Getting To Grips With Asking Questions

Getting to Grips With Asking Questions

Surveys are a fast and easy way to gather data on current or potential customers, but many companies use them only to be stumped by their results or sorely disappointed in the lack of customer participation. Most survey builders continue to make the same mistakes; although there are plenty of online tools for the job, the task of creating a good market research survey begins long before you log on. Planning and research means a more targeted and successful survey, and to help you in your planning, we’ve put together a list of the five most common survey mistakes.

Failing to have a clear goal for your survey:Why is your company conducting the survey? Before you do anything else (such as choosing a survey group or writing questions), decide what it is that you need to know. Do you want to see how your brand is perceived, or gauge customer satisfaction levels? Do you need to know where your customers would like to see improvement? All of the above are legitimate questions, but you shouldn’t try to accomplish all these goals in one survey. Your audience will quickly lose interest, and your brand will suffer for it. Before you draft your survey questions, form an objective and measure every potential question against it.

Neglecting to invite survey recipients to take part:  Many companies write up a survey, blast it out through email, and then wonder why they get a low response rate. What did they miss? The invitation, of course! When asking for a few moments of your audience’s time, it’s important that they know their contribution is valued. Make it easy for them to participate, let them know how long the survey will take, and be sure to thank them for their help.

Adding poorly written questions:An easy way to avoid ending up with substandard results is to review your questions for unnecessary acronyms, technical jargon, or grammar errors. It’s never safe to assume that your audience understands what you’re trying to say, and the clearer your questions are, the faster your customers will respond.

Asking vague questions:Most experts agree that vague questions yield vague responses. If you want a definitive answer, ask a specific question. To collect anecdotal data, use open-ended questions as a follow up to a multiple choice or yes/no question. Get the participant to focus on the issue at hand, and then give them the opportunity to elaborate.

Sending out the survey on a weekend or a Monday:For maximum response rates, avoid the workweek’s beginning and very end; everyone gets a lot of email, and clearing the inbox is a “must do” on Monday mornings. Don’t let your survey get thrown out with the rest of the spam, and don’t forget to test it before sending.

surveys

Photo Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/labourparty/438734542/

Surveys are a great way to get in touch with prospective and current customers and employees (for almost any industry, from food through to Pharma market research), and when they’re done correctly, they allow companies to easily, cheaply and quickly collect valuable data. Avoid the above mistakes when creating your next survey and you’ll reap the rewards.

This article was written by Crispin Jones on behalf of Hall And Partners, experts in pharma market research. If you’re looking for more information on pharma market research, be sure to take a look at their site.

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