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Billionaire businessman, the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett is renowned for his sage advice. His first rule of business is as follows: “Rule No. 1: Never lose money; rule No. 2: Don’t forget rule No. 1.”
Anything to do with losing clients is a surefire way of losing money. Consequently, no matter what type of business you run, to ensure that you never lose money, you must ensure that your clients are satisfied. One of the best ways of interacting with clients is by surveying them; however, that is where the problems can really begin.
When I was a student I was always looking for ways to make some extra cash. I got a job calling people to answer surveys, and several times even had to stand in a mall for 5 hours asking people to fill our surveys. The responses I got were the same 90% of the time: “I’m just in the middle of…”, “I’d love to but…”Some would just hang up and the ones who would answer were usually kind elderly people with a lot of time on their hands, or men trying to get my phone number.
You can imagine how frustrating this was, and for this reason when I saw mobile surveys entering the app world you can understand why it got me super excited. So let’s review this from the top.
Traditional Survey Techniques
The two most popular forms of surveying clients are via phone surveys and door to door surveys. Neither of these techniques are optimal for a number of reasons which I have learned from bitter experience, including disturbing busy people at home during their “off” time when they are busy with family, and imposing on the privacy of individuals. When a couple sits down for the quality time after a long day, the last thing they feel like is taking a phone survey.
Even if the interviewee agrees to be surveyed, it is often out of a sense of being well mannered (unfortunately a rare character trait in this day and age) and the responses given will not be accurate but rather the first thing to enter their mind so as to expedite the process. I would get a lot of people that kept their conscience quiet by not hanging up, but would not be answering with integrity.
Consequently, instead of interacting with clients in a constructive manner, you actually run the risk of alienating them, with the irony being that you will not have obtained constructive and valuable for your efforts. Traditional survey techniques are a lose-lose proposition from so many perspectives.
Modern Survey Techniques – Mobile Survey App
The world has gone mobile and digital in every aspect, I even keep track of how many glasses of water I drink a day with a special app and have one to help memorize names! So why should survey techniques remain stationary and analog? Mobile survey apps are a reasonably a recent innovation that has vaulted the survey industry into the 21st century.
The vast majority of people today own a smartphone or tablet. If they do not own one themselves, they are usually familiar with the technology and are not only not intimidated by it but enthused by it, or they live in tents. Consequently, the integration of survey apps to mobile devices has ushered in a revolution of sorts in the survey industry and has made major inroads as a survey tool that enhances client interaction rather than disenfranchising the client.
Advantages of Mobile Survey Apps
As I mentioned before, due to my past experience in the survey world I found that there are numerous advantages inherent in the use of mobile survey apps as a survey method. I convinced my boss to start using this method, by explaining that from the company’s perspective mobile survey apps are:
- Cheaper than traditional techniques
- Easy to implement, update, and amend
- Offer real-time data that can be analyzed from anywhere in the world due to the wi-fi capabilities of mobile devices
- Allow for clarification of interview data in real-time should it be required
- Mobile devices have scanning and camera capabilities allowing the transfer of additional data to or from the interviewee in real-time
- Are conducive to attracting a more accurate result in terms of interviewee response, interview subject, and nature of survey
- Attract the client to your business rather than alienate them
From the interviewee’s perspective mobile survey apps are:
- Less threatening than door to door surveys
- More personal than phone surveys
- A friendly, reinforcing experience rather than an annoying experience
I also find that it feels less exposed, and interviewees will tend to be more honest. Being behind a screen automatically makes us feel safer and more anonymous. The combined advantages mean that the use of mobile survey apps as a surveying technique results in a win-win outcome. The company wins by receiving credible data from its clients in a positive environment that reinforces the client’s connection to the company and its product. The client wins since their accurate feedback will hopefully result in your product or service offering being further improved so as not only maintain client satisfaction but increase it.
Even more, I’m always looking for new ways to pass time on trains and buses, and enjoy searching for new attractions and mobile apps. This is a great time to use for filling out surveys, and passing the time until reaching the desired destination. In general I think that start up apps should wisely utilize this time.
Mobile survey apps overcome virtually every disadvantage inherent in traditional survey techniques. Rather than being involved in a situation not too dissimilar to that of Coyote and Road Runner whereby you are perpetually chasing an unwilling participant for your own benefit, mobile survey apps draw your clients closer to you and ultimately help you to help them. It is a virtuous cycle. I remember being the Coyote, it’s not pleasant and I’m so glad there are alternatives now.
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