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How to Build Effective SMS Surveys for Valuable Feedback

Learn how to build an effective SMS survey with our in‑depth guide. Engage your audience and receive valuable feedback with these best practices.

Customer surveys can help you learn how your customers feel about various aspects of your business, including your products, service, customer support team, and communication methods. Collecting feedback lets you understand what you're doing right and what you need to improve.

Allowing your customers to tell you about their experience shows that you care about them. Their insight can also enable your business to find new ways to delight them by pinpointing problems and brainstorming solutions. Learning from your customers makes improving all aspects of your business easier, thus increasing sales and revenue while enhancing your reputation.

There are many ways to collect feedback, but more companies are discovering the benefits of SMS surveys. These surveys allow you to communicate with your clients in real time, learn about their experience, and find new ways to boost customer satisfaction. Keep reading to learn more about text surveys and how to use them.

What is an SMS survey? SMS survey definition

What is an SMS survey?

An SMS — text message — survey is a customer survey you send directly to your customers' smartphones. You can create SMS campaigns using text messages to collect customer feedback on everything from customer support to products and even your marketing efforts.

SMS feedback surveys work similarly to email survey questionnaires, but instead of sending them to someone's email, you'll send them to your customers' mobile devices. For example, you can text a client asking them to complete the survey and provide a link to submit their answers.

You can also send a short text survey and allow customers to reply via text. A text message survey example would be asking customers to rate their experience; you can request that they respond with a rating between 1 and 5 and any feedback they'd like to share.

To send an SMS survey, you need a text message marketing platform to collect customer phone numbers and contact information and send them messages. Your SMS survey software should also allow two-way communication so customers can respond to your texts.

How to create an SMS survey

How to create SMS surveys

Now that you understand what an SMS survey is, you might want to compare it to other methods to determine whether it's more effective at soliciting customer feedback. Luckily, creating an SMS survey is easy. Follow the simple steps below.

1. Identify your target audience

Customer survey SMS campaigns require you to identify your target audience because you need a contact/participation list with phone numbers. Anyone you text must have agreed to receive messages from your business. The easiest way to ensure customers opt-in to SMS communication is to add a pop-up to your website.

Once you have a list of subscribers, you can segment contacts into different groups so that each receives the appropriate message depending on where they are in the customer journey.

2. Build your SMS survey

Once you've identified your target audience, you can build your survey and create a draft before sending it out. Think carefully about your audience and goals as you make the first draft of your survey.

Keeping your text messages short is important because customers will view them on a small screen, and you typically don't want to take up the entire space.

It may be easier to ask customers to give you a rating instead of requesting short answers. You can also build your survey on your website and send customers a link, allowing them to complete it on their mobile phones without responding to your text. Creating a survey on a webpage is ideal for longer surveys requiring lengthy responses.

3. Choose SMS survey software

To create an SMS feedback survey, you'll first need text messaging capabilities.

Various SMS survey software is available to facilitate mass messaging and integrate with your other marketing tools. Plus, most survey software has text survey templates, making it easy to create and test surveys.

If you don't already have SMS-enabled marketing automation software, we recommend using a service that allows both SMS and MMS messaging. While you won't need MMS capabilities for your survey, you can choose to compare SMS vs. MMS marketing campaigns in the future to determine which your customers respond to the most.

Our SMS tools allow you to communicate with customers via text surveys and automate the process, so creating campaigns is fast and easy. This service is available to all paying Mailchimp customers in the United States.

4. Send your text survey

Once you've built and previewed your survey, it's time to send it out or schedule it for a later date. You can also set up automatic reminders for individuals who haven't replied to your messages after a set period.

The best way to encourage customers to respond to your text surveys is to give them a reason. Clients usually only communicate with businesses when they're thrilled with the experience or seriously unhappy. Unfortunately, most customers fall between those categories, so they may not feel like they have to reply to your text messages.

Offering an incentive for completing the survey, such as 10% off or a chance to win a prize, can help you secure more responses.

5. Evaluate the results

You can evaluate your survey results with SMS survey analytics provided by the software you're using. You can review the results of your campaign after a few days and send reminders to individuals who still need to complete them.

Assessing your results can help you determine what percentage of your audience responded to your survey and identify the changes you need to make next time. For example, if a small percentage of customers responded, it might be because your survey was too long.

While customers prefer the convenience of texting you, they may not want to answer survey questions, so it's crucial to determine if your SMS feedback survey is too long or intimidating. In most cases, it's better to ask customers to send a single response in the form of a number rating and give them the option to provide additional feedback.

Benefits of sending SMS surveys

SMS questionnaires allow you to collect feedback from your customers in real time.

For example, a food delivery company may automate surveys that ask consumers to rate their experience after their food has been delivered. Conversely, an e-commerce company might send SMS questionnaires after clients communicate with the support team to ask how they feel about the experience and if their issues have been resolved.

So, should your business invest in SMS surveys? Here are a few benefits that might convince you:

  • They’re affordable. The overall cost of SMS marketing and text surveys depends on the platform you use and your chosen plan. However, the cost for this method of communication is often comparable to email marketing, which is affordable.
  • Obtain fast response rates. Text messages are received instantly, allowing you to collect feedback fast. Your customers are familiar with texting, so they'll most likely respond quickly if they intend to answer the SMS questionnaire.
  • Set up is easy. SMS survey software makes it easy to create a survey using drag-and-drop functionalities and pre-existing templates.
  • They’re customizable. SMS surveys are customizable and personalizable, allowing you to add information about a customer's recent transaction or interaction with your company.
Best practices for text message surveys

Best practices for text message surveys

Creating a text survey is as easy as building an email marketing campaign. However, it's important to remember that your goal is to get responses from your customers. Here are a few best practices to help you encourage customers to reply to your SMS surveys:

Ensure your goal is clear

Before you send SMS surveys, you should have a clear goal. These surveys aim to collect valuable customer feedback, but what do you want this information for?

Do you want to understand how your customers feel about your business or its products and services, or are you interested in learning something more specific? For example, you can ask clients who have recently purchased a product about the product instead of requesting feedback about your business.

Having a clear goal can help you accurately measure the results of your SMS survey campaign and allow you to make better business decisions in the future.

Keep the content simple

Your customers don't want to read or respond to long text messages. Therefore, keep your text survey concise. In most cases, the best way to get as many responses as possible is to ask for a one-word reply.

For example, a question like "How was your experience? (1-10)" allows customers to respond with a fast, single-number answer to your question without putting too much work into it.

Know your audience

Having a basic understanding of your audience ensures you can tailor your messaging to fit their needs. This can also be valuable for personalizing campaigns with names and other details that can boost customer loyalty.

Send the text survey at the right time

Knowing when to contact your customers is crucial because reaching them at the right time can encourage them to respond.

For example, you wouldn't send an email when they're likely asleep, so you shouldn't send a text at that time either. Instead, consider your target audience. If you have an audience segment of working professionals, you can expect few responses during their regular working hours.

Send SMS surveys today to collect feedback and data

Sending SMS surveys can help you collect valuable feedback that can transform your business. For example, surveys can tell you how much your customers enjoy your products, how often they use them, and if they're satisfied, giving you insight into the people that fuel your business.

Ready to send your first text survey? Send surveys with Mailchimp today.

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