The process of collecting the data needed to manage, improve and grow a business can be overwhelming. Too often, companies jump into the process without fully thinking through the campaign or properly preparing for it.
At Stacks, we work closely with clients to create a strategy and set up a process to ensure that efforts are not wasted. Our system is designed to make it easier to efficiently gather information and keep the process moving smoothly. Let’s take a closer look at how it works for our clients.
Setting up a Data Collection Campaign
We start with an overview meeting with our client to explore the goals of the campaign and get a broad sense of where we’re headed. This includes looking at what data is needed, how it will be used, and who will be providing it. This is also a time to determine what, if any, baseline data exists. If a company has been collecting data, we want to know how well their processes are working so we can track improvements.
Every client gets a subdomain where their information will be managed. This includes a dashboard with which they can monitor the campaign, make changes, interact with those providing information, and manage the data.
The information-gathering process is organized around “Sheets.” These are similar to a survey, except they’re a living document. They can easily be updated and added to throughout the campaign. If a company is gathering information about a product, each product has its own sheet.
Questions and Automated Emails
As the system is being set up, it’s time to write the questions that will be sent to those providing information, typically a vendor or supplier. This can be more complicated than you might expect. Asking questions the right way is the difference between getting the information needed and having useless answers. Typically, we guide clients to ask direct questions rather than open ended queries that may not provide the data they need.
This is also the time to the plan the flow of the questions. Will they be sent all at once or sent in small sections over time? We have found that large surveys can be overwhelming and decrease the likelihood that the recipient will start or complete them.
Along with the questions, clients need to prepare the email templates they will use throughout the campaign. This includes an introduction and invitation to the survey, follow up messages and reminders. The content should be written in a way that will engage survey recipients and encourage responses. Some of these will be set up to go out automatically while others will be sent only as needed. Having them done prior to starting helps to provide continuity and keep things moving throughout the campaign.
Testing for Success
Once the questions and emails have been written, they are put to the test. The campaign is sent to people within our client’s company who may not have been involved in setting up. They are asked to go through the surveys and read through the emails. This helps to determine if the questions are clear and will gather the information needed.
This is also an important step to show whether the technical details are working the way they should so adjustments can be made before making the campaign public.
Putting the Dashboard to Use
Clients have the capacity through the dashboard to easily communicate with recipients. As they work through the survey, recipients can ask questions or make comments that will be linked to specific survey questions. Those can be answered through the dashboard, allowing for an ongoing record that can easily be referenced at any time.
The dashboard will also include an index of the Sheets that have been sent out along with other important information, including whether it’s been opened, how many questions have been answered and who it’s been shared with. Clients can run queries to find out whether specific questions have been answered and whether specific recipients have responded.
Throughout the entire process, we work closely with clients, offering guidance based on our experience and best practices. Does this sound like your current data collection process? If not, we are here to help.
If you are ready to start a campaign, set up a demo to learn more about how it works.