How to Use Microsurveys to Improve Your Product

Everything you need to know about using microsurveys to improve your product and customer experience.

Article

Brittany Klokkenga

December 10, 2020

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“Do you have 5-7 minutes to take our brief survey?” This is not an email your customers are excited to receive.  

As marketers and product experts, you know that getting customer feedback through surveys is essential to your success. 

But your potential respondents have busy lives, and they don’t usually want to spend valuable time answering 10-15 questions that won’t directly benefit them. 

The solution to this problem is microsurveys. 

What is a microsurvey? 

A microsurvey is a concise survey that typically consists of only one or two questions that take less than a minute to answer. 

They can be the pop-up question on your website’s home page, or the NPS® survey that appears after a customer has made a purchase or interacted with a customer service agent in your mobile app, or come in a wide variety of other forms.  

Here’s an example of a GetFeedback website microsurvey:

How to Use Microsurveys to Improve Your Product

As you’ll see, it asks a single question and includes an optional comment section so customers can elaborate on why they left the rating they did. 

Microsurveys are small but powerful survey tools that enable your users and customers to deliver feedback in the moment without leaving the task they’re trying to complete. 

Challenges of traditional surveys

While traditional surveys are often highly valuable, they also have several drawbacks and challenges that make them less than ideal to use in some situations. 

Lack of context 

When you send a survey via email to a customer and ask them about their feelings about a purchase, a recent interaction, or your company as a whole, you might not know what they’re thinking about when they respond. 

That’s because these kinds of surveys lack context. You’re asking the respondent about something that happened in another space, at least a short time ago. 

Lack of critical thinking

When your customers are checking their email, they’re probably thinking about a dozen different things at once; the next task on their to-do list, items they need to buy, plans they need to make. 

They’re not thinking critically about your product or company. And that makes their feedback less specific and helpful. 

Tend to be lengthy

No matter how much they love your product, no one looks at a 15-question survey with excitement. While lengthier surveys have benefits to your business, they’re often an instant turnoff for your respondents. 

That means you get briefer answers as respondents speed to the finish or simply fewer responses as respondents don’t even click through to the survey. 

Advantages of microsurveys 

Microsurveys have many advantages that traditional surveys lack. They allow you to ask the right questions and target the right user at the right time. 

While they can’t replace longer surveys entirely, they can serve as an excellent complement to get a well-rounded view of customer sentiment and opinion. 

Collect more data and quickly 

Since microsurveys are a shorter experience - they don’t require more than a minute of a customer’s time - more customers and users are willing to respond. You get more data, and you get it faster since results will start coming in instantly. 

Also, since microsurveys are a native experience, meaning respondents don’t need to leave the website or app, there are fewer barriers to responding. With traditional surveys, users must open the survey email, click the link, and then respond - all those steps lead people to drop out before they begin. 

Context-specificity and accuracy 

Microsurveys ask customers about an experience or interaction they’ve had as they have it, so they’re incredibly context-specific. And since there’s no time lag between the incident and their feedback on it, their information is fresh and accurate. 

They are targeted 

Targeting specific customer segments allows for more accurate data as well. And it enables you to drill down into highly detailed information about customer journey touchpoints. 

Microsurveys allow this kind of targeting because they’re triggered when a customer or user completes a specified action or event, like making a purchase or reading a self-help resource. 

They create a continuous feedback loop 

When customers run into an issue on your mobile app or website, they can immediately report it with a microsurvey. And you can respond right away to fix or alleviate the problem and let the customer know you’ve heard their feedback and have taken action. This is called closed-loop feedback, and you’ll learn more about how it connects with microsurveys later in this article. 

Types of microsurveys 

Microsurveys are small but powerful - there are many different types that you can use in various situations to gather and act on customer feedback.  

Customer feedback microsurvey 

You can use microsurveys to collect customer feedback about specific product features, your product as a whole, or many other areas of the customer journey. Microsurveys help find ways to improve your customer experience.

