Let’s face it – when it comes to getting accurate data, there are few things as frustrating as not getting the right insights because your survey respondents are confused about what you’re asking. Whether it’s not being able to be as detailed as they’d like or poorly worded questions that can be confusing, watching out for these three market research flaws can help ensure you’ll get the data you need.
Dead-end or combined questions
When you have a dead-end question on your survey, it doesn’t leave space for additional feedback. That means when you ask whether they’d recommend your company, they can’t tell you why or in what circumstances they would or would not recommend it. For example, maybe a long-term customer would recommend it unless they needed something shipped overnight because your fulfillment team needs work on fast orders. Combined questions mix two independent questions, such as if they would enjoy and recommend your products. If you sell a specialty art supply, the respondent may enjoy it but may not know anyone they could recommend it to, making it impossible to provide a single answer to the question. Split the questions to make them easier to answer.
Endless surveys with no perceived responder benefit
We’ve all seen them – survey requests that claim to only take a couple minutes, but you give up after 20 minutes because it’s taking too long, you have no idea how much longer it will be and you’re pretty sure the $50 gift card will be won by someone else anyway. If your market research study needs to be sorted by demographic, pull the information you already have from the customer’s account and keep the rest of the survey short, simple and to the point. Add a progress bar to let respondents know how much longer it will be and consider adding a benefit that everyone will receive, such as 10% off their next order.
Unfocused respondents and questions
When you send out a general survey that doesn’t focus your respondents, your questions will be too vague and you’ll get a mix of results without understanding the context. Your loyal customers are going to respond differently to a market research survey than someone who just landed on your site for the first time. When you create a single survey for all your respondents, you’ll include additional questions that don’t apply to any number of the demographic groups responding, making your survey too long. Focus on the demographic you’re interested in and tailor your survey questions to that group specifically. A new user isn’t going to be able to respond when you ask if their customer service experience has remained the same over their past several orders.
By watching out for these three flaws in your market research surveys, you can ensure that your respondents aren’t getting frustrated and can get you the information you need to improve your product, marketing message or other areas of concern for your business.
Also published on Medium.