This article walks through every step of using AskNicely’s CSV Importer to send Relational surveys by email.
Table of Contents
1. Bring In Your Contact Data
1.1 - What Contact data should I be bringing into AskNicely?
1.2 - How do I import my CSV of Contact data?
1.3 - How do I add my team to AskNicely?
2. Customize Your Survey Template
2.1 - What setup steps are needed for my first survey template?
2.2 - How do I make my surveys personal?
3. Going Live! 🚀
3.1 - How do I test my Surveys before going live?
3.2 - What is the Global Contact Rule for?
3.3 - How do I go live?
4. Analyze and Respond
4.1 - What is my Dashboard telling me?
4.2 - How do I close the loop with contacts that respond?
5. Show Off Your Results!
5.1 - What reporting capabilities does AskNicely have?
5.2 - How do I share my results?
5.3 - What's next?
1. Bring In Your Contact Data
This section details the steps you need to get AskNicely up and running. For a more in depth look at how to automate importing contacts, head to the App Store in your AskNicely Portal. If we support your CRM, you'll find a link there to begin configuration.
1.1 What Contact Data Should I Be Bringing Into AskNicely?
Good data tells a story.
From the generic table above, we know who your contacts are (first_name, last_name, email), how and where they interacted with your company (cc_type, location, Account_id), and their level of involvement with your service (Tier, salesperson).
At its core, AskNicely is a platform that uses your "Contact data" to provide insight into how your contacts feel about you, your team, and your services. It does this by allowing you to group survey responses with filters, and help you set rules so that the right surveys go to the right contacts.
For example, using AskNicely, we can compare the NPS scores of all of our "Mid-Range" customers in China with the "Entry-Level" customers in China with just a couple clicks.
In order to help AskNicely help you tell the story of your contact's journey, we first need to bring in your Contact data.
1.2 How Do I Import My CSV of Contact Data?
To bring your contacts in via CSV Import, the first step is to build a report that exports a spreadsheet of your contact data the same way, every time. This spreadsheet should be populated with relevant data fields that tell a story (see 1.1 above). Once this report has been built, importing the data takes seconds; building the report is the tricky part. There are 3 critical rules for building a CSV:
Column headers should *always* be the same: If you are bringing in different data every time, your data will get jumbled. The best way to ensure this is consistent is to use your CRM to create a saved report that exports the CSV the same way, every time.
Bring in Data Points that tell a story: Think about the who, what, when, where and why of your customers. If you are an international shipping company, bringing in a contact's street address as a data point tells us nothing about their journey; bringing in their State or Country tells us a lot. Other data points to consider: “Account Manager” - “Product Type” - “Service Rendered”... when in doubt, bring in more data! We can always clean it up later.
Ideally no empty cells: You want to have all of your cells filled in. However if you do not, then that data point will remain empty in AskNicely and not tracked in any responses. If you have the information for people you're uploading, please include all of it :-)
Once you have your CSV built, go to the Contacts page, click “Import Contacts”, and follow the steps to build your first CSV uploader. This help article explains how to build your reusable CSV Importer , including how to use the drop down menus on the Import page to match data fields to AskNicely data fields (everything except first name, last name, and email should be imported as “Custom Data”), and how to run the importer. Congrats, you’ve got Contacts data!
1.3 How Do I Add My Team to AskNicely?
NPS works best when you have engagement throughout your organization. Even if you are the sole administrator of your AskNicely account, we recommend you max out your user accounts by adding other members of your organization to provide visibility and encourage NPS collaboration.
To manage your user base, click Settings (cog wheel icon) > Users > Users. Click Add User at the top of the page. In the popup that appears, enter in the new user's first name, last name, and email address, select their User Role (Admin for team leads, Users or Read-Only for everyone else), and check off whether you want this user to be subscribed to a weekly email report from AskNicely or not. After the information is set for this user, click Save to save them and exit the dialog, or Save and Add Another to continue adding users.
2. Customize Your Survey Template
Ok! You've got some Contact data and you've built out your team. The next step is to set up your Default survey so that you can establish a baseline NPS score and get a better understanding of how AskNicely delivers magic to your doorstep.
As your knowledge of NPS methodology grows, you may eventually want to have more than one "audience" to target - however, we strongly advocate for starting simple by using the Default Survey Template for your entire customer base and drilling down from there once you have received responses from your customer base.
2.1 What Setup Steps Are Needed For My First Survey Template?
Every AskNicely account starts out with a Default Survey Template. Survey Templates have two pieces:
The "Email" section, where the classic NPS question of "How likely are you to recommend us to your friends and colleagues?" is asked.
The "Survey" section, where we can ask follow up questions based on the score given to the classic NPS question.
