What are Microsurveys? Types and Best Practices
What are microsurveys and how can you use them to understand customer sentiment and collect actionable user feedback insights?
Compared to long-form surveys, microsurveys help to understand your users’ needs in a more contextual way.
- A microsurvey (also known as a popup survey) is a short form consisting of 1 to 3 questions, often displayed in-app, that enables you to collect the user feedback you need to make product decisions for sustainable growth.
- The advantages of microsurveys are that they receive better submission rates, higher quality responses, and you get the information quicker.
- There are many different uses for microsurveys, including NPS, CES, CSAT, PMF feature requests, competitor research, personalization, and churn feedback using cancellation flows.
- When creating your user surveys, you should make sure you target specific customer segments and keep the survey questions focused on what you want to find out.
- The design of your micro surveys should match the design of your product to maintain brand consistency, and your microcopy should be clear and easy to understand.
- Userpilot enables you to create micro surveys in line with your brand and UI design and also analyze and act on the feedback you collect.
What is a microsurvey?
A micro survey is a fast and easy way of collecting user feedback in a bite-sized format, compared to traditional longer surveys used for user research.
- generally shown in-app
- laser-focused on a specific question such as feedback on new features or gathering customer satisfaction data from an NPS survey.
- shown to specific segments of users
Microsurveys vs traditional surveys
The nature of a microsurvey means that it’s often a much better approach than traditional long surveys or sending questions via other methods, such as email.
In a nutshell, in comparison to traditional surveys, microsurveys allow you to:
- Collect more data – due to a high rate of survey responses from in-app;
- Collect very accurate feedback and context-specific data – e.g. based on actual product usage
- Get large volumes of data really quickly and enable a continuous feedback data loop.
We’ll explore some of them in more detail below.
1. Microsurveys allow you to collect more data
In the past, the only way to collect data and feedback from your customer was to ask directly or send traditional surveys using email.
Of course, the problem with an email survey is that it doesn’t scale.
The other issue is that not everyone will open the email, and of those who do, not everyone will click the link to the survey.
That’s why microsurveys are so effective. They appear in-app, which means you’ll get a much higher submission rate and survey responses.
2. Microsurveys are context-specific and accurate
With in-app micro surveys, you can target users based on actual product usage and collect meaningful data across the entire customer journey.
Now that’s what highly targeted means.
If you needed to get feedback from customers who had used a specific feature, then you could do that by setting up triggers within your product, and then showing the microsurvey when the trigger is fired.
3. Microsurveys enable a continuous feedback loop
A stronger feedback loop helps your product-led growth marketing efforts and A/B testing helps you understand your users, but you may struggle to develop and launch new features that your users will adopt.
Microsurveys help you build ongoing in-product user feedback that helps you close the gap between what your product delivers and what your users expect.
Always on survey widgets are the best way to achieve this as they are a form of passive feedback that the user can access with a simple click inside the app and provide specific feedback.
Microsurvey types and examples
Microsurveys are so adaptable that you can use them to gather feedback on virtually any topic.
Here are some types of microsurveys you can use in your app – and what you can achieve with it
- Passive customer feedback microsurveys – for gathering feedback on a specific page, product, or feature
- Customer satisfaction microsurveys (NPS, Customer satisfaction score, Customer effort score, Product-market fit survey) – for collecting user sentiment levels of your users and continue improving your product to reduce churn
- Feature surveys – to help you make data-informed product decisions
- Information collection microsurveys – to help you e.g. write a valuable case study, or organize a webinar that your users would find really valuable
- Competitor analysis microsurveys – to find out why the user has chosen you over a bigger player
- Welcome screen microsurveys (aka use case/ persona microsurveys) – for collecting that precious demographic, use case, and goals
- Churn microsurveys (aka exit surveys) – so you can learn why your users are leaving you (and draw conclusions that will help you reduce the churn) and even bring them back!
Now – let’s see what each of these microsurveys saas widgets looks like.
1. Passive customer feedback microsurveys
Passive feedback is the one initiated by the users. It refers to insights a customer provides without being prompted by the company in question, through on-demand surveys or other channels.