For example, suppose you’ve recently redesigned your website or plan to. In that case, you can gather feedback about the current user experience and see what your users would like to improve. 

Customer satisfaction microsurvey 

One common use for microsurveys is to gauge customer satisfaction and loyalty with the most popular customer loyalty metrics

Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) surveys ask how likely customers are to recommend your products or brand to a friend or colleague. It’s an excellent predictor of customer loyalty based on just one question. 

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) surveys ask customers how satisfied they are with a recent purchase or interaction, like a call with a customer service agent. They are good measures of short-term customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

Customer Effort Score (CES) surveys ask customers how easy it was to make a purchase or solve an issue with your company. It’s a metric that measures the impact of recent interactions on the customer experience. 

Feature survey

How well are your products currently performing relative to customer expectations? And what features would your customers like to see in the future? Microsurveys are a great way to find out. 

They can help you identify bugs and flaws in current products and target ideas for future product development. Product feedback is essential to ensure your products are still delighting customers, whether they’ve been on the market for one year or 100.   

Competitive analysis microsurvey 

How do you know where you stand relative to your competitors in the minds of your customers? Find out using microsurveys. You can conduct market research and competitive analysis by asking users why they chose your product over a competitor once they’ve completed a purchase. 

Churn/exit microsurvey 

Knowing why users exit your website without making a purchase or taking a desired action, or why existing customers churn, is key to increasing conversions and retention. 

Ask your users why they’re exiting the site to figure out what’s not working for them. And after a user cancels their subscription, you can use a microsurvey to find out what’s causing them to leave. 

Welcome screen microsurvey 

Welcome screen microsurveys allow you to offer a more personalized experience for your new software product users. You can ask them why they’re using your software and allow them to select from predetermined options, and then guide them to targeted content to help them get set up. 

This allows them to have a smooth onboarding experience based on their specific needs. And since they can start using the product effectively right away, they’ll see more value faster. 

Information collection microsurvey 

Microsurveys can help you collect valuable information, but you don’t ask for or have access to anywhere else. This can include what other complementary products customers use, what they’re interested in learning more about, or anything else that will help you serve them better. 

Microsurvey best practices

Are you curious about how to conduct a microsurvey? Here are the guidelines you need to know. 

Since microsurveys are so short, it’s critical to design them thoughtfully so you can gather the information you need. While there are many different kinds of microsurveys you can use, a few best practices will help any kind of microsurvey deliver the most value. 

Keep it focused 

One of the reasons microsurveys are effective is that they can be highly targeted. But if you’re asking too vague questions or asking all your users the same question, you’re losing out on that benefit. 

Instead, be sure to keep your microsurveys focused on one group of users or customers and one aspect of your product, website, or customer experience. Don’t combine two areas in one microsurvey, as you’ll get less accurate and actionable data, and avoid the rest of the deadly survey sins too

Keep it short 

It’s right there in the name - microsurveys are extremely short. Shorter surveys have a higher response rate. You should be asking one, at maximum two, questions, and they should fit in one small pop-up box. There shouldn’t be any scrolling or going to the next page needed. 

If that’s happening, it’s because your survey is not focused enough. Remember, microsurveys are meant to be highly specific - this isn’t your only chance to ask your customers for their feedback. 

Focus on design 

In microsurveys, user experience and branding both matter. Branding is essential because it clarifies the question is coming from your company, even if you use a survey platform like GetFeedback to build your surveys. 

And user experience is critical because you want to enable your users to answer accurately and quickly - if they encounter bugs or confusion, they’ll abandon the survey. They might even come away with a negative view of your brand if they have trouble navigating your microsurvey because it becomes just another annoying popup. 

Track, analyze, and improve 

An effective microsurvey can help your business improve your products, which can be a significant driver of growth. But you won’t know if your customer feedback program is having a real impact unless you track and analyze the data that’s coming in and your progress over time. 