Without touching a thing, answers provided to this “out of the box” Default survey will provide a wealth of information. The answers and the scores you receive will greatly inform the questions you choose to ask later. That is the real magic of AskNicely - it is such an incredibly flexible tool that you are fully able to make adjustments as you go to better dial in your results and get more targeted feedback.
So with that in mind, we strongly advocate that you start simple! Complexity up front will not bring you greater value down the line. The best approach is to start broad, then narrow your focus once you start hearing about how your contacts are feeling.
2.2 How Do I Make My Surveys Personal?
Now, on to the fun part: customizing your Survey Template. You know your business's brand voice through and through - that's why you've been tasked with setting up AskNicely. Here is where you will customize the look and feel to best connect with your audience.
There are a few different options for setting up your customized survey - you can do this at any time by clicking on the Hammer & Pencil on the left navigation bar.
By default this will have your business name in there, but we recommend having the name of a real person. It's often a good idea to make this your CEO; people tend to feel great getting an email from the top dog at the company. If you do want it to come from the Company name instead, we suggest keeping it to 2 words, ex: "AskNicely Support" is much better than "The AskNicely Support Team!".
The subject line is a key part of the email—it's one of the first things contacts see when they receive your survey, and often this will determine how likely they are to open the message. We have found the best subject lines include the contact's first name, and a very simple message. We recommend you avoid the word "survey," and any mention of time ("Just a minute," etc.) as these tend to decrease response rates.
Sticking to the standard NPS question - “How likely are you to recommend us to your friends or colleagues?” - will provide the best response rate - we want the contacts you are surveying to give quick, lightweight feedback. Instead, focus on making the Subject line to “pop” - that will be the key differentiator when trying to personalize your surveys.
Remember: simplicity is key! Some people have added in their website link; just be aware that due to email filtering, adding links like that can land your survey straight in the spam folder.
Preview pane in Survey Template Survey
If you click on the Survey Template icon (hammer & pencil) > Survey (top center of screen) > “Preview” (top right of screen), you can see *exactly* what your survey will look like when it shows up in the inbox of the people you are surveying. This design is optimized for maximum deliverability.
We'd love to hear feedback on what has helped you improve your results.
3. Go Live! 🚀
Firing off surveys to your entire contact base can be daunting. These are your customers - we totally understand you want to get it right! That is why we strongly encourage you to test thoroughly before "going live".
3.1 How Do I Test My Surveys Before Going Live?
There is no substitute for "seeing it with your own eyes" when it comes to experimenting with a new software platform. For this reason, every new account starts in “Test Mode” - this means that AskNicely will not send surveys until you are 100% ready to send them.
Once you click the "Go Live" button at the top of your dashboard and fill out the prompts, you will be ready to send surveys. This includes any integrations that are set to automatically send out surveys, those will start to send out as well.
From there, you can go to the Contacts page (person icon in the left hand navigation bar), then send yourself a one-off email of your default survey template. To instantly send off an email, clicking "Email" next to your name and an email will immediately be sent.
We recommend clicking that "Go Live" button after you've brought in your Contacts data, configured your default survey, and set your Global Contact Rule.
3.2 What is the Global Contact Rule?
The Global Contact Rule lives at the bottom of your Send Scheduler page (paper airplane icon) and determines how often a contact will be sent a survey. The default setting is 180 days, but to be configured per NPS best practice to survey on a 90 day cadence, we encourage you to adjust this as it will ensure that your Send Scheduler doesn't over-survey your people.
3.3 How Do I Go Live with the Send Scheduler?
The Send Scheduler is a topic worthy of its own help document, but in a nutshell, it allows you to send a certain amount of surveys to send on any day/time you choose. Once it is turned "On", it will start sending surveys the following day, or the first day you have selected.
So - if you want to send 50 surveys a day 7 days a week at 10 am, 50 people will be queued up at midnight tonight and the first batch of surveys will be sent tomorrow. You can confirm the Send Scheduler is set up correctly by clicking the "Check Scheduler Setup" button - this will tell you the expected amount of surveys queued up for tomorrow. If you do not see the "Check Scheduler Setup" button then please reach out to our support team to turn on that functionality.
From here, you can create unique Custom Rules for that specific Scheduler. Keep in mind, any of these rules will override the Global Contact Rule. Either rules will interact with the Send Scheduler by preventing people from being surveyed exactly as often as you choose; it looks up every contact by their email address and ensures that they won't be surveyed again.
Turn your Send Scheduler on, and by tomorrow night, you'll have contact feedback awaiting you in AskNicely!
4. Analyze, then Iterate
You've sent out surveys. Exciting, isn't it! This is raw feedback directly from your contacts. Let's look at how to use this feedback to gain key insights into the "Customer Experience" your contacts are getting.
