In today’s technology-driven world, “personalization” has come to mean more than the monogram that’s stitched on our expensive bathroom towels. With machine learning using algorithms to calculate customized results for us in real time across multiple platforms whenever we want, we are now seeing material unique to our own experiences, a type of personalization that impacts not only our own information gathering, but also companies’ bottom lines. Think about those Google ads that pop up after you do an Internet search. Or the emails you get after you purchase something. Artificial intelligence and the big data it affords make tailoring content to individuals easier and less expensive than it ever was in the past. In fact, as consumers we are so used to receiving information that is both pertinent and personally targeted to us, that it almost seems insulting when we don’t.
There is a fine line, though, for businesses wishing to capitalize on the personalization trend and alienating the people its meant to benefit; we’ve all been creeped out when we got an email that was just a tad bit too familiar, listing everything from our birth date to the make of our car and the names of everyone who rides in it. In this instance, the personalization serves only to display the company’s fact-finding prowess and not any well-meaning service toward our own needs. Needless personalization that seemingly stalks a consumer with irrelevant and pointless information is a waste of everyone’s time and often leads to a backlash that affects brand perception, consumer loyalty and ultimately ROI. To effectively customize their products and services, companies should start with their research techniques and incorporate personalized content into their consumer surveys. Here are five ways to do it:
Send the Survey at a Convenient Time
If you really know someone, you should respect him. You can know a respondent’s name and interests, but if you don’t value his time and opinions, it’s likely you’ll lose his business. Surveys with proper market research personalization follow only the most pertinent customer experiences. They don’t arrive six months after the fact or after every purchase. Send a survey only when it makes sense and will not annoy its intended target.
Address the Survey to a Specific Person
A personalized greeting beats a generic one any day. But make sure you’re using a respondent’s preferred name and not another one (i.e., “Liz” rather than “Elizabeth” or “Mrs. Wilson” instead of “Miss Wilson”). Nothing screams disinterest more than using the wrong name for someone.
State Why The Respondent is Receiving the Survey
Underscore the reason for contact. If you know your target respondent bought your product from companyXYZ.com, say so. Don’t leave him wondering how he got on your radar.
Highlight and Respect the Respondent’s Expertise
Tell her why you value her opinion. If she ran a marathon last year and you want to know what she looks for in a running shoe, share that with her. Also allow her to skip questions that aren’t relevant to her experience or knowledge. This verifies that you understand and respect her background and time.
Direct Meaningful Follow-up
If you know who your respondents are, you should be able to point them to something useful. Upon completing your survey, thank them and then redirect them to a webpage that might cater to their interests.
Market research personalization can help your business increase survey response rates, garnering better data and providing better user experiences. Contact our team at Communications for Research (CFR) for help. We have over 20 years experience crafting surveys that provide actionable results and improve ROI!
You can also download our free eBook, “The Insider’s Guide to Successfully Using Market Research Online Surveys,” for additional information.