ – David Aiken, Owner, Your Design Guys


3. Set Expectations. We quickly realized that one person’s definition of “finished” may not match another! To help alleviate confusion, we provided 3-5 website examples for each major design element that we wanted along with a detailed outline for each individual page including all page elements and complete updated text. By doing this for every page ahead of the scheduled design date for it, we were able to set expectations for every page we needed. Lesson learned: provide as much detail as possible to your development and design teams, so they have the most complete picture possible.

4. Don’t be afraid to course-correct. Before our chosen agency began the design, we put together a diagram of the site structure internally. Halfway through the design phase, unfortunately, we realized that we had some key pages buried into the navigation too deeply, and it could affect our user experience. Even though we knew this adjustment would delay our launch and cost us additional funds, we realized that it was more important to have the customer experience  be on-point than meet a deadline.

5. Respect the timeline. There were times when the 5’o’clock bell rang, and we had to make a choice: send important information to the web team the next day, or stay and get it to them earlier as promised. Since our partner was in a different time zone, we knew one hour on our end could mean a loss of 3 to the project.  As a team, we made a commitment to “do what it takes” to stay on track. In addition to meeting the deadlines, we realized this was also a sign of respect for everyone working across the project.

6. Pick ONE communication platform.  Fortunately for us, Your Design Guys agreed to communicate through our project portal at Basecamp. The tricky part was matching email conversations, chats, phone dialog, Google Docs and design bug trackers with it.  We found ourselves spending hours on a hunt-and-peck for the latest updates, and we should have make a pact early on to find a system that works for everyone and stick to it. We realized towards the end that we had a lot of disparate information to collect into one system – because we were not diligent about sticking to our chosen platform.

7. Have a sense of humor. It has been said that during projects there are only two outcomes: Broke and Angry. Don’t let your project get the best of you – regroup when necessary, over-communicate, and course correct with grace and a few laughs.

website project cartoon

8. Be picky. There are always design and functional elements that are deal breakers, the ones that you know your audience is expecting, your competitors will be jealous of, and that will make your site marquis. Demand excellence for those items, and stick to your guns until they meet your expectations.

9. Expect bugs. Some items need a second, third, sometimes fourth pass to make them work correctly. With all the different browsers, phones, java versions and other coding that goes on with websites, expect that something is going to need fixing. Better yet, build a fix-it phase into your timeline up front, to ease the stress towards the end when you are testing and anxious to go live.

10. Don’t be afraid of “phase two.” The dreaded Scope Creep can derail a project fast. As you begin to make your list of the newly-discovered features, bells, and whistles, it may be best push them to phase 2 (post-launch). Don’t spend your valuable launch window making the icons twinkle, when there are still 3 pages uncoded.

Overall, we are very happy with our beautiful, responsive website.  Our users have given us positive feedback; and for us, that was our intention from the very beginning. We hope our Top 10 website lessons learned help make your next website project a little smoother!

Three Ways to Use Your Survey Results to Transform Your Marketing

So, you’re surveying your patients, clients, or customers—good for you!  But if you’re like many of our clients, you’re missing enormous opportunities to use your survey results to improve your marketing.  We know, because we see these missed opportunities every day.

Here are 3 ways you can use your survey results to improve your marketing:

1)  Use surveys to gather testimonials.   Testimonials, the “stories that sell” in your customer, patient, or client’s own words, provide wonderful “ammunition” for your marketing.  Yet many organizations and practices offer few, if any testimonials to woo prospects.  Why are you missing the boat?  Often the simple answer is that you don’t have the time and resources to ask for testimonials.

The simple way to solve that problem is to gather testimonials inside a survey.  Now you’ll bring testimonials in “on autopilot,” without using staff time or resources.  We have developed a “testimonial generator” that is so effective it’s gathered as many as 868 testimonials, right inside a survey, with permission to use them.