4.1 What Is The Dashboard Telling Me?
The Dashboard is the first thing you’ll see when you log in to AskNicely - this is the operations center for all your feedback needs. Here you’ll see an at-a-glance summary of your key performance metrics to get an immediate idea of how your organization is performing. Let’s take a brief look at what you can expect to find on your Dashboard.
Leaderboards: A ranking based on data points that you track in AskNicely. For example, you might look by value tier and find that your Gold-Level contacts are rating you higher than your Bronze-level contacts. This can be used to show NPS as connected to specific representatives.
Themes: Breaks your NPS score down by themes found in comments, as analyzed by our keyword detection. You can add in custom keywords to target specific outcomes.
Reports: Contains "at-a-glance" information including survey statistics.
The Filter Bar - Located in the top center of the screen, the Filter Bar allows you to pick and choose the specific data you're looking for. There are two special features to highlight:
Saved Filters: If you’re constantly finding yourself adding similar filters over and over again, try saving your filters to quickly change your view and filters.
Date Filter: Filter your data based on date range. These dates are based from the current date.
Leaderboards are those custom fields that you imported in step 1.2. As with everything on the Dashboard, Leaderboards are fully responsive - you can click on the items in the Leaderboard, and the Responses on the right side will filter to only include Responses relevant to that element on the Leaderboard.
Response Quick View
On the far right side of the page you'll get a quick view of the most recent Responses that have come into your account. It will also auto update as you click on/off Filters, Leaderboards, or any time frame.
There are no wrong answers on the Dashboard! Click everything, explore, export, extract - figure out what the Responses can tell you about your contact base.
4.2 Closing The Loop With Respondents
You’ve got Contacts that want to tell you how they feel - now’s your chance to tell them you are listening.
Responding to contact feedback on the Response Page (chat bubble icon in the left navigation menu) is the quickest and most direct way to get back to your customers. Everything is designed to be "What you see is what you get" - clicking "Reply" opens up a Reply window, where you can then send an email reply or make an internal note to tag one of your teammates.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that a genuine, personalized response to a survey can have an incredible impact when it comes to making your customers feel heard and appreciated. Do your best to close the loop!
5. Show Off Your Results!
AskNicely provides several features to help you socialize your results. Here are how-tos and best practices.
5.1 What Reporting Capabilities Does AskNicely Have?
We are constantly striving to build out reporting capabilities in the platform to help you better understand what your NPS results can tell your business.
Use Filters To Zero In On Your Results
At the top of the Responses page is the Filters Bar, identical to the one on the Dashboard page. Here you can filter by timeframe by clicking the middle dropdown, or add filters for your custom data by clicking Add Filter. As you filter your responses, you’ll see your NPS score (b) change as it will only reflect the NPS score among the responses you’ve filtered. This functions just like the filtered NPS score on the Dashboard screen.
This is where you can do a deep dive into open rates, link click-throughs, and all the other nitty-gritty details Digital Marketing teams love to dig into. We strive for full visibility and complete transparency when providing you with the performance of your surveys; this can be a great tool for optimizing your results.
Our Custom Export tool (found by clicking the "download" button on the top right of your dashboard) provides industry-wide benchmarking in a 2-click downloadable PowerPoint presentation. Great for those "on-the-fly" meetings when you need a quick overview. Give it a shot!
Anywhere you see a “Download” link in AskNIcely, click it! It will export a spreadsheet of relevant data for reporting needs. You can “Download All Responses” from the “Actions” tab on your People page, or “Download Responses” (all or current based on filters you set) on the Responses page.
5.2 How Do I Share My Results?
Inviting your team to use the AskNicely App is easy. From your AskNicely desktop account, choose Settings (cog wheel) > Users > Users. Click the little Mobile Phone next to each person you want to invite to download the mobile app. This will send an email that has links to download the app and activate their account. Every user license comes with access to the Mobile App for free - a great way to have visibility across your team.
Ideally, you can configure AskNicely TV on a TV screen in your office. You can have AskNicely running off of a spare laptop - just be sure that the laptop is password protected so that people aren’t tempted to tweak the settings. Please reach out to your CSM or our Support Team if you would like assistance with getting this up and running.
5.3 What’s Next?
Congrats! Your customized surveys are out the door, your brilliant work is being shared across your organization, and you’ve established a baseline NPS. What’s left?
Our advice: sit tight! Let the customers lead the conversation. Remember back in 2.1 when we said "Greater complexity does not necessarily yield great results down the line"? This is where we can put that hypothesis to the test. The "shoot from the hip" nature of NPS surveys gives customers license to tell you how they really feel. Now, it's your job to listen, analyze the responses, and take action! Once your customers have identified their pain points, you can cater your questions, responses, and survey question wording to gain greater insight into how to change your business, and therefore improve the Customer Experience.
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