1. It’s an easy ask. Who can say no to answering three questions, especially when it’s about a service you already use or a product you’ve purchased before? Some marketers like to use phrases like “take a brief survey” or even “a three-minute survey”, but brief is entirely subjective. After all, my cable company calls at least every other week to tell me they’d like to have a brief conversation about my TV habits in order to save me money, but what they consider “brief” I consider “too damn long to spend on something I neither need nor want”. Three questions, on the other hand, is three questions – period.
2. It forces you to focus on what matters. When you’re holding yourself to three questions, there’s no room for fluff. You’ve got to figure out what you really need to know from your clients and prospects. What information do you have to have in order to grow your business? I’m hardly the first writer to observe that writing a short piece can be far harder than writing a long one. Winnowing out the BS and the weasel words can be a real challenge. But when you’re creating the survey equivalent of a haiku, you’re forced to cut the fat and get right to what you really want to know.
3. It makes next steps easy to see. A survey is at heart a tool for gathering information. But in the information age, with all the world’s knowledge at our fingertips 24/7, too much information can be as big a problem as too little. With a three-question survey, you only ask for the information you have to have. That makes is crystal clear what steps you need to take next. Did you ask your clients where they first heard about you? Then focus more on those marketing channels. Did you ask what clients loved about your service? Then do more of that stuff, or make those benefits a bigger part of your advertising.
When you design a three-question survey, you’re giving yourself an immediate, actionable roadmap for the next steps your business should take. If you’ve been considering surveying your clients but balking at devising the questionnaire, now is the time. You’re just three questions away from your next marketing idea.