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If you struggle to know what works when you’re converting leads into prospects and then clients, you are not alone. If you are unsure whether you are keeping existing clients happy and providing them with the services they need, again you are not alone. Marketing professionals agree that knowing as much relevant information as possible about clients is the key to success, but that doesn’t tell us how to find out that information.  

Questionnaires can be a bad idea. Most people don’t want even to receive them, let alone complete them, and just sending them out may irritate more than engage. So the all-too-common big, annual client care survey can generate surprisingly little useful information if done in isolation. There has to be a better way, doesn’t there?

Yes, there is. You could consider partly or wholly abandoning questionnaires and instead embracing the more frequent microsurvey – a brief set of targeted questions, usually no more than three, intended to generate quick and easy, but highly relevant and informative answers. The world of today increasingly rejects the lengthy and the time-consuming, so embedding a quick microsurvey into an email or a website, where it will be seen by people who are already paying attention to what you offer, just by reading it, is a powerful marketing tool.

Whether a microsurvey is embedded into an email or appears as a floating widget on your site or app, it has considerable advantages over the traditional survey. That usually begins with a variation on the ‘help us to improve our service by clicking this link’ theme, which puts you at a disadvantage because, psychologically speaking, people feel that they are being asked to spend time doing something they would not otherwise do. Microsurveys instead engage with already open minds, and they do so when people are already giving their time to look at your site or your email.

As a client care tool in the professional services sector, in place of a microsurvey seen by visitors to your website you might embed one into a well-timed email sent at a key moment when you know that a client is pleased with what you are doing or you’ve completed a matter. In this way you will reach the open mind that an annual review questionnaire, with no specific timing as far as the individual client is concerned, cannot.

Of course, a microsurvey has to be much more narrowly targeted than a traditional questionnaire – three questions doesn’t give huge scope – but that has proven to increase the likelihood of more productive dialogue with leads or customers. Where management of existing customers is concerned, it enables more frequent and casual communication, that reveals more of use.

Microsurveys on website landing pages are seen by the greatest number of people possible. They are quick and easy way for people to provide contact details and give some indication of their needs, thus enabling you to follow up in an informed and targeted way.

As a client care tool, they can be added to email campaigns regularly, where they are one of your most effective means of discovering what people want from your service or, indeed, your marketing.

Many options exist for using miscrosurveys, and some experimentation might be needed to work out what is most effective for you, but in almost every case there will be considerable advantages over the traditional questionnaire when you get it right.