2)  Use surveys to generate referrals.  Where can you most easily find people who are like those who are already your customers, clients, or patients?  Simple:  Tap into the connections of your current customers, clients, or patients, by asking for referrals.  Referrals are like gold to any company because they allow you to reach deep into your target market, at virtually no cost.

But just as organizations miss opportunities to gather testimonials inexpensively, they often find it difficult to request referrals.  That’s why including requests for referrals in surveys is such a cost-effective, efficient method.

3)  Use your satisfaction data effectively.  If you discover that 98% of your patients are satisfied, that 90% would recommend you, or that 90% feel that your staff cares about them, you need to share this news with your prospects!  Here are some of the ways you can and should use those results effectively:

  • Write blog posts about the results.
  • Post the results on your Facebook page and Twitter feed.
  • Make a video describing the results and upload it to your YouTube channel (and be sure to include keywords in the description, so your prospects can find it!)
  • Make an “infographic” describing the results and post it in Pinterest.
  • Post the results prominently on your website—now you will have both testimonials, which appeal to prospects’ emotions, and quantitative data that appeal to their logic.
  • Put out a press release describing the results.

Put these 3 simple strategies to work to see increased marketing results at virtually no cost!


Using Merging techniques to enhance Survey Reporting for Property Inspection

We’ve recently discovered a powerful technique for building comprehensive survey reports using Word’s Mail Merge feature. This approach is especially useful for mobile surveys containing qualitative data such as comments and/or media. Our partners in the Netherlands are using this technique when building reports for their property inspection and property management clients (http://www.opinionmeter.nl/toepassingen/inspectie/). In addition to the closed-ended questions, property inspection surveys require the collection of photographs, comments and even digital signatures, all of which can be accomplished through the TouchPoint Mobile survey app. In the past, property managers needed to record their survey comments in paper form and the photographs documenting property damage, etc. in a separate medium. Now all the data, including images and video, can be captured in one place and reports customized to integrate the data and media in one Word or PDF document. This is where the mail merge technique comes into play. Here’s how it works…

Using Opinionmeter’s market research software, users will first create their survey instrument in the web-based survey software. The survey is then downloaded to the TouchPoint Mobile survey app and inspectors begin to capture data in the field. The survey data, including photographs and digital signatures are captured and transmitted in real-time to the web-based survey platform where reports can be scheduled or generated on-demand. In this case, users can also export the survey data and merge that data with a Word template generating a custom report. The beauty of using the mail-merge techniques is the report will pull the open-ended comments, photographs and digital signatures from each survey record and populate the Word template, automating the report generation process. All the client needs to do is set up their Word template once and then merge the exported survey data file from the SurveyManager.

Pictures are always easier than explaining in words, so we’ve created the following document which illustrates in a step by step fashion how you can create your Word template and merge it with your survey data file. Click here to learn how to set up your Word template for merging survey data.


Mobile Survey Apps in Four Weeks or Less!

Opinionmeter’s unique expertise is rooted in developing mobile survey apps that are cross-platform compatible. Our TouchPoint survey software currently supports all popular mobile devices including Apple iOS for iPhone and iPad, Google’s Android and Windows platforms all from a single code base.

Technology changes quickly with new devices and platforms arriving on the scene constantly. Our single code base approach allows Opinionmeter to adapt to technology advances quickly. When we want to add another platform, we simply recompile the same code base and account for some variations across platforms. This streamlined process now takes less than 4 weeks of development instead of 40 as in the past when we had to rewrite the entire code to run on a new platform! This approach allows Opinionmeter to be very responsive to customer requests and market demands.

We are also excited about independent app developers using our TouchPoint survey platform to create and embed mobile survey apps within their own apps. The TouchPoint SDK (Software Development Kit) provides a set of development tools that enable mobile app creators to embed our mobile survey app within their own apps.

Many organizations have IT departments that create their own mobile apps. TouchPoint SDK allows IT staff the ability to use Opinionmeter’s TouchPoint mobile survey software within their own apps as an added feature for market research and measuring customer satisfaction. Embedding the TouchPoint mobile app provides companies the ability to survey customers on their smart phones and tablets while they are experiencing the organization’s products or services. Sorting, counting, measurement and analysis of the customer survey responses is done within our secure and easy to use SurveyManager.

We have put a tremendous amount of thought and effort into creating a platform that is adaptable, nimble and meets the needs of organizations looking for efficient ways to conduct market research.

Using location triggers to deliver in-store mobile surveys

For decades Opinionmeter has been using research technologies to capture consumer insights at the point-of-purchase, using a variety of in-store technologies such as survey kiosks, mobile survey tablets, etc. However, recent advances in mobile research technologies have introduced additional opportunities for deeper and more intimate in-the-moment consumer shopping data using location services and short targeted surveys.

With GPS location services now available on smartphones and tablets, researchers can trigger and distribute relevant surveys to shoppers at the “moment-of-truth” – when the consumer is making their purchasing decisions – the “sweet-spot” or “holy-grail” of consumer research.

Merchant surveys can be tagged with GPS coordinates, then triggered and pushed to consumer devices when the consumer is detected to be at that particular location. Note: this requires the consumer’s device to have their location services enabled. There are of course, additional methods for pulling surveys from in-store locations (scanning a QR survey code, entering survey ID, etc.), however that topic I’ll hold for another discussion. One of the beauties of pushing mobile surveys is that the researcher is not dependent on the consumer to initiate the interaction. When pushing targeted on-site surveys via location services, the researcher is in control of the delivery mechanism and the consumer merely needs to accept or decline the invite. This too will greatly increase the survey response rate.

What excites us here at Opinionmeter is utilizing these new mobile technologies and location-based surveys to get at what all market researches and business owners are after – real-world consumer insights.

Integrating Mobile Surveys with Social Media

As we get closer to launching our B2C mobile survey app (Survey Café), we’ve been discussing including the ability for consumers to link the feedback they provide with their social network. The idea is that at the conclusion of a survey, the consumer would have the option of sharing their consumer experience (ratings, feedback, etc.) with their social network and friends (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). We’re excited by this idea because we believe it will provide additional relevance to the consumer when using the survey app.

In addition to the social media nexus, we also plan to provide the option of displaying survey results at the conclusion of the survey. This too would be an option, controlled through the client’s SurveyManager account. If they wish to provide this level of information to the consumer experience, then they could enable this option for that particular mobile survey. When enabled, the consumer would not only see how they themselves rated their experience, but how their results compare to all others who have also taken the same survey (total population of the sample).

As with any consumer survey app, their needs to be a compelling reason for the consumer to use the mobile survey app. In addition to a traditional rewards component, we hope these innovative features will further engage the consumer and add value to their experience when using the Opinionmeter’s survey solutions.

How Best to Incentivize Survey Respondents

Let me first say that incentives are not always necessary to ensure strong response rates in customer experience surveys. In fact, with in-store surveys, when the survey instrument is designed to suit the environment and the survey technology is implemented correctly (placement, signage, staff awareness) our customers enjoy upwards of 8-10% response rates without the use of incentives. Although it varies from industry to industry, we find a large portion of consumers, especially those who are invested in the success of the merchant; are willing to participate in customer satisfaction surveys without the need of incentives to help improve the products and services. However, when the decision has been made to use incentives, we encourage our clients to consider the various forms incentives can take.

There are two basic types of incentives – rewards and information. Rewards are by far the most commonly used and often take the form of some kind of financial reward or product sample. What we find far more interesting (for both the business and the customer) is providing information as the reward. Often times the most compelling type of information is the survey results themselves, which can be displayed at the conclusion of the survey. There can be proprietary issues with divulging this information; however there are ways around this. For example – you can reveal results on selected questions only. Other options include the use of Opinionmeter’s quiz feature and display the results of only those quiz related questions at the conclusion of the survey. Additional ideas may include sharing how the survey results have been or are intended to be implemented to improve the product or service. This has the added bonus of instilling continued customer engagement and a sense of ownership and participation in the business’s success and growth.