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What bugs you?

Does anything on this page hinder or even irritate you?

I would love to know. Nothing is unimportant, too small or too big.

If there is something I can fix, I will certainly do it.

Please let me know right away

 

 

When did you send out your last survey?

A survey!? You run a private art gallery, not a poll agency. I know.

Still, seriously now: when did you ask your visitors' opinion about your gallery's site lately? Never done so far? Why should you anyway?

 

Everything runs ever more successfully.

Even better than you ever dreamed of.

All you need to do is look at the growing number of contacts on your mailing list, the massive load of mails you find daily in your inbox, the artists sending your their portfolios.

Frankly, why launch a survey?

 

Why bother about what people think?

Well, maybe you should.

In fact, you should seek every possible occasion to get feedback. Maybe you have already asked your regular collectors and your most trusted colleagues?

But to rely on the opinion of just your preferred audience can be tricky.

What about the overall majority of your visitors? What when you step out of your comfort zone?

You have to go after the silent majority to know what's really going on with your site.

 

Remember 'never trust a silent customer'?

Well... you can add 'visitor' for that matter.

You never hear about them. But they are there. They never contact you about your gallery's site, but you can be sure they do it with colleagues or friends.

Similar to the number of invitations you keep sending even to people who rarely or never show up, you can be sure of an even bigger percentage of lurkers on your gallery's site. People who never step out of the shadow, never contact you, never ask you anything.

 

You couldn't care less?

Haven't you already invested a considerable amount of time and energy to keep your gallery's site up to date?

You search constantly to improve the information about your roster, to fine tune your content, to offer the information you 'think' your visitors are looking for.

What if you continue to work at something the majority of your visitors dislike, without you knowing?

Maybe it is the colour scheme of your website. Or the navigation. Or a missing feature. Or even the way you present your artists.

It could be anything. But if so, it affects your credibility, your brand, your renommee.

So try to figure out as soon as possible what your visitors really think about your gallery's site. It is always better to have to take care of a little pimple than to be forced into a surgical operation.

 

Do some research and then get out of your bubble

No need to hire a specialized marketing survey bureau for an expensive research campaign.

You know what you're after right now. You have some ideas how you would like your gallery's site to evolve. You know what you can handle. Simply take these as a starting point.

Before you launch your little private investigation, be careful to have the objective of your survey clear in your mind.

 

How do you find out what your visitors think?

I admit, we all come up with dozens of excuses at such moments. We simply don't dare to go after this information. We feel embarrassed, uncomfortable.

Moreover, if it is already embarrassing to contact acquaintances, what about complete strangers then? Yet, the answer is as basic as can be.

You ask.

 

People adore giving their opinion

Just 'speak' openly to your visitors. Ask them honestly what they want most from your site.

People love to rant about things. Nothing easier then to get them to formulate their ideas about something they like to see changed.

Ask about things they don't like, content they judge insufficient or not really up to their expectations, lack of professionalism.

When you invite people to critique you can be sure the response will be ten times higher and more helpful then if you're looking for praise and contentment.

 

How to ask the opinion of people you don't know at all?

Here too, there are dozens of ways to do the job.

If it is your first survey, start preparing an exhaustive list of questions you feel sure about. Possibly even make a list of things your visitors could possibly want.

Then narrow down your list to 6 or at most 10 questions.

You ask them a favor. Don't take all their precious time. Make it as easy as possible to answer the questions via multiple choice or rating scales for example.

 

But wait...

The way you formulate your questions is paramount.

Never ask questions people can answer with a simple 'yes' or a 'no'. You want more out of your survey. How, why, what,... the 'six dwarfs' are the type of questions you should ask.

 

Make your survey as easy and direct as possible

Don't make people think and ponder. Offer clear and distinct categories.

Don't confuse your visitors by offering them a possibility to come up with nuances. The main purpose is to get clear answers: what do they want from your gallery's site? Straight questions generate straight answers.

 

Are you there yet? Not quite

After your survey you will have a list of remarks, suggestions, raves but probably also rants. Valid information to get you started tweaking and altering your gallery's site.

But don't start too hastily.

You launched your survey to offer your audience a better site. But this doesn't mean you have to set up an overall make-over. Filter and narrow down the remarks to no more than three.

Implement one change a time and let enough time in between to test the effect.

 

You will feel like a gold digger

You will have a much better idea who your audience is really like.

The response will not only help you to improve your site's content, usability or accessibility, you will discover what your visitors are really interested in.

And this is gold.

 

But also take care of the pebbles in the sieve

Now that you have established rapport with your audience, you have reason enough to be sure to follow-up.

First on your 'to do' list: thank the people who participated. Even if you already included a 'Thank you' at the end of your questionnaire.

Never ever forget them. These people came out of the shadow for you.

They form a select group you have to take seriously. From now on gratify them from time to time with a little something. You can be sure they will become true evangelists of your gallery over time.

 

 

Take me there

 

You should opt for some simple to manage survey tools that offer a lot for free. One of the most popular tools: www.SurveyMonkey.com

 

Four more reasons

  • SurveyMonkey is free if you limit the number of addressees to 100 and the number of questions to 10.
    Ten questions really is the limit, so you are safe.
    If you want to send out your survey to more people, all you need to do is send it out in subsequent batches.
  • You can formulate questions in 15 formats (multiple choice, rating scales, open ended questions and so on.)
  • You can choose out of 15 pre-built survey themes.
  • Collecting responses is as simple as sending out a link to your survey via email, or posting the link on your website.

Don't hesitate to contact me if you encounter a problem setting up your survey. I will be glad to help and assist you.

I address SurveyMonkey also on the 'Tools' page.

 

 

A final reminder

Don't ask for personal information about your respondent: the survey is about your site, not about your visitors.
Well, not directly.

Because what people communicate will already reveal a great deal about them. More than you... or they... can imagine.

So be careful.

If you go after personal data such as names, age, gender,... you risk having a much lower response.

Remember you ask them for a favour and they participate gladly.

But people become extremely suspicious when they even suspect the faintest smell that there could be a catch.

 

 

 

Next step: read one more web marketing article. I am sure you'll discover a new way to deepen the relationship with your regular visitors.

 

 

If you haven't done so already:

 

 

P.S. Did you like this article? Did you find it interesting? Feel free to share it.

Mail it to a friend, post it on your site or that of your association, on your blog or consider linking to it.
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© 2006-2017 - the Art Gallery Hub. All rights reserved.
Article written by Luuk Christiaens