The most used method for collecting passive customer feedback is using always-on feedback widgets embedded on specific pages of your app.
It’s a useful way of seeing how you can improve the customer experience and add more value to your product.
Here’s a great example from Miro:
You can click on the button at the bottom of the screen. Doing so opens this microsurvey:
It’s a simple way for Miro to collect feedback about a specific page of the product.
Here’s another example, this time focused on the user experience with a specific feature.
2. Customer satisfaction microsurveys (NPS, CSAT, CES, PMF)
Customer satisfaction surveys typically have one main question that focused on asking the users to rate a specific experience or agree or disagree with a statement.
Net promoter score (NPS) surveys
One of the most common uses for microsurveys is to measure your NPS (Net Promoter Score).
Net Promoter score surveys are designed to gather customer loyalty data – how users feel about your product.
CES (Customer Effort Score)
CES surveys measure the perceived effort in completing a task.
For example, how easy it was for a user to use a feature or achieve something within your product, helping you find points of friction in the customer experience.
Customer satisfaction surveys (CSAT)
CSAT (customer satisfaction score) is a more focused survey asking gathering specific feedback on the customer experience while interacting with the product features or support team.
Product market fit (PMF) survey
PMF (Product-Market Fit), a survey asking “How disappointed would you feel if you could no longer use this product?” enables you to adjust your product to the market’s needs. by understanding if there’s any perceived value in your current offering.
PMF surveys are used to build and tailor minimum viable products but can also be helpful to test your product-market fit after multiple product enhancements to see if you are going in the right direction,
Source: Userpilot- Get a demo now and build yours!
3. Feature survey data
Microsurveys can provide you with the information you need to make data-informed product development decisions and drive growth for your product.
You can create a product features request survey asking the user what they are missing in the product and what they are trying to achieve. These should be used for informational purposes only. They help you understand a need the user has but each request shouldn’t just go on the product roadmap.
The most commonly used feature surveys are the ones you use to collect feedback with only a few questions after a new feature launch or once a new user has engaged with it for the first time.
4. Information collection microsurveys
Sometimes you need information from your users that you just can’t find out by observing their behavior in-app alone.
Like – as what kind of complementary products they use (so you can e.g. work on integrations or joint ventures), or what kind of information they would like to hear in your next webinar.
It would be hard to collect this kind of feedback with traditional surveys as they lack context.
A microsurveys, on the other hand, it’s quick and contextual. This can help us understand where users are struggling or need help and can lead to creating more targeted educational content like in-app guides or webinars.
5. Competitor analysis microsurveys
Competitor research can often be tricky and generally relies on you looking at what your competitors’ products do and how they position themselves.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
You can use a microsurvey to simply ask users why they choose your tool over a competitor, once they convert to paid customers. Triggering these at the right time in the customer journey is key.
6. Welcome screen microsurveys – use case and persona user data
The most common mistake we found SaaS companies make in our ‘State of SaaS Onboarding Research’ on over 1000 SaaS companies is the lack of a welcome screen.
Simply ask a couple of questions about their job role, their goals, and what they want to achieve with your product.
Users can choose one of the options and then will be shown the most relevant onboarding flow and product walkthroughs based on their responses. This will drive customer success and improve retention as the user gets to experience the value of your product faster.
7. Churn feedback microsurveys during customer offboarding
A final – but probably most important of all – use case for microsurveys is to gather insights into why customers have churned.
This is something all SaaS companies and product managers want to know. Your product team can use the insights from these surveys to drive product development and remove potential friction in the product.
The simplest way to find out is to trigger a microsurvey modal when a user hits the ‘cancel’ button.
Provide a list of pre-defined reasons why they want to cancel – this should be based on insights you already have or educated assumptions that you want to test out.
Here’s an example of a cancellation flow from Userpilot.
The advantage of churn surveys is that you can instantly follow up on your user’s selection in the last-ditch effort to change their mind: sometimes it may be that they simply didn’t realize there already was a solution to the problem with your product.
For example, if they select “too expensive” as their main reason or “my project has ended” you can consider offering an alternative to canceling such as pausing their account or a discount.
