How do I craft a customer survey?
I want to get feedback from my existing customers before coming out with our next season's product line. I plan to touch on preferred colors, styles and functionality. I've found it hard to craft the questions. I don't want to have leading questions and want to make sure I capture as useful information as possible. Does anyone have any recommendation on how to get started?
^^ this isn't my site, but i've found it useful.
In terms of my own research (I'm not in advertising/marketing, but am a freelance software designer), what I've found most useful is speaking with some people one-on-one over the phone or in person to get a general idea of the usefulness of the questions before sending out a mass survey. Talking to someone you get a chance to ask followup questions, they can ask for clarification if something isn't clear (then you know you need to reword the question for your mass survey)
You want to find their trends in media use: How long with the newspaper, what stations on the radio and TV. Also where they go on the Internet. 10-15 total questions with multiple choice, true/false and yes/no.
Smart lady, ask people what they want, first. My heart be still when I hear the word survey, it's what we do best. Collection of passive & real time data is easily captured with a few intelligent questions Carrie; it can be done in print media and/or on-line. (short for on-line is best practice) With an hour of your time input of basic content is designed in a format to guide recipients through the survey. We centralize the data using analysis to provide outcome report. The depth of information is based on your level of outcome requirement. Hope this helps, your choice now is a vendor; ahhhhh you asked an intelligent question and received many back! Sincerely, Laura Artibello - Mailennium Intelligent tm
If you are on Linkedin, connect with me Scott Taylor from Cloudia Assistant. There I have been posting daily small business marketing points from the 12 Points of Practical Marketing training manual. I believe it was a few weeks ago that I posted points on Surveys and how to set them up depending on your audience.
FANTASTIC that you are actually asking for feedback! Like Joseph says - this puts you way ahead of the competition!
To actually construct the survey, Survey Monkey is probably the best and easiest tool out there.
As far as content goes, one of the BIGGEST mistakes I see in surveys is that people ask 2 questions in one. For example: Is the product easy and useful? That's actually 2 separate questions. It might be easy but not useful or useful but not easy. Be VERY careful if you find yourself using the words "and", "or" and other conjunctions in a question.
I also suggest having some free text questions where you can allow your respondents to give you their thoughts. While it makes data analysis a little more difficult, you can look for general themes. Be sure to have more than one person analyze free-form questions to ensure that you get some consensus on the themes and these folks should analyze the answers individually so you don't fall into "group think".
Make a couple different versions of your survey where you mix up the questions. The reason for this is that some folks will just answer randomly and don't actually read the questions - this may help you eliminate any bogus or faulty data, You might want to throw in one or two questions that validate the survey by saying "Please answer D for this question" or "Please select "All of the above". If they don't, then you know they aren't actually reading the questions and their data should be discarded.
Test your survey on some "naïve" users first too. Select some people to test the survey to see if any questions are confusing, if it's too long, if any questions aren't working correctly for some reason.
Don't ask any questions you don't need to know. Don't think "Well, I've got them, so I might as well ask them." Thant only needlessly lengthens your survey. If you don't need to know how old someone is, don't ask/ Only ask about what you REALLY need to know. The shorter it is the better.
If you can give them some kind of incentive to answer the questions, you will get a MUCH higher response rate. Even if it's something as small as a $1 gift code for Amazon - it will practically double your response rate. Most surveys have a response rate of about 3-5% (truly random surveys - you might have a better rate if your customers are engaged with your company) So if you can do anything to raise that, do it. And you would be surprised how far even $1 can go.
In fact, if you can give it to them REGARDLESS of whether or not they fill out the survey, you can capitalize on the social psychological principle known as the "rule of reciprocity." The Rule of Reciprocity is simple - it says: You have given me $1 and are asking me to fill out your survey, I now feel OBLIGATED to do so. Believe it or not but it works really well. (That's why so many direct mail campaigns send you those free return address labels or a $1 bill along with their advert.) Don't underestimate the power of this social norm. You didn't mention if you have any kind of a budget for this but if you do, this would be money well spent. If you don't, perhaps you can offer them some kind of discount code for an upcoming purchase.