Microsurveys are not a set-it-and-forget-it item. You should consistently test different question types to see which ones receive more or higher-quality responses from your customers. And you should be closing the loop with customers frequently as well. 

Example questions 

What kinds of questions should you be asking in your microsurveys? 

The possibilities are nearly endless - it depends on your business goals and what you’re trying to achieve with each survey. But here are some example microsurvey questions to get you inspired. 

  • How easy was it to use X feature? 

  • Why are you canceling your subscription/plan? 

  • What’s the main reason you’re using [product name] today? 

  • What would you like to do in [product]?

  • Why did you choose us over [competitor name]? 

  • How satisfied were you with your experience today? 

  • How would you feel if you could no longer use our product? 

  • How likely are you to recommend [product] to a friend? 

  • How would you rate your experience on our website today? 

  • Did you find what you were looking for?

  • How easy was the checkout process?

  • What’s stopping you from completing your purchase?

Closed feedback loops, CX, and microsurveys 

A great customer experience is a secret weapon in the battle for business success. That’s why many companies are hyper-focused on improving CX right now - and you need to be as well if you don’t want to fall behind. 

Microsurveys are an excellent way to improve and refine your customer experience. They allow you to find bugs and pain points quickly, access a large quantity of accurate customer feedback, and continuously improve your products and features. 

They’re also a key element in your closed-loop feedback system, which is when you can access timely customer feedback and respond to it directly. 

What does this look like in practice? Let’s say you run a small yoga apparel ecommerce business. 

  • You have a microsurvey triggered to appear on your website once a purchase is completed. 

  • You receive feedback in this survey from a customer telling you that he had trouble adding his billing address in the credit card form to pay. 

  • Your feedback system automatically opens a ticket in your CRM because a low score was received. 

  • A customer service agent receives the ticket and the feedback with context and responds to the customer to ask a follow-up question, and apologizes for the inconvenience. 

  • The issue is identified and fixed, and this pain point in the customer journey is gone before it causes friction for other users. 

Closed-loop feedback needs three things to be truly effective: 

  • Timeliness. Responding to customer feedback days or weeks after it has been received is not what today’s fast-paced, demanding customers want. Also, the issue may be unresolvable at that point. You must have a way of getting and taking action on feedback right away.

  • Accuracy. To fix issues effectively, you must get accurate feedback the first time. That means in-context, of-the-moment feedback is most valuable in a closed-loop system. 

  • Proportionality. Not every issue requires follow-up or even a fix. Some complaints are simply too small, insignificant, or irrelevant. Your closed-loop system must have a way to weed out these complaints so you can focus on the more important and timely ones. 

Microsurveys bring all three things to the table for your closed-loop feedback system. They are timely because they gather feedback in the moment and are accurate for the same reason: there’s no recall lag. And they help you determine which feedback requires follow-up if you use a sophisticated analytics platform

Advantages of closed feedback loops 

Better customer relationships 

Closed feedback loops build stronger, longer-lasting relationships with your customers. Following up on their feedback makes them feel heard and seen. And those positive feelings are increased when you make changes based on their input.

Better employee experiences 

Employees also benefit from closed-loop systems. Your customer service representatives can gain context and insights into customer issues before reaching out, so they can come to a satisfying conclusion faster and with less back-and-forth on both sides. They can spend more time solving problems and less time trying to figure out what the problem is. 

Increased revenue 

Having stronger relationships with customers, a better customer experience, and more satisfied employees builds customer loyalty, leading to higher revenues. You will spend less money acquiring customers and see your existing customers return again and again. 

Key takeaways

Microsurveys are a powerful way to gather customer feedback that is timely and actionable. They are easy for your customers and users to answer and can be targeted to any customer journey touchpoint that you want to explore and refine. 

They can even help you build a closed-loop feedback system that elevates your customer experience to new heights. But implementing microsurveys and a closed-loop feedback system in your organization requires the right automation and survey software. GetFeedback’s CX platform makes creating and delivering microsurveys, analyzing the results, and acting to close the loop simple.

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