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5 reasons why your website needs intercept surveys

Did you know? The classic business principle “meet customers, and potential customers, where they are” definitely applies to surveys. Case in point: intercept surveys. 

As the reliability of email surveys has declined—thanks in large part to evolving email laws and robust promotion and spam filters—there’s been a big resurgence of intercept and pop up surveying. These online surveys allow companies to get real-time feedback by targeting people with the right questions, at the right moment. 

Let’s take a closer look at intercept surveys, how they might benefit your business, and how you can get game-changing insights with some intercept survey examples.

What are intercept surveys?

An intercept survey is a type of research method used to gather onsite feedback from a target audience. When conducted online, intercept surveys are designed to—you guessed it—intercept website visitors to ask them timely and relevant questions. They can include multiple choice, rating, and open-ended questions, and are used for everything from website usability testing to understanding visitor intentions and behaviors. With the feedback gained, a business can get a clearer view of customers’ shopping experience, their satisfaction with products or services, or even their basic demographic information.

The benefits of intercept surveys

Intercept surveys are a great way to get customer insights, especially if your business revolves around an online experience, sells subscriptions to an online software tool, or has high levels of website traffic. Here are some of of the main advantages of implementing an intercept survey:

1. Get real-time responses

Surveys sent by email are completed at your customers’ leisure—if they’re completed at all. If you’re conducting usability testing or asking for specific feedback on your online application tool, you won’t get the data you need if respondents don’t recall their experience. This means the quality of your responses can take a real hit. An intercept survey gathers responses while people are interacting with your website or online product, allowing participants to give more accurate and immediate feedback.

2. Reach all demographics 

If your business is based on a website or application tool, the most effective way to reach your users is an intercept survey. Intercepts will target all visitors or application users equally, ensuring that every segment of your target audience receives the same chance to respond to your survey. This will put a major dent into any researcher bias, sampling bias, or nonresponse error lurking in the methodology of your research project.

Even if you are lucky enough to have a complete email list of your users, you run a greater risk of biased or inaccurate data collection with surveys that use email invitations. With today’s tough email filters, there’s no guarantee that all invites will be represented the same on each email provider. Then there’s the human factor: People prioritize email differently. There can be big disparities in how frequently they check for new messages and whether they’re willing to click external links. The safer bet is using the survey method that interacts with respondents while they are experiencing your site or application.

3. Increase survey responses 

Intercept surveys can target all visitors. That means that the only limit to your number of respondents is the number of people viewing your webpages or application. Surveys based on a contact list require an email to act as a middle man. Not only do you need to obtain someone’s information to include them in your research project, you may lose respondents due to the extra step of navigating through an email to get to the survey.

4. Capture attention (and responses!) with a better call to action 

A pop up on a potential respondent’s screen is a much stronger call to action than an email invite. This immediate request for feedback forces the participant to make the choice to take part or not. Respondents are often more inclined to participate when their experience is already top of mind. With no chance to procrastinate, intercept surveys usually lead to more survey interactions.

5. Be timely, not intrusive 

The biggest critique of intercept surveying is that it can feel disruptive and intrusive. It is understandable for visitors to be annoyed if a pop up survey interrupts their web browsing or their use of a paid application. However, new intercept surveying tools have minimized these frustrations by creating more passive pop up designs. They not only appear at choice times during a visitor’s interaction with your website or application, they can do so in a way that doesn’t bring down the visitor’s experience.

Online intercept survey examples

So how are businesses putting the benefits of intercept surveys into practice? Let’s go over a list of intercept survey examples to see how this form of data collection can push your company in the right direction:

  • Website satisfaction: Ask site visitors if they like your site layout, content, and branding.
  • Usability feedback: Ask for specific feedback on new product features or site navigation.
  • Net Promoter Score: Uncover customer loyalty with one simple question displayed to site visitors. Take actions on the results to improve your business. (Learn more about Net Promoter Score here.)
  • Customer satisfaction: Ask returning site visitors how satisfied they were with their last purchase, your company, or your support team.
  • Newsletter signups: Show a newsletter signup form to users while they are reading your online content.
  • Blog post feedback: Ask users if they enjoyed a blog post and take action by guiding them to share the post on social media.
  • Promotion announcements: Show a discount code to new or returning visitors to your site.
  • Exit survey: Using JavaScript, show a survey asking why a customer is leaving before they do so.
  • Cart abandonment surveys: Find out why a customer is refusing to go through with a purchase that day, and prevent a customer from leaving empty-handed.
  • Customer demographics: Ask customers their demographic information and build rich, comprehensive buyer personas that will improve your business.

For more survey tips to boost your customer experience, learn how to improve customer satisfaction with surveys.

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