Using Automated Surveys to Attain Business Goals

Automated surveys are leading the charge on catering to a business’s target market; consequently, they make up the building blocks of a business. While this may seem like a long shot, it is the case for a number of reasons.

Firstly, customers of the present are more demanding than ever, as 76% of customers expect businesses to know about their needs. Automated surveys are the most apt tools to deliver on this front, given that the raison d’etre of automated surveys is extracting key insights about customers as a means to better serve them. 

As such, these tools are the most equipped to understand customers as precisely as possible and thus help businesses in fulfilling their needs. 

Moreover, companies in the U.S. lose over $62 billion annually due to poor customer service. Automated surveys function as preventative efforts against losing money. This is because they help gather key insights on your target market, allowing you to test your own marketing efforts.

This article explains automated surveys and their various formats, along with how they help attain business goals.

Defining Automated Surveys

Automated surveys are surveys designed for the modern age. As their name hints at, these surveys are conducted via automation — the application of technology that performs tasks that humans otherwise would, in an effort to minimize human labor while achieving the same outcomes. 

This new form of surveys has rung in the era of automated surveying, the practice explained above. In doing so, automated surveying has brought about new auxiliary tasks, which have led to many improvements in different areas.  

These improvements hinge on the capabilities unique to automated surveying and have allowed marketers to gain insights for different areas of business. 

The Capabilities of Automated Surveys

Automated surveys can be used for a variety of campaigns and macro-applications. They also carry out specific uses, such as avoiding customer churn rate, etc. Here are a few more key purposes and ends that these surveys can help you attain in your research endeavors.

    1. Marketing: Marketing market research surveys can be used to study a wide variety of behaviors and opinions, as they relate to marketing. These surveys automate processes that deal with learning about competitors, campaign effectiveness and customer base.
    2. Branding: These surveys help you conduct branding market research, i.e., surveys that test brand awareness, design, logos and other associations of a brand.
    3. Advertising: You can automate surveys for advertising market research, which involve high-level campaigns, concepts and individual ads.
    4. Market segmentation: These surveys allow you to conduct market segmentation, which allow you to learn the subgroups of your target market. This is ideal for more advanced targeting, as not all members of your target market share similar interests, behaviors and other categorizations.
    5. Competitor intelligence research: These surveys gather data on competitors, both direct and comparable, so that your business can find market opportunities, product ideas, costs and other competitor aspects for comparison. This shows you businesses how they stack up against your business contenders. From this intelligence, businesses can make key decisions on how to differentiate themselves from competitors and offer better customer experience (CX).
    6. Customer loyalty: This is a key differentiating factor in the success of any business, as loyal customers will make repeated purchases and engage in other positive behaviors, such as leaving positive online reviews and engaging with your social channels. The customer loyalty survey can be conducted in a number of formats and styles.
    7. Obtaining quality answers: This is also referred to as avoiding survey fraud. There are various ways your surveys can receive poor answers — the kind that are inaccurate, rushed or spell out gibberish, as nefarious respondents do not care about providing honest, quality answers. Respondents can also simply be too bored or exhausted to partake honestly. Automated surveys can bypass low-quality responses by way of technical checks. 

The Pros and Cons of Automated Surveys

Automated surveys help simplify various difficulties; by easing tasks for businesses, they can reach their goals that much quicker and less laboriously. But like any form of automation, they too can fall prey to a few snags. Here are a few of the key advantages and drawbacks that automated surveys present:

The Pros

  1. Discovering key unknown facts: Automated surveys can amass a wide swath of insights, allowing you to come across facts that were otherwise unknown, such as certain customer preferences, needs, distastes and even personas.    
  2. Reduction of labor: By their very nature, automated surveys were designed to cut back on human input, making certain business campaigns less labor-intensive. They especially curb difficult manual tasks such as finding qualified respondents and typical manual tasks such as sending the surveys out to the correct respondents.
  3. AI-powered: Artificial intelligence is arguably the strongest force of automation in that it learns human behaviors as it automates. As such, it mimics human intelligence so that surveying takes key actions (preventing disqualified demographics and answers, instituting quality checks, etc.)
  4. Quickening the research process: Market research can be a lengthy process, as it involves turning to both primary and secondary sources of information. These surveys are known for ramping up speed, allowing you to breeze through the survey and larger market research process.
  5. Identifying key business strengths and pitfalls: These surveys allow you to dive deep into the perceptions surrounding your business along with its various campaigns and communications. This gives you insight into how your business excels in the eyes of your target market, along with the areas for improvement.  
  6. Keeps boring and technically challenging tasks at bay: These surveys automate a series of tasks and subtasks that are not only laborious, but dull as well. Certain key tasks to the survey experience, such routing respondents to particular questions based on their previous answers is virtually impossible to do manually. It would take too long and require technical knowledge.
  7. Accruing real-time responses. As these surveys accrue responses, you can view them in real-time, allowing you to analyze, report and understand how much more time your study will need and the rate at which you get responses. 

The Cons

  1. Parked answers: This refers to respondents who begin a survey at a particular time, yet “park it,” i.e., leave it inactive, until a later time that they wish to complete it. This can create biases, in that certain events that occurred in the interim can sway respondents’ answers. 
    1. Additionally, it slows down the survey process, regardless of its real-time results. 
  2. Lengthy surveys: Automated surveys typically allow researchers to take the DIY approach. As such, many researchers create surveys on the longer end of the spectrum. This may be detrimental to your survey response rate and campaign at large if you don’t provide incentives.
    1.  Sometimes, even in the case of incentives, long surveys lead to boredom, disinterest and therefore, biases.
  3. Misinformation: Even a well-built survey can be susceptible to misinformation. While a strong survey platform can weed out biased answers, some can still fall through the cracks. For example, a respondent may provide an open-ended answer that is not thought out and presents a half-truth just to finish the survey.

When Automation Powers Market Research

Automated surveys provide recourse in the overarching campaign known as market research. Although there are still many types of research you’ll need to conduct manually, such as rifling through secondary sources, organizing focus groups and the like, automated surveys remove a major weight from researchers’ shoulders.

This is because, aside from the macro applications and main purposes that automated surveying helps businesses fulfill, there are a myriad of other capabilities they can perform

Their edge lies in their capacity of automation, a relatively new concept. This makes automated surveys far easier to conduct than phone, email and CRM-based surveys.