Have you ever forgotten your password to an account? Not just any account – a really important one that you need access to immediately . . . . the same one that wants to ask you five hundred questions and make you go through eighteen different steps to get in? (You know, the one that asks you to give your email, physical address, favorite pet’s name, first boyfriend / girlfriend’s middle name, color you wore on the first day of kindergarten, quickest way to solve a rubik’s cube, brother’s spam email address, and a virgin sacrifice). With all that work, there is no question that questions can be annoying.
You don't need a lab to conduct market research
- Define Your Goals – Make sure you have a clear and direct goal in mind. Do you want to learn if a new product will sell? Or do you want to develop a list of potential new products? How about which features are highly valued? Having a defined goal will help you develop your questions.
- Primary vs. Secondary Research – Whereas directly asking your customers (primary research) will usually yield more accurate results, looking into research that others have produced (secondary research) may be more time and cost effective. Decide what will be best for your situation. If you decide to go with secondary research, know that there is almost always a national association pertaining to your topic.
- Set Your Target Audience – Just as you need to define your goal, you need to define your target audience. Is it your customer base? A subset of your customers? Pure prospects? This will help you create your questions and analyze your results.
- Create Good Questions – Make sure your questions are going to answer your problem without making them too difficult to answer. Think like the person taking the survey to eliminate results that won’t be useful to you. When actually designing the survey, start will questions that can be answered with one word or click (such as yes / no or providing a rating). Also, make sure you limit the number of open-ended questions; this will exhaust the taker and will exhaust you later when you go through the results.
- Make It Quick & Easy – People are busy these days. Despite my desire to help, I recently declined to take a survey because they said it would take 45 minutes. . . . 45 minutes I simply do not have in a day. Aim for 10-15 minutes at most. Also, make sure it is easy to take and has a logical flow. Have clear directions and understandable questions throughout.
- Say Thank You – Always say thank you to your participants