7 Types of Microsurveys that will Reduce Churn and Improve your Product
What are microsurveys and how do SaaS companies use them?
The one or two short questions you ask on your SaaS welcome screen. The NPS survey. The small feedback window. The exit (or churn) survey.
These are all in-app short microsurveys that enable fast user feedback and user sentiment collection inside the app.
Why? Today, you can’t build your products ‘off plan’ – you need to tailor and constantly adapt them to the needs of your users.
And to understand their needs – you need to collect data.
In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about microsurveys.
Let’s get started…
- Microsurveys are short forms, often displayed in-app, that enable 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, feature requests, competitor research, personalization, and churn feedback.
- When creating your microsurveys, you should make sure you target specific customer segments and keep the questions focused on what you want to find out.
- The design of your microsurveys should match the design of your product to maintain brand consistency, and your microcopy should be clear and easy to understand.
- Userpilot software tool enables you to create microsurveys in line with your brand and UI design.
- Powerful analytics help you evaluate the feedback you receive and create automated responses to users who give it.
What is a microsurvey?
A microsurvey is a fast and easy way for collecting user feedback in a bite-sized format, compared to traditional longer surveys used for user research.
Microsurveys often share a few similarities.
Firstly, they’re generally shown within your app. In-app microsurveys enable customers to easily give you information. It means you end up with more data.
Secondly, they’re laser-focused on a specific question. Microsurveys are short and sweet, and it means that they will generally concentrate on one use case, such as collecting feedback on new features or gathering customer satisfaction data from an NPS survey.
Finally, they’re shown to specific segments of users. Depending on the data you’re trying to collect, you might want to show the microsurvey to certain groups of users, for example, users who have activated a specific feature.
You can then use that data to make more informed product roadmap decisions. Ultimately, this leads to the growth of your product.
But what makes microsurveys so much better? Let’s take a look…
Why are microsurveys so effective?
‘I love filling in long surveys’ – said no-one ever.
And that’s precisely the reason why microsurveys are such an efficient way of collecting exactly the data you need.
The nature of a microsurvey means that it’s often a much better approach than long drawn-out forms or sending questions via other methods, such as email.
In a nutshell, microsurveys:
- Allow you to collect more data – due to a high rate of survey responses from in-app;
- Allow you to collect very accurate feedback and context-specific data – e.g. based on actual product usage
- Allow you to get large volumes of data really quickly
We’ll explore some of them in more detail below.
1. You can collect more data
In the past, the only way to collect data and feedback from your customer was to ask directly or send the traditional surveys using email.
Of course, the problem with an email survey is that it doesn’t scale.
The other issue here 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.
That means more data for you to work with when it comes to making product decisions. And the more user data you have, the better your decisions will be.
2. It’s context-specific and accurate
While sending surveys via email does enable a certain degree of targeting, it lacks the nuance that microsurveys can provide.
For example, you could send an email out to customers who have been using your app for six months. That’s pretty good targeting.
However, with in-app microsurveys, 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 micro survey when the trigger is fired.
This context-specific targeting is incredible because it allows you to fine-tune your surveys and collect insights from exactly the user you want.
This improves the quality of the user feedback, and thus improves your decision-making process.
3. Enable a continuous feedback loop between user and product
Today, users want instant service, at their convenience, 24/7. Your product needs to be built having the user needs in mind
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.
4. Get data quickly
Long surveys can be exhausting, and your customers may take a while to formulate their responses and send you their answers.
The longer it takes to collect the survey data, the harder it is to make the right decisions.
Microsurveys are so focused on one topic that they generally consist of one or two questions. As a result, it’s much easier for customers to fill in as part of their experience.
This way, you can collect the customer insights you need quicker, and start making decisions right away. This level of responsiveness in your user surveys is crucial when it comes to negotiating the fast-moving world of SaaS.
Hopefully, you now realize that micro surveys are the most effective way of collecting user feedback towards your product.
But what kind of customer feedback are we talking about?
It turns out that you can collect all kinds of specific feedback using a micro survey.
What can I do with a microsurvey? Microsurvey types and examples
Microsurveys are usually laser-focused on one topic. That’s what makes them so effective. But that means you might be wondering what kind of information you can actually get from a microsurvey.
Well, the real answer to that is anything you want. The fact is, 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
- 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 Microsurveys) – 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 how each of these microsurveys saas widgets looks like.
