Article

Amanda Wilks
Amanda Wilks 15 December 2016

How to Drive Growth and Generate Leads Through Customer Surveys

Leads are an important aspect of business growth. Finding and nurturing leads can increase your brand's awareness and expand your customer base.

There are many forms of lead generation, including call-to-action (CTA) statements in your blog posts, social media marketing, free samples, content marketing, targeted video marketing and so much more. However, one of the most effective and exciting ways to drive growth and generate leads is through customer surveys. 

The Need for Customer Surveys

Surveys collect critical information that lead-forms simply cannot. Lead forms usually collect basic contact information, like the customer's name, phone number, occupation, age, and address. However, surveys gather information that can be used to help you close deals. This information can include things such as: 

  • What content the customer prefers to see on your website.
  • If the customer is ready to purchase or when they'll be ready to purchase.
  • If they're the key decision maker in their household or if there's someone else the sales team should have contact with.
  • What they're biggest pain points are with purchasing and more.

Survey questions can help you close the deal, but the forms should be short and sweet. Shorter forms mean more completions that help you get to know your clients and potential clients better. This is much more personal than a marketing automation platform that just simply allows you to track their purchase activity. 

Certain survey solutions can be integrated with a marketing automation platform and synced with leads to increase renewals and referrals, personalize marketing and improve lead scoring. This is evidenced in programs like PetSmart survey rewards, which gives customers rewards in exchange for their feedback following a purchase. It shows that surveys can generate leads at all stages of the buying process. 

Create Good Nurture Programs

Nurture programs are usually designed to identify potential or prospective customers who aren't quite ready to purchase from you. However, a good way to track where prospects are in the buying stage is to implement and maintain automated nurture streams. They can even be divided into preferred topic and content type sections, which will make it easier to create targeted ads and other marketing material. 

For prospects who are in the "not-yet-ready" to buy category of the marketing funnel, you can turn a service-oriented survey into a curiosity inspired incentive program that shows prospects what other buyers are up to. This will help you show that you plan to follow up with results. Surveys like this will not only give you valuable information about these leads for the sales and marketing teams, but they will also give you shareable data points that you can repurpose into an infographic, a report or anything else that shows buyer trends. 

You can use the insights gained from surveys to create more effective nurture programs. So, survey takers can be automatically funneled into the appropriate streams based on their responses, which can give you what you need to send them only the most educational and engaging content. Customer surveys are also a great way to boost current nurture programs and help you stay on top of industry and content trends that affect buyers and prospects. 

Pay Attention to Customer Pain Points

What prevents a consumer from buying a certain product or service from a certain place is often a mystery. But, targeted survey questions can help you get closer to the things that prevent consumers from purchasing your products or services. The first thing you have to do is refine your marketing approach. You can drive prospects down the marketing funnel faster by improving your messages and sales collateral by using the information collected from these surveys. 

It's not easy to get people to take surveys, even if you promise better services and results. However, one of the most effective ways to convince customers and prospective customers to answer survey questions is to use friendly messages with reward offers. You can increase participation by using messages like: "Got 5 minutes? Take our brief survey and earn a free sandwich." You may even give customers and prospects the chance to when prizes and gift cards. 

This is a strategy is especially effective around the holidays. Just keep in mind that these are all just a way to get them to take your survey, which will then help you figure out their pain points and what's preventing them from purchasing your products. The right marketing content and sales strategy can be developed after you find out what they are. One of the best ways to obtain this information is by asking about their long-term goals and day-to-day activities in your survey. 

Ensure Your Surveys Can Identify Good Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)

In your case, marketing qualified leads will be those that fill out your lead forms, thus giving your permission to send them surveys. Generally, these surveys will help you figure out where they are in the marketing funnel, drive growth and generate leads. However, you must first put yourself in the customer's shoes. You could ask yourself a few questions like: 

  • Do you have time to complete this survey?
  • Does it look interesting enough to be worth your time?
  • What will make you more likely to complete it?
  • What is making you hesitant about completing the survey?

Answering these questions won't be easy, but you can lay the groundwork by giving prospective customers reasons to trust you. First, start by sending a confirmation and thank you email or text for the time they took to fill out your contact form. Then, ask them how you can improve your services and if they're willing to answer some brief survey questions about it. You can send friendly messages like: "Please take our 3-minute survey to help us provide you with faster and better service that only gets you in touch with the things that matter to you." 

Taking these steps will show your customers that you care about them and their experience. Learning about their intent-to-purchase and household budget will also help you prioritize leads. This means the most qualified leads will be given the most careful attention. Surveys like this will also help you figure out where to send them. So, 'warm' MQLs are sent to nurture program that keeps them engaged with your company, and 'hot' MQLs are sent to sales to close the deal. 

Use Surveys to Increase Customer Satisfaction and Get Referrals

Closing the deal and getting a consumer to purchase from you is a great thing, but it's not where your job ends. You'll want to have an ongoing relationship with your buyers to show them that you truly care about their customer experience. You can learn how consumers view your company by asking the Net Promoter Score (NPS) question: "How likely are you to recommend our services to others?" A customer's response to this can automatically lead to more survey questions delivered instantly or later via text or email. 

Customers who respond positively should be added to your referral campaign. However, negative responses should be reported to your follow-up team that will reach out to unsatisfied customers to improve their experience. Additionally, to forgo the need for customer testimonials, you could just use open-ended questions on your surveys, such as: "What can our company do better?" This way to drive growth and generate leads involves a combination of demand generation and surveys. Learning how to use demand generation and surveys together will make lead generation easier. 

Conclusion

Surveys are quite possibly the best way to generate leads. However, before customers can start answering your questions, your platform must be integrated with your marketing automation program. This will put your feedback and lead data in one place, making it easily accessible. Therefore, in analysis, no data will be overlooked or missing. 

In the end, the best survey strategies will produce the highest quality leads. When used correctly, they will result in increased profits and better service from you. This simply shows that surveys are a good deal for you and the consumer.

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