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SurveyMonkey Partner

Listening to your customers around the globe—and overcoming challenges

Listening to your customers around the globe—and overcoming challenges

This is a guest post from a Momentive STEP partner, Rybbon. The author of this post is Kristy Hartman.

Do you send surveys to a global customer base or are you in the process of expanding your survey reach? If so, taking surveys across borders can add challenges that need to be addressed. From identifying survey participants to analyzing and documenting the results, each step is critical in order to make informed decisions about your global customer base.

While there are challenges when taking surveys to a global audience, this blog will focus on the three most critical ones that many market researchers encounter, including:

  • Customer segmentation
  • Language/cultural barriers
  • Incentivization

Let’s take a deep dive into these challenges and the solutions that will put you on the path to global survey success.

HubSpot defines customer segmentation as separating customers into groups based on specific traits such as personality, interests, habits, and other factors that they share, like demographics, industry, and income. Regardless of whether you’re conducting your surveys on a national or international level, be sure to take the following segmentation models into consideration – 

Demographics: Segmentation according to age, race, religion, gender, family size, ethnicity, income, and education.

Geographic: Used to target products or services at people who live in a particular location.

Psychographic: The study of consumers based on their psychological attributes, such as their beliefs, thoughts, values, and goals.

Technographic: Data used to target accounts based on their technology stack and solutions.

Behavioral: Targeting specific consumers based on the actions they take on a website.

Needs-based: Focusing on a certain segment of the industry's customers and aiming to fulfill their needs.

Value-based: Appealing to a customer’s values and ethics. 

SurveyMonkey delves a bit deeper into customer segmentation by looking at it from a market researcher’s point of view and why the STP approach – Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning – is increasingly being adopted.

As previously discussed, demographics, geographics, psychographics, technographic, behavioral, needs-based, and value-based models are all ways to segment your market into specific groups. Once you’ve segmented your customers, it’s time to move to targeting. As the term implies, targeting determines which customer group or groups you want or need to target, and is highly dependent on the potential profitability from that country, i.e., which customer group(s) will yield the most return or which groups are most likely to convert. The final step in the STP approach, positioning, consists of determining the best way(s) to position your offerings to the customer segment(s) you selected. The STP approach will help you choose the right customer segment(s) and enable you to tailor your surveys to overcome international nuances, including cultural and language differences, to provide greater appeal to your global audience. 

Language and cultural missteps can quickly put your survey at non-response risk. To overcome biases resulting from communication differences, you need to communicate survey questions and understand customer responses. 

For example, let’s assume your company wants to expand into China and to test the waters you’ve been tasked to send a series of surveys to determine the potential success of this expansion.  Although more than 1 billion people call this country home, less than 1% of the population can speak conversational English. Add to that the various dialects such as Cantonese and Mandarin, as well as cultural barriers and conducting surveys in this country (and others) can be riddled with unforeseen challenges. 

To get off on the right foot when sending surveys to an international audience, ensure your survey platform supports your targeted country’s language(s). In addition, ensure the survey tool provides culturally appropriate templates, and their customer service agents are native speakers of the target language(s) of the country you’re surveying.

Even if you’ve done everything right, you still may face lower than expected survey response rates. The most common reasons for low response rates are surveys that are too long, too complicated, or too personal. One of the best ways to combat low quality and quantity survey responses is through incentivizing respondents. When surveying customers internationally, extra care has to be taken to ensure the rewards provided are available in the respondents’ country, currency conversions take place automatically, reward delivery is immediate and reliable, and rewards are in compliance with privacy laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

Delivering rewards on a global basis can be tricky; this is where Rybbon comes into play. We’ve taken the guesswork out of rewards delivery to provide you with an automated and seamless process that will show your respondents that you appreciate the time they spent on completing your survey.

Rybbon’s  Global Choice feature streamlines international delivery by detecting the recipient’s location and automatically curating a list of reward options available in their country. It converts the reward value to the appropriate currency as well. 

With Rybbon as your rewards partner, you have a choice of eGift cards from desirable worldwide brands. Our Global Choice program provides you with digital rewards that deliver curated choices virtually anywhere in the world. It enables you to avoid the guesswork that can lead to expensive mistakes, ensures a seamless reward experience, and offers respondents the power of reward choice from top global brands. In addition, rewards arrive from your trusted email and brand, delivering instant recognition to help avoid rewards becoming lost in inboxes and improving respondent retention. Not only does Rybbon provide an unmatched rewards platform and program, but we also guarantee 100% refunds on unclaimed awards.