Discovering valuable information about your customers has always been coveted in the business world: If you understand who your customers are, you can strengthen your relationship with them while building trust and credibility. You can also collect the information needed to make the right decisions for your company. A business demographics survey is a great tool to unearth and collect these kinds of insights. Here are some tips to help you prepare an effective business demographics survey:

Asking the right questions

When conducting a survey, you first need to decide what to ask based on the goal of your survey. For instance, if your customers are businesses that you’re looking to understand better, try using a business demographics survey. Data from this kind of survey can help you widen your customer base, or you can use the information collected to tailor your product or service to better serve your customers.

Here are 10 sample questions to consider:

  • How long has your company been in business?
  • In which industry is your business?
  • What is your title at your company?
  • How long have you been in your current position?
  • How many people are employed at your company?
  • What was the annual revenue for your company last year?
  • Does your company have more than one location?
  • Does your company do business online?
  • Does your company serve consumers, businesses or both?
  • Which marketing channels do you use to promote your business?

Choosing the number of questions

While it would be nice to ask customers 100 questions, it’s not realistic. So how many questions should you ask? According to Small Business Trends, customers don’t want to take a survey that requires more than five minutes of their time, which amounts to about 10 questions (depending on the complexity of the question).

What this means is that the more questions you ask, the less time people will devote to each individual question and the more likely it is that they’ll stop taking the survey. While there are no hard and fast rules on how many questions to ask, keep the question count low to receive higher quality data.

Increasing response rates

Not only will you receive more reliable responses by asking fewer questions, but you’ll also get higher participation. Additionally, make it easy to answer your survey from any device. A questionnaire that is mobile-friendly prevents people from abandoning the process simply because the interface is funky.

Don’t be shy about throwing in a little something for those devoting time to your survey. Give your survey recipients motivation and thank them for filling out your survey by including a cash reward. This can be done on an individual basis or as a drawing for everyone who participated.

Keep in mind that the average email survey response rate is around 30 percent. So, be sure to send your survey to a large enough pool of recipients to keep it statistically relevant and meaningful.

Using a survey tool

Finally, let’s talk about how to physically conduct your survey. Tools like VerticalResponse Surveys take away the grunt work, so you can focus on reaping the feedback that will help improve your company. VerticalResponse’s Surveys ensures your questionnaire is mobile-friendly and allows you to build and distribute surveys in a few clicks. Best of all? You can send as many surveys as you want and gather as much feedback as you need, at any time. With most tools, including VerticalResponse’s, you can email the survey URL to your email lists, share it on social media and add it to your website or landing page.

These business survey tips will get you on your way to collecting the information you need to grow your business. Start interacting with customers through surveys today, and get impactful feedback that will improve your company continually.

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Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2015 and has been rewritten for accuracy and relevance.

© 2019, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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