Best practices to improve your user feedback survey?
So, now you’ve started thinking about gathering feedback, you might be wondering how to make your micro surveys more effective as possible.
Here are three things you can do to improve your micro surveys:
Context: keep your surveys focused
Keep your surveys completely focused on one aspect of your product.
That means you need to think about a couple of different things.
Firstly, what information you’re trying to collect?
If it’s feature requests, then focus on that. If it’s Net Promoter (NPS scores), then focus on that.
Never combine two different areas on one micro survey, that just leads to poor data.
Secondly, think about who you want to collect the data. The answer should never be “everybody”. You want to narrow it down to a very specific user segment.
For example, it doesn’t make sense to send a feedback survey to a user that has never used a new feature that you’ve added to your product.
That focus is what will make your microsurvey work. It’s what will increase your submission rate, and it means you get the most accurate feedback.
Design: brand and user experience matters
The design of your microsurveys is very important when it comes to keeping your brand consistent. In the same way, you’d want your emails to match your brand, you need your user surveys to stay consistent too.
When using tools like Userpilot you can set themes and customize them to match your brand. that way every survey you launch will offer a consistent brand experience.
It’s also worth pointing out that you often want your surveys to stand out visually in some way.
Perhaps by changing the background color, or adding a high-contrast border. This way the user is more likely to engage with your surveys.
Microcopy: use simple language in your surveys
As well as the design of your microsurveys, it’s worth spending time on the microcopy that you use.
Bad copy can make your surveys unintelligible. This can reduce the quality of the insights you collect, and even reduce the number of survey responses.
Consider the wording of this question:
“What did you think when you used this feature?”
That might seem okay, but there are ways you can improve it to make it clear and easier to understand.
For example, saying “this feature” isn’t enough, because they might start questioning which feature you’re talking about.
Here’s a better version of the same question:
“How easy was it to use our bulk uploading feature?”
Notice how the question is more specific (talking about ease of use) and also explains exactly which feature your feedback microsurvey is asking about.
Making some tweaks to your microsurvey’s microcopy can make all the difference when it comes to collecting customer insights.
Target audience: go granular with your user segmentation
- type of user– new users, power users, and enterprise users have very different activity patterns.
- time-based– before a trial expires, after they’ve used a certain feature for the first time, or after repeated usage.
Trial expiration surveys built with Userpilot
You can easily achieve this by targeting your microsurveys using granular segmentation like signed-up date and plan type.
Track, analyze, and improve
Let’s not forget tracking and improving. You shouldn’t set your surveys and forget about them. Always analyze responses, test different question types, and see which received more engagement from the customer.
Also, respond to the customer who engaged with your user surveys and close the loop. This helps your users feel like you care and that their opinions matter. You can turn your net detractors into promoters by personalizing responses to NPS surveys based on scores or creating different follow-up in-app experiences based on other survey responses.
How to make microsurveys with Userpilot?
Userpilot is much more than an onboarding platform tool. It also helps you gauge customer loyalty with a built-in NPS dashboard on top of collecting meaningful feedback with different types of popup surveys for contextual feedback.
It’s really easy to add an NPS survey to your product. Simply design your survey, write your questions, and then it’s ready to show to your customers.
You can then target a specific customer segment so that you only show your NPS survey to the right customer.
You can then monitor your survey responses and add custom tags to different answers to spot trends on what might impact a good or bad score.
You can also access a library of survey templates of the most used microsurveys (CSAT, CES, PMF etc) to quickly collect actionable insights with minimal effort.
Or, use a range of different user survey elements, including text inputs and radio buttons and create specific surveys from scratch.
What is great when you use Userpilot for collecting feedback? There are several reasons:
- create user surveys using templates
- customize and personalize the templates to fit your brand
- use advanced segmentation to trigger surveys contextually based on in-app actions or
- analyze survey responses and tag them to uncover patterns
- automate follow-up like in-app experiences
If you want to go micro and be contextual, where your users are and drive product growth based on key takeaways on what your users’ value, microsurveys are the way to go.
Ready to drive growth? Get a Userpilot Demo and see how you can use microsurveys and act on feedback to drive product growth.