As any growing business, we at Signority are constantly looking for ways to become a more efficient business. In a recent chat with our friends at Typeform — experts in online forms and surveys — we explored ways to gather learn about your ideal customer using a persona survey. Jon Riggall, a Senior Technical Writer, was gracious enough to accept our invitation for a guest post to share his insights for other small businesses.
Want to find out who your customers are and how they’re using your product so you can dominate your market? You do? Then try running a persona survey. This will give you data you can use to create a series of personas—model people who use your product. Here’s how we do it at Typeform.
We all know the famous John Lydgate quote, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
If you had infinite resources, maybe you could try to please all of the people all of the time. But I’m guessing that’s not your case. So pick your battles. Even the Googles and Facebooks of the world can’t keep everyone happy.
So how do you decide where to point your resources?
In the beginning, your business might grow organically, and it’s only at a certain point that you realize you need to know who your customer is—so you can keep them, and target more people like them. Typeform was launched because the founders wanted to solve the ugly form problem plaguing the web. Personas came later.
When designing a product, you might have someone in mind. But who knows, a year later you may find you’ve built a following amongst rocket scientists, and you had no idea. They love your product, but if you’re developing with other people in mind, then you risk alienating this profitable group.
This is where a persona survey comes in. It’s not rocket science—you survey a percentage of your customer base to see what kind of people use your product or service. After you get some responses, you can build a stronger product and focus your marketing efforts on getting more of the right kind of people
The idea is to create three to five personas from the results. This includes a basic outline of who each person is: their industry, professional profile, and demographic information, why they use your product, and so on. Then use these insights to inform your decision making.
Building your persona survey
Here at Typeform, we had a pretty good idea what kind of people use our product thanks to data collected by our Customer Success and Marketing teams. We still run persona surveys, and the results guide our efforts, and also back up our strategic decisions with other departments. You can’t argue with data, after all (post-truth world be damned).
So what makes an effective persona survey that gives you genuinely useful and enlightening results?
Our Customer Experience Team is responsible for surveying our current customers, though of course the results are used company wide.
There are two parts.
1) Ask people who they are, and 2) Ask how they use the product. This gives you a much deeper understanding of who uses what and why. Perhaps the majority are hockey players who use no advanced features and churn quickly, while a significant minority are bakers who use advanced features and stay around longer. You won’t know until you ask. Here’s how we do it:
- We start off asking how we can best help people learn about Typeform. This gives us data we can use to improve our Help Center.
- The survey continues with a question about how people use Typeform, before asking for demographic info. For example, “Which PRO features have you used?”
- We follow up by asking “Which PRO features you don’t understand?” We want to pinpoint where their pain points are.
- Then we go a little deeper. Which industry do customers work in, and which department? We also ask about the size of their organization. This data allows us to see what kind of professionals (and companies) are using Typeform.
- And we finish off by asking “What do you use Typeforms for?”
There are detailed step-by-step instructions for building this with Typeform over on our Help Center.
We send Typeform to a percentage of our users, and then the data rolls in. This data is essential for creating personas. Keeping them in mind helps us to focus on developing something these people will love even more.
With this data, we can focus our Growth Team on the right people. We can better tailor our Help Center to how people want to learn, and our developers can work on features that satisfy the needs of customers. It’s simple to set up and gives you invaluable data that can justify what you’re doing, or even send you off in a direction you weren’t expecting.
So if you want to see who loves you, try running a persona survey. If you’re lucky, they might actually be rocket scientists.
About our Guest Author
Jon is Typeform’s Senior Technical Writer, and can mainly be seen bringing you articles from their Help Center. Typeform creates beautiful forms from Lead Generation to Wedding RSVPs. Aside from being interested in technology, Jon spends his time painting, and can sometimes be found DJing around Barcelona.
Follow him on Twitter @jonathanriggall