In-Product Microsurveys: What They Are and Why They’re Effective

by The Creative Alliance

filling out survey form online

To be successful in business, you’ve got to understand your audience and how they feel about your products. Simply guessing at their preferences often leads to poor performance and missing sales targets.

What do your customers or clients like and dislike about your offerings? What new features or modifications do they want to see? What needs and preferences drove them to consider your products or purchase from you?

If you can answer these types of questions, your path to higher revenue and company growth is much easier.

How To Get Valuable Customer Feedback

Customer opinions are very useful. But how can you get this information? Sending out surveys is one option. However, every marketer knows that people are reluctant to complete traditional surveys. You may get some helpful information, but many (and probably most) recipients will ignore the request. You can offer participation incentives, but even that may not move the needle much.

Your customers’ refusal to respond can be surprising. After all, you’re asking questions because you want to improve your products, which benefits them. But the reality is that people today tend to have excessive professional and personal demands on their time, and the idea of spending even 10 minutes completing a survey can feel like a significant commitment.

Also, the fact that surveys tend to be an out-of-context experience can be a negative. Your request may arrive when the person isn’t currently using your product and is focused on other things. Consequently, they choose not to participate. Or, if they do participate but at a time when they haven’t recently used your product, their feedback can be vague or even inaccurate.

That’s why companies are increasingly using what are called “in-product microsurveys” (also referred to as “contextual microsurveys” or “in-app microsurveys”). If your business needs better intel on your audience, you should learn more about this valuable type of interaction.

Why In-Product Microsurveys Work

Research has shown that in-product microsurveys can achieve response rates as much as double that of traditional surveys. There are several reasons they’re so successful.

From the recipient’s perspective, these surveys are:

  • Brief. Microsurveys can consist of just a question or two that the product user can answer in a matter of seconds.
  • Contextual. Product users can best provide useful feedback about a product feature or function while using it.
  • “Portable.” Microsurvey questions can often be answered with just a click. So, users can easily complete surveys on their mobile devices.
  • Respectful. Seeking information through a small number of highly targeted questions shows you respect the user’s time and appreciate them using a little bit of it on your survey.

Microsurveys also benefit your company in multiple ways, including that they’re:

  • Easy to implement. There are many microsurvey tools available. They make it simple to add a survey to your product.
  • Immediate. A microsurvey can provide real-time user feedback. That means no more waiting days or weeks for responses.
  • More likely to generate a response. You’re more likely to get the information you need.
  • Accurate. Getting someone’s feedback at the precise moment they’re using the feature in question is much better than relying on their after-the-fact recollection of that feature.
  • Automated. Once you’ve added a well-designed microsurvey to your product, the data starts accumulating automatically.
  • Fuel for a continuous improvement loop. In today’s fast-paced business environment, companies must be agile to succeed. Getting immediate input on what product users like and dislike helps you quickly update your offerings to meet their needs better. And that’s helpful both in getting new customers and retaining existing ones.
  • Simple to update. Identifying the lack of response to specific questions allows you to modify your survey rapidly and make it more effective.
  • A better gauge of user opinions. People who take the time to complete a traditional survey often fall into one of two camps: those who love your product and those who strongly don’t love your product! In-product microsurveys help you get feedback from the large percentage of users who occupy the middle ground between those two extremes.

Many Uses for In-Product Microsurveys

Microsurveys are a relatively recent addition to the marketing toolkit, and companies continue to find new ways to capitalize on them.

They’re commonly used to:

  • Get feedback on existing products
  • Collect input on products during beta testing
  • Test alternative user experience (UX) hypotheses
  • Solicit product feature requests
  • Gather user demographic data
  • Understand why users abandon a product (so-called “churn”)

How To Craft an Effective In-Product Microsurvey

The most effective in-product microsurveys tend to be created from a collaboration between a company and its marketing agency partner. That’s true, in part, because the firm’s outside perspective enables it to see a product from the user’s perspective, making it easier to determine what questions to ask.

The agency can also share information on proven microsurvey best practices, like:

  • Limiting surveys to 1-2 questions
  • Using tailored questions with carefully considered wording
  • Breaking down broad questions like “Why are adoption rates low for a particular product or feature?” into smaller questions based on various hypotheses
  • Placing surveys at the end of a task to avoid interrupting the user’s journey
  • Avoiding survey fatigue caused by multiple surveys targeting similar users at the same time

Plus, when you closely integrate your marketing campaigns and survey data, achieving your goals is significantly easier. For example, if your survey results show that people love a particular product feature, you can emphasize that functionality in your advertisements, email outreach, etc., and get the attention of your audience.

How and where could your company leverage in-product microsurveys? The best way to find out is to contact us. We can have a brief, informative conversation about your marketing objectives and how surveying your audience can be a powerful driver toward meeting them.