A friend and I were talking the other day when he told me that her first grader’s play she was attending earlier in the week was interrupted by someone’s cell phone ringing. Twice. It was my friend’s way of validating what nearly everybody knows these days: mobile devices are everywhere. People use their mobile devices in bed, during meals, on the toilet, while they’re shopping, under the conference table during meetings, during labor…well, everywhere. The undeniable truth: smartphones and tablets are our constant companions.
#1. Mobile devices are everywhere. So is your opportunity.
This ubiquity represents an unprecedented opportunity for anyone who’s job it is to get feedback from other people—using these very devices. Mobile surveys—surveys created specifically for smartphones and tablets—harness that ubiquity. Mobile surveys elicit feedback from people in situations from which they’ve never before provided insights. Imagine it, feedback from people actively engaged with your brand—something an email survey sent days or weeks after you experience a product or service will never be able to gather.
#2. There’s no time like the present. Get in-the-moment feedback.
People access mobile surveys in several ways. Most unique is to see an invitation to provide feedback as you’re experiencing a brand, via a QR code or intriguing URL. Often, these invitations are combined with a fun contest or other unique opportunity and merely require the customer or prospect or attendee to pull out their mobile to scan the code or enter the URL. It’s then and there that real-time, experiential feedback starts to flow. How “does” it taste, vs. a follow-up survey’s “how do you remember it tasting?” How “is” the event, vs. the outdated “how was your memory of the event?”
#3. In the know, in the now. Mobile surveys’ real-time feedback.
Because your stakeholders are providing their feedback via 3G and 4G and Wi-Fi enabled devices, as soon as they hit ‘done’ on your survey, their unique insights are deposited into a secure online account. This is a boon for event planners that want feedback they can use to make instant adjustments to venue amenities or a presenter’s material. HR departments using mobile surveys to gauge employees’ understanding of important training can literally delay the class dismissal if they realize from survey results that an important topic was overlooked or inadequately presented. No passing out and collecting surveys. No scanning in responses. No mall intercepts. No collating and analyzing. Mobile surveys are also instant surveys.
#4. Mobile surveys can collect data in hi-def and in real time.
Mobile surveys can ferret out information in situations as well as in forms simply unimaginable with online surveys. Today’s devices all have hi-def still and video capabilities. All can connect to the Internet to instantly upload a survey respondent’s answers…with multimedia supporting evidence. All of this is possible right now. It’s all being done today by savvy brands. Imagine the owner of a furniture store asking a customer via mobile survey, in their living room, to take a photo of their new leather chair while they’re relating how satisfied they are with their purchase. That photo also represents instant multimedia content for websites and social media properties like Facebook, Pinterest and more.
Collecting contact information at events, along with individual insights from attendees is simple, too. Use the tablet or smartphone’s camera to take a picture of an attendee’s business card that is automatically read and transferred to the respondent’s record. Sure beats having to type it in manually after the show or paying someone else to. During expos in countries with electronic national ID cards, ID-readers attached to tablets provide a very easy to include the visitors’ name and address in your survey, again without having to type it all in.
Billions of opportunities—at your audiences’ fingertips.
Smartphones now out-sell PCs. There will be 750 million tablet computers in use within a couple of years. Clearly, your customers, prospects, and employees are connected to the rest of the world via a mobile device. It makes sense that your connection to them is via the same familiar, ubiquitous device. Without sacrificing anything that traditional surveys offer, you can gather insights with mobile surveys that you simply can’t get anywhere else. Surveys that incorporate multimedia elements, and that relay the information to you in real time. That real time is now. Don’t just sit there. After all, the future of data collection…is on the move.