The first rule of business clearly states: Know your customers. One of the main tools that will help you gain this knowledge is market research. Up until now, conducting telephone and email surveys proved to be one of the most effective ways of familiarizing with customer’s needs and wants.
However, in 2014 FluidSurvey University published a research which revealed that the average response rate for email surveys is 24.8% and between 8 and 12% for telephone surveys. Furthermore, according to the Council of American Survey Research Organization, up to $19 billion is spent annually on telephone poles, online surveys, and questionnaires globally. If we take into consideration that at least 50% of email surveys are being opened on a mobile gadget of some kind, it is evident that other forms of customer research will have to gain momentum.
Out with the tradition
Consumers are not always able to access their desktops and take surveys, which more often than not results in not taking the survey at all.
Although the majority of survey invitations still come through emails, statistics show that 55% of users open their email on their mobile phones, meaning that it is highly likely they will complete the survey on that device. For this reason, a number of marketers decided to shift their focus towards gathering user feedback via mobile devices.
The fact is – if your survey is not optimized for mobile phones, it will be left behind.
The benefits of mobilization
It hardly makes any sense getting in touch with people through their landlines in order to ask them questions related to their mobile phones. If you were, for example, to evaluate user satisfaction of a particular mobile app, it clearly makes more sense to conduct the survey via mobile device.
Not only do mobile surveys benefit app developers, it is also possible to obtain instant insights after a certain event simply by giving your users an option to send their feedback during or immediately after the event they have attended, thus enabling you to get instant data. Also, in addition to the ‘plain’ data, you will be able to get images or even live video with a commentary on the event.
One other feature that contributes to mobile research popularity is the GPS technology incorporated in majority of mobile phones, as it enables for research respondents to be invited based on their exact location. If, for example, you are running a local business, you can send people surveys to complete when they are within the proximity of the business in question, a transport hub or some other location where feedback might be required. This way people you are targeting will find the content of the survey relevant, which increases the chances of them completing it.
Targeting the right kind of audience
Mobile surveys are beneficial for reaching a wider audience, since smartphones are popular with all ages; people between the ages of 25-34 are leading with 86.2 percent, but even 46.3 percent of users older than 65 report regularly using smartphones.
Furthermore, the nature of the audience is what drove market research away from the static devices towards mobile ones. Through smartphones, marketers are able to reach out time-limited business audiences who take frequent business trips, as well as those who do a lot of field work. So, mobile market research methodology is definitely beneficial when targeting industries such as construction, plumbing, electrical and mechanical contracting.
Optimization for smaller screens
It is evident that smartphone surveys bring new opportunities for market researchers. Nevertheless, all will be in vain if some of the basic requirements are not met.
First of all, responsive design is a necessity since it contributes to the ease of survey flow. But it is important to understand that real optimization requires going beyond minimum necessities. It is of prime importance to carefully consider every aspect of the survey and every action user is expected to take: Is it going to require using one or both hands, will they have to type or tap, will they have to swipe or slide?
Survey has to be optimized in such a way to engage users, not repel them with TL;DR content. The length of the question should be addressed by acquiring “less is more” principle. Short questions can be scrolled and processed quickly, so the users are more likely to complete the survey.
Finally, when possible, include images and/or videos to grasp users’ attention, but ensure that the content doesn’t take up a lot of bandwidth or screen space since it can have a drastic effect on the responsiveness of the survey.
Not just about the data anymore
In today’s day and age, surveying does not only imply collecting statistical data. Thanks to a multitude of smartphone applications, you are able to gather valuable pictures, videos or audio recordings from your respondents. You can collect live commentary from people who have just purchased a particular product.
For years, SurveyMonkey has been the most popular online survey software. The free SurveyMonkey mobile app is available for iOS and Android users and it includes the most essential features for creating a survey, collecting responses and analyzing results.
Recently, GetFeedback online survey software has been gaining in popularity, especially among those marketers who understand the importance of visual elements. It allows you to integrate pictures and videos to create emotional connection to your company. What many emphasize as its strongest feature is the fact that it automatically formats surveys for smaller screens, such as smartphones and tablets.
Data collection is no longer a standalone method and the combination with other contemporary techniques is what will bring about top results. Smartphones are bringing revolutionary changes to market research methodologies, enabling marketers to target wider audience, as well as change the (inter)face of the survey with quality images and videos.
One last tip for the end: Don’t forget to test your own survey, so ask yourself the crucial: Would I actually fill this out?