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How well do you know your customers? Are your customers perfectly satisfied with your products and services or do they have wants and needs that they would like you to address?
The success of a business lies on how well it is able to reach out to its target audience in terms of product offerings and customer service. It’s not enough to keep launching new products or services without any knowledge on customer preferences, as these may potentially backfire and cause a significant loss in resources. When it comes to reaching out to customers, surveys are considered to be one of the foundations of a good marketing strategy. This helps you uncover problems that persist in the market, develop solutions for them, and find out how you may present them to your target customers.
However, creating survey questions can be quite daunting for many reasons. This is the most crucial part of the process, as this can greatly influence the quality of data acquired. As important as it is for you to collect accurate results, you need to direct focus on constructing the right survey questions to ask your customers.
Survey questions found in marketing research questionnaires and customer feedback questionnaires usually come in different forms. It may consist of a specific set of questions or a combination of the different types. Before you rush into crafting your survey questions, it’s important to know which type of questions you should use to have better retrieval of data.
Multiple choice questions are known to be the one of the most common types of survey question type. It creates a convenient experience for respondents since answers are already fixed according to what is possible. This also comes in different forms where respondents may choose one or more options from a defined list. This way, data may easily be tabulated or graphed for you to analyze.
Although you may have suggested every possible answer to a question, there’s still the likelihood of missing something you may not have thought of initially. To cater to these circumstances, adding an “Others” option is necessary. This can eliminate any form of bias to give you more accurate results.
Other examples of questions under this type include rating scales, likert scales, matrix questions, and dropdown questions.
Open-ended questions typically require respondents to write down their answers in a blank space or input it into a comment box. Questions that fall under this category are ideal for gaining customer feedback on products or services. However, they aren’t the best option for analyzing information, which is why they are good for generating qualitative data instead. This gives respondents the freedom to speak their mind on opinions and ideas in which their respective responses will also be a basis for your data analysis.
In some cases, information about one’s income statement level, profession, and personal background may be vital to your study. This is a powerful tool used to segregate your audience into specific categories based on where they are from, who they are, and what they do. This gives you a more profound understanding on the background of your respondents despite them belonging to different demographics.
Apart from asking demographic questions, here are some of the most frequently asked questions found in surveys:
1.”Where did you hear about our product or service?”
2. “How likely would you recommend our product or service to a friend or colleague?”
3. “Based on your experience, would you continue to avail our product or service?”
4. “If you had the chance to change one thing about our product or service, what would it be?”
5. “What would you like to see more of?”
6. “How would you rate our product or service?”
7. “What are your comments or suggestions?”
As you may have observed, those listed above are a combination of the different types of survey questions. Incorporating questions similar to those mentioned will allow you to garner different forms of information for your study. It’s the perfect mixture of quantitative and qualitative data to gain a deeper understanding on the behavior of your target market.
Surveys are an effective data-gathering tool — that is, if you know how to ask the right questions the right way. Now that we’re familiar with the types of questions included in a survey, it’s time to discuss how they are constructed.
The following are a few simple guidelines on how to write good survey questions:
Think of your target audience as individuals running on busy schedules. They may not have all the time in the world to answer your survey, so you need to make sure you don’t end up wasting their time. To do so, keeping your survey as brief as possible would make it easier for others to run through each item. Lengthy surveys tend to have a higher abandonment rate as well, making it difficult for you to find willing participants. But keep in mind that this goes beyond just the length of your questions, as it’s also important to use simple language that is understood by the general majority. This will prevent confusion and misinterpretation from occurring. The bottom line here is to apply the K.I.S.S. principle whenever it is necessary.
These are the type of questions that may only have a confirmatory and a negative answer — also known as yes/no questions. While there may be circumstances that require this type of question, it’s important to limit your use of such. Close-ended questions tend to be more difficult to analyze. This is because it fails to gain a deeper insight on what respondents are thinking, considering how their answers are straightforward yet empty. If you really want to get into a person’s head, multiple choice questions are a great option. Covering all possible answers with your choices will be beneficial to you and your respondents as well.
Although open-ended questions require more time to answer, they are extremely useful in getting a better understanding on the wants, needs, and opinions of the respondents. These questions typically ask for a comment, an essay or an opinionated text regarding a particular subject. But you need to be careful when you add this to your survey questionnaire, as some respondents may get carried away with their answers, leaving you with a long composition to assess.
How would you feel if a person asked you a series of questions all at once? Naturally, it would be difficult for you to provide a clear answer that would rightfully respond to each question. This can also be a challenge for you to interpret and evaluate. To attain precise data, it would be best to ask one thing at a time. Questions that appear to portray two different ideas must also be broken down accordingly. This way, respondents are able to provide you with specific and explicit answers.
The type of questions you ask and the way these are constructed play a key role in creating a successful survey. There are no such thing as bad questions, just a wrong method of conveying them. If you take the time to focus on crafting the right survey questions, you’ll get a better chance of gaining useful customer input that can help you direct your business to a brighter path. So the next time you conduct a survey, try incorporating the tips above and learn from the examples given, then you’ll be on your way to making better business plans and customer-centered decisions.