Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Get qualitative data to boost your insights - online survey tools

Do you feel like a camel going through huge amounts of your web analytics data? Are you frustrated for getting insights and wondering why people are behaving like that in your website? Why not ask them directly? Customer satisfaction is very important to any business. You can measure your company's performance and quality by observation, interviews and surveys. One-time thing can make you happy but well thought, continuous and comparable qualitative data is one key to success. As with your quantitative data from your web analytics application, you need to look at trends in your customer satisfaction data.

Web based survey is pretty easy and cheap way to measure the customer satisfaction. Of course, you can do printed questionnaire, but you'll have to do manual work to save answers to database. I recommend that try to convert customers online, keep the survey simple and short and you'll get higher response rate. Longer than 5-10 minute surveys can be annoying and too much for busy people. You can ask questions which are answered in scale (from one to five for example), but don't forget open ended questions. You'll get much more information from your customers, if they cant answer by number or simple yes/no.

Some web analytics vendors (at least Omniture) have a survey tool including their package, but you can use third party online software vendors too. In Finland (and probably they do also international business) you have the following companies, which are happy to help you with the survey:A relative for customer satisfaction and another thing is a visitor satisfaction which is measuring performance of your website. As some of you already know or you have seen this before entering my blog, one very good and free tool for this is iPerception's 4Q. There's just four questions to your website visitors and you can get very valuable insights for developing or fixing problems at your website. Unfortunately I haven't got enough data yet, to represent it or to make long term conclusions. The first one is about overall visiting exprience (scale from 0-10). You will get a nice indicator as a result.

The second question is about the primary purpose of visit and you can select the answering options from variety of choises. As you can see, there's also other free option. You can also think this as your website goals.

The third question is about task completion and the fourth is open-ended question based on the answer of third question. You'll get good statistics about why people visit your site, are they able to complete their tasks, why they weren't able to complete the task or what they like on your website. If you're interested, take a look at this 4Q introduction video (10 minutes) by Avinash Kaushik.

But, a little bit critisism too. It can be quite annoying and scaring for someone when the 4Q survey pops up before you actually enter the website. It would be better if you could define when the survey will open based on visitor's behaviour. And of course, I think it's possible e.g. with their commercial solution called webValidator. For example, companies who are running online store, can be interested why visitors abandon their shopping carts? And because I'm working mostly in Finland, I could use a Finnish language version of 4Q.

Another very nice solution is Kampyle feedback analytics. Kampyle is free as well, easy to customize and you can integrate it with Google Analytics! You can check this out by clicking the blue "Give Feedback" button on the right side, just on top of my profile, or the picture below. If you're intrested, you can also take a Kampyle site tour.