If you can give it to them even before they fill out the survey, it works even better. Yes, some will take the "gift" and not fill out the survey. But overall, your response rate will increase dramatically over giving nothing and over giving after filling out the survey. The reason it works better than giving it after the survey is that in addition to the rule of reciprocity, you are now also using the notion of sunk costs. As people get part way through the survey, they may decide it's too long for the reward. If they already have the reward, they will feel obligated and even if they get to the point where they are feeling like the survey is too long, then the notion of sunk cost comes into play. They will have already spend X time on your survey AND gotten a gift, they will feel like if they quit now, they will have wasted valuable time and they might as well finish it or they would have wasted the time they already invested.
And my dad said my psychology degree would never pay off. :) It did, just not in the way he thought it would. Best of luck and I hope I explained these psychological concepts well enough such that they make sense to you. They are important in any negotiation situation as well.
Work backwards, determine what you want to achieve with the input only then develop a questionnaire that asks appropriate questions (make it possible to respond anonymously).
Quantify responses by asking follow up questions, what they think about things and how important things are. Everybody would say ‘yes’ to ‘Would you like a new car?’ You have to follow up with how much would you be prepared to pay (otherwise everybody would be trying to sell Lamborghinis)!
Always ask: if there were just one more thing that you could offer what would that be? (As your final question).
Don’t forget that offering feedback on results to participants is often an incentive to respond.
Customers can't tell you what they want or need. Customers can tell you two things
1) What problems they have (that is usually best done via open ended questions and qualitative techniques
2)Make choices - Do they want A or B? They can rank items.
Carrie ...1.) Conduct research of the fashion trends with colors, styles and functionality. You can do that by going to the shopping malls and reviewing the products in the store. Watch QVC. Browse the fashion magazines.
2.) Once you've done that, write a paragraph on the goals of your research. What do you want to learn?
3.) As Joseph stated write multiple choice, open-ended questions. If you go to Survey Monkey they have all kinds of pre-programmed surveys which you can edit and modify to your needs.
If you need help, Survey Monkey has the capability to help you (a) create a survey and (b) get people to take it.
4.) I don't know how much traffic you get to your website, but don't forget to use it to survey your visitors to gain the information you need.
5.) Go to your local university or college — maybe even your alma mater — and hire a student or a group of students from the market research class to help you draft the study questions. You could give the student(s) a small 'scholarship' in return. This would be a great way for the students to gain real life experience.
Otherwise find a marketing communications consultancy and have them help you draft your questions.
Depending on the type of products or services you provide is my key. For products you may want to know how it worked for them, how they would improve if there are any needed, if the price was right for what task it was purchased to perform and others like that.
For services, it should mostly be about customer service and things like how you can make their visit more enjoyable or is there something that they came into your store or site to find that wasn't there, that you may be able to incorporate. Just be careful not to have too much of an inventory.
I disagree with having them write an entire paragraph because many people will not take the survey if it is going to take them too long to complete
Carrie, don't overlook the fact that customer surveys can also be great canon-fodder for your marketing efforts.
A practical tip: When giving people choices only give even number of choices. If you give an uneven, you run the risk they will select the middle one which really doesn't get them to make a commitment...they sit on the fence so to speak.
I prefer 4 choices as in "Excellent", "Good", "Satisfactory" and "Unsatisfactory".
Turning then to your marketing material you can then quite rightly claim that X% rated your "whatever" as Good or Excellent.
One question which is a must is this "If you were the manager of our business, what would you do differently?" and also
"What are we presently not doing (or selling or offering) that we should?
Customer surveys are an annual or semi annual event imo and truly, if you want a better response, make an ethical bribe to encourage participation.