1. Customer feedback microsurveys
Microsurveys can be used to collect customer feedback about specific features of your product, or the whole product more generally.
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 Stripe:
You can click on the button at the top of the screen. Doing so opens this microsurvey:
It’s a simple way for Stripe to collect feedback about a specific page of the product.
Here’s another example, this time from Segment:
2.Customer satisfaction microsurveys (NPS, CSAT, CES, PMF)
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.
While NPS is one of the most utilized surveys, there are three other user sentiment surveys used in SaaS.
CES (Customer Effort Score), measuring 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.
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.
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 need.
3. Feature survey data
Your SaaS product is never truly finished. Customers expect you to constantly add new features and functionality. But how do you know that what you just build is delivering enough value, or is it something that users actually want?
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, like the one shown above, but what’s more important is to gather insights on the customer experience using the new feature.
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 – 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 create content like blog posts and webinars that will help our customers.
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.
You can simply have your Sales team tag any customers who they knew were trialing a competitor’s product at one point.
Then, when the time is right, show them a micro survey that asks them why they chose your product over your competitor’s.
Welcome Screens-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.
Everybody cried ‘personalize!’ these days – but how exactly are you supposed to personalize your user onboarding experience and really gear your product walkthrough towards your user-specific needs, if you don’t know who your user really is and what they want to use your product for?
This is especially important if you have several different user personas!
All this can be resolved with a micro survey in your welcome screen for when users sign in for the first time.
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 based on their responses. This will drive customer success and improve retention as the user gets to experience the value in your product faster.
Churn feedback microsurveys
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 micro survey modal when a user hits the ‘cancel’ button.
There are two ways how you can go about collecting feedback from customers that want to cancel:
a. You can simply ask them an open-ended question: why they no longer want to use your product. The upside is that you will get very personalized and qualitative answers. And the downside is it’s hard to analyze qualitative answers, and you will not be able to follow up promptly via e.g. a relevant autoresponder.
b. The second way to go about churn survey is by providing a list of pre-defined reasons why they want to cancel – like the one below:
The advantage of this type of exit-micro survey is twofold:
– 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:
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 it focused
We’ve already explained that the reason microsurveys are so effective in getting accurate insights is that they’re focused on a specific area.
If you’re sending the same micro survey out to every user, then you aren’t using them as well as you could be.
Instead, 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 from. 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.
Fortunately, tools like Userpilot make it really easy to customize the look of your microsurveys so that they match the rest of your product.
This means your user gets a consistent brand experience and they understand that the surveys they see are part of it.
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
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
Using a tool like Userpilot, you could set up a survey to appear three days before the end of a trial period, for example.
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 even turn your net promoter detractors into promoters by personalizing responses to NPS surveys.
You should also keep track of users who submit feature requests – reach them first with news of new features being rolled out by your product teams and offer them the chance to try them first.
How to make microsurveys with Userpilot
Userpilot is much more than an onboarding platform tool. It also offers NPS functionality and the ability to add forms to your product.
Let’s start with NPS. It’s really easy to add an NPS survey to your product with a tool like Userpilot. Simply design your survey, write your questions, and then it’s ready to show to your customers.
Thanks to Userpilot’s detailed product analytics, 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 surveys responses in an easy-to-use dashboard.
As for the functionality of the forms, you can currently create forms as part of an in-app experience.
You have a range of different user surveys elements to choose from, including text inputs and radio buttons.
Again, you can use Userpilot’s analytics to target certain users with your user surveys and collect customer feedback directly in-app.
Common use cases for Userpilot’s forms include collecting feedback on a specific feature, finding out more information about your customers, or finding out motivations behind their in-app actions.
But that’s not all… you can trigger your surveys to different user segments and also create more advanced segments using the responses collected.
Userpilot makes it easy to add microsurveys to your product, so you can start collecting the data you need to make the best possible decisions.
There are different tools you can use like Satismeter or Typeform to create different types of surveys.
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 then you should look at tools that focus on gathering feedback in-app and let you engage with your customers too.
Ready to drive growth? Get a Userpilot Demo and see how you can use microsurveys and act on feedback to drive product growth.
About the author
Joe is a content writer, with several years of experience working with SaaS startups. He’s also the founder of Turing, a conversation design agency, making chatbots more human.