How to Create a Good Survey

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The best way to receive feedback from your consumers about your product is to survey them. You want to know what works and what doesn't, and what your consumers particularly like and what they have no interest in at all.

You also want to know who your consumers are -- who is your audience? The more you know about them, the more you'll be able to tailor your product to suit their demands and make them hungry for more. Here are some tips on how create a good survey.

Know thy audience!

Pose optional demographic questions to know who your consumers are -- including, but not limited to: Age, gender, location (region, city, even zip code) and ethnicity (but made sure there is an option for "choose not to reveal" or something similar, as many people find such a question offensive. None the less, it does help firms tailor their products or make them more multi-cultural for the future). Make such questions multiple-choice if possible.

Create scaled questions about consumer satisfaction of your products or services. For instance: "On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being "Extremely satisfied" and 1 being "Very dissatisfied", how satisfied are you with Product A"? By making them scaled, you will be able to analyze them easily with proper coding and then produce accurate reports.

Ask multiple-choice questions about consumer behavior regarding your products. For instance, if you want to know how often a typical consumer uses your product, you would ask "How often do you use product A?" and then offer answers ranging from 1. Every day to 5.Once a year or less.

Ask multiple-choice questions about consumers' projected behavior regarding your products. For instance: "How often do you think you will use Product A in the next year" with answers ranging from "Once a day" to "A handful of times or less."

Ask open-ended questions that will allow the consumer to comment on your product freely, such as "Tell us how you think we can improve Product A" or "What else do you wish Product A could do?"

Tips & Warnings

  • Include a possible neutral answer choice for your multiple-choice questions, such as "I choose not to answer" or "I don't know". Such answers are not helpful, but consumers may not understand your question and do not want to provide a false answer, or they may feel the question is insulting or threatening. In any case, even a partially-filled out survey is still relevant to your research.
  • The best -- and currently most popular -- way to carry out such surveys is online. Mail surveys are not as common as they used to be and their response rate is very low anyway.
  • State at the start of your survey that all surveys are anonymous. Consumers are constantly threatened by identify theft. This is why is is important to ensure they also know the demographic part is optional.

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