Even if you have only a handful of paying customers on board, those people are your best source of information about how to get more customers to sign up for your app. Because they’re willing to hand over money, they’ve committed to your success on a certain level — those customers want you to continue offering your application so they can continue using it. Of course, just how deep their commitment goes depends on how important they consider what you’ve built. An application that keeps their business running from day to day is going to mean more to a user than a casual game. But, in either case, there’s enough of a connection to ask some questions.
A Crash Course in Survey Development
Writing a survey isn’t as easy as it seems — at least, it isn’t if you need really reliable data. The big problem most people face is that it’s very easy to write questions that are ambiguous. You need to make sure that your questions are as clear as possible so that you get exactly the data you need and that they actually ask for the right information. You need to:
- Write out the information you’re hoping to gather: Don’t start with the questions themselves, but rather the details you need.
- Write questions that you expect would get you the information that you want: You don’t need to ask about anything other than what you really need to know. Keep it to a minimum of questions or people will be less likely to complete the survey.
- Test your questions on real people, even if they aren’t your survey audience: Without having real people try to answer your questions, you’re not going to be able to tell if they make sense.
- Tweak your questions to make more sense: Getting the right questions can require some back-and-forth of tweaking and testing. Consider surveying to be a TDD environment.
You Don’t Need to Reinvent the Wheel
While it’s always tempting to build a whole new function from scratch and make it so much better than all those commercial options out there, surveying is one of those fields that it’s just not worth it for. There are great surveying tools out there, from Google Forms to SurveyMonkey. Go with whatever tool will let you get your survey up and running the fastest — you should be spending your time crafting great questions.
Don’t Have Customers Yet? You Can Still Survey
If you don’t already have customers in place, it will be harder to get information through a survey. There’s just not an incentive for your survey subjects to help you. You can add incentives, like a giveaway, to drive survey responses. However, you’re going to need a much higher rate of response — such situations often result in a lot of junk responses that just won’t be helpful. If you need information from prospective customers, a survey may be the best option, even if it’s not easy to collect the data.
Image by Flickr user Josh Davis