Survey says: surveys matter

November 2021

In today’s tech-savvy world, where companies have a wealth of choices when it comes to consumer research, surveys might not seem like the first choice for finding out what people think. But we at Elespacio know well, this tried-and-true method is fundamental in today’s fast-paced economy driven by customer experience (CX). 

Much more than just a traditional part of the marketing kit, surveys have evolved with the times and remain a powerful way to replace guesses about consumers with hard data that can have far-reaching implications for any brand. Not only that, but surveys give consumers a voice within a company, and having a voice keeps customers from taking their business somewhere else.

“Surveys have evolved with the times and remain a powerful way to replace guesses about consumers with hard data.”

Brands cannot live on web analytics alone

From increased accuracy to better ethical oversight, there are a host of reasons why brands should use surveys to gather data about what consumers and prospects think. They have long proven successful because brands can tailor them to focus on who they want opinions from with questions that target specific aspects of a business and its products. Web analytics are another great tool for any business, but when brands put the focus on customers, they can go beyond merely what consumers do and tap into why they do it.

It’s the ‘why’ that makes surveys more valuable than ever for consumer research, going deeper than how users behave on a website to analyse real people and what motivates them. Surveys are a reliable way to get a clear snapshot of what customers (and potential customers) are looking for, and the data they deliver can be critical for a product or brand’s success.

"When brands put the focus on customers, they can go beyond merely what consumers do and tap into why they do it."

CX marks the spot

Businesses tend to take a reactive approach to surveying their customers, asking their opinion only when sales start lagging, website visits are down, or negative customer reviews start popping up online.

While surveying at any point is critical, making it a part of a regular feedback programme can help identify potential problems before they happen and shape a customer experience strategy guaranteed to help brand growth. More than simply a band-aid, data gleaned from surveys can be leveraged in countless ways to help inform strategy.

It should come as no surprise that the best judge of your customer experience is your customer. Surveys fill the gaps in a company’s understanding of how customers experience service, delivering critical insights at every stage of the game that might otherwise be lost. And in a world where 4 of out of every 5 consumers say they would rather do business with a competitor after more than one bad experience (according to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2020), why run the risk of not putting your CX at the front and centre of your strategy? Surveys give your customers a voice, increase a sense of engagement and boost customer loyalty – it’s a win-win.

“While surveying at any point is critical, making it a part of a regular feedback programme can help identify potential problems”

The proof is in the…chocolate

Giving a voice to customers is exactly what we did in a recent survey we conducted for Ghraoui Chocolate. Crafter of exquisite artisan chocolate and confectionary products, Ghraoui hired Elespacio to develop a marketing and communication strategy that would ultimately position the brand as one for premium chocolate in European markets.

Faced with the challenge, we designed four online surveys to understand consumer drivers, motivations and online shopping behaviours. We also wanted to glean insights into the way Ghraoui is perceived in terms of brand, packaging and product, using this data to create a brand story and design approach that aligns with UK consumers.

As anyone who has watched the iconic gameshow Family Fortunes (or Family Feud for US viewers) knows, the answers to survey-based questions provide sometimes surprising insights on the opinion of the masses. The same for our surveys for Ghraoui. Our product survey uncovered the consumer behaviours and preferences towards fine chocolate and confectionary; who knew that over 4 in 5 consumers would purchase fine chocolate as a gift, while 3 in 5 consumers would purchase fine chocolate online?

“Customers felt like we listened to them and that they had a role to play in the growth of the brand.”

Our brand and packaging survey helped us understand how consumers perceive Ghraoui’s current packaging and logo, as well as how they compare to competitors. Without the survey, we never would have found out that a modern approach to packaging design performs best across all target segments.

Our shopping behaviour survey unveiled that 1 in 3 consumers enjoy being able to discover new products, while our naming survey suggested that the current name is actually a good fit. By targeting specific aspects of the Ghraoui brand and product in our survey questions, we were able to take a leap with our brand story and design approach with the assurance that we were positioning the brand correctly. The bonus? Customers felt like we listened to them and that they had a role to play in the growth of the brand.

Testing, testing…

Surveys can be an especially powerful method when it comes to ensuring that a new product or website design will actually interest consumers before releasing it to the public. Which is why we turned to surveys when redesigning the ecommerce website for Victorinox, a Swiss knife manufacturer and luxury watchmaker.

Hired to completely revamp the company’s website, we created a survey to make sure that the new design successfully addressed previously identified hurdles in brand communication and why. Our method was simple: we showed participants both the old design and the new proposal and asked them to choose their favourite and explain why.

Based on their responses, we tagged the insightful answers in the following categories: Products in context (lifestyle imagery), Brand essence, Modern, Clarity of product offering, Easy to find. We asked them why they didn't choose the current website design and again categorised their answers: Not fitting with the brand, Hard to navigate/confusing, Outdated, Generic.

Ultimately, roughly 80% of participants across all demographics preferred our new design, which gave us the confidence to go ahead.

"Surveys can be a powerful method when it comes to ensuring that a new product or website design will actually interest consumers before releasing it to the public."

Don’t sleep on the importance of surveys

Consumers are faced with more choices than ever, and surveys provide an avenue for feedback, an opportunity for customers and companies to collaborate and interact. Surveys deliver reliable, accurate insights that help organisations keep their finger on the pulse of a fast-changing landscape. The data collected from surveys can have far-reaching implications, guiding marketing strategy and helping organisations make the right moves. And since no one is in a better position to judge your company than your customers, listening to what they have to say via survey feedback should be a priority for any business, big or small.

Illustration: Monika Sroga

Sources:

https://blog.gwi.com/marketing/survey-data-for-consumer-research/

https://www.mycustomer.com/experience/voice-of-the-customer/six-reasons-customer-surveys-are-more-important-than-ever

https://www.business2community.com/strategy/why-survey-data-collection-is-more-important-than-ever-02247072

https://www.snapsurveys.com/blog/4-main-benefits-survey-research/