When the economy doesn’t look too good and when people are focused on staying healthy, and worrying about coronavirus in particular, businesses can take one of two actions: go into crisis mode and cut back on everything (activities, spending, people) or they lean into it and make short term choices to adjust their long term strategy.
No matter whether you send surveys as part of marketing or as part of your people operations and HR activities, the question most people are asking themselves is: should I be sending surveys to people who are really busy right now?
Well, we’ve got a bunch of useful ways to think about this and also we'll take a look at the results of a survey we did of doopoll customers, friends and communities we're part of.
What is a survey for?
A good place to start thinking about this question is by asking what the point of a survey is at all.
The most meaningful reason that people survey is to collect feedback at scale. Unlike other forms of talking to customers such as anecdotal feedback or customer metrics; or talking to staff in direct contact meetings or 1 on 1 reviews, surveys allow you to gather lots of insights into a big audience and then analyse the responses to identify smaller trends.
This work then feeds into your other projects and, if necessary, gives you a great place to begin a more personal conversation.
Because of this unique system, surveys are the perfect way to talk to your customers and employees at the moment. While social distancing and work from home protocols are in place, you can get a pulse of your different audiences with surveys – no face-to-face contact necessary.
How are you aligned to the problem?
The second useful way to think about whether you should be sending surveys to customers and staff at the moment is to ask yourself how you align to the problems that people are facing at the moment.
Here’s some personal experience: I’ve recently received heaps of emails and blog posts from companies who are suddenly experts in something or other related to Coronavirus, but sell products or services that are totally unrelated.
You’re probably the same as me in thinking that this feels totally disingenuous. These companies, more than likely, are using a global disaster to generate some web page visits. Which is… not great.
On the other hand, we spent the first week of the Coronavirus crisis talking with customers about how they were feeling about engaging with their customers and their employees and discovered that we are actually really aligned to the problems they’re facing: disconnection, wanting to ask questions, needing answers quickly.
We discovered how we were aligned to the problem by listening at scale with a doopoll survey on attitudes to engaging during coronavirus (more on that in a moment), and then created a plan for how we could help where we are uniquely placed to do so.
So ask yourself, how are you and your company uniquely aligned to the problem?
Create your own survey at doopoll.co
You absolutely should feel good about talking to customers and employees
Beyond all the data, and the expert opinions, times like the ones that we’re facing right now tell us a lot about ourselves and how we see the world.
My hope for all of this is that we emerge from a total disaster, firmly resolved to draw closer to each other as fellow human beings. Not merely as customers and employees, but that we listen to each other both individually and at scale more frequently, more deeply.
It is vital that we keep tabs on how our customers and employees are doing right now. Attitudes are changing so frequently and normality is shifting at a dizzying pace.
Use surveys as a way to allow people to interact with you voluntarily, and at scale. But don’t forget to also check in with the small group of people who are closest to you professionally and personally in a more intimate way.
Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. DM your colleagues on Slack. Encourage each other when it’s most needed.
Most of all, be kind.