When updating your website, some of the most valuable information you can receive comes from those that have to use the site: your consumers.
One Seattle company, NetReflector, is taking major strides to allow real time surveying for your website.
“It’s critical to understand what people think of your site and your product, whether it’s an employee within an organization or whether it’s the satisfaction of the customers that come to your website,” says Colin Prior, CEO of NetReflector.
The idea for the business came from Co-founder Andrew Thomas’ own experience in attaining customer response by paper for his company in Nottingham, England. However, after meeting with Microsoft regarding an ASP package, he decided to start a business that offered Internet response surveys.
According to Prior, the web provides a perfect place to get this type of feedback. He notes that the response rate for online surveys is by far greater than that of traditional methods.
“The difference is that when you get my survey, you can choose when you take it, and do it in your own time,” says Prior. “You can also be more honest. It’s very difficult to turn to someone verbally or face-to-face to say your service is poor.”
Prior notes that this is especially important in the global market, where some people may not be as comfortable with direct confrontation.
According to VP of Marketing Elizabeth Andreini, there are other advantages as well. “In customer satisfaction, especially, you tend to get extreme responses,” says Andreini. “But this provides a forum for broader feedback that is more accurately representative of the entire base.”
The web also has the ability to easily offer incentives for response. Netreflector has recently signed a partnership with Amazon.com to offer gift certificates as rewards for returning surveys.
Prior says that by using the resources of the Internet, incentives need not be the only way to get people to respond.
“If within the survey you put in information that is interesting to the recipient, that gives them some useful data, they are more likely to continue going through the questionnaire, because they are getting something back,” says Prior. “And an online survey gives a much nicer platform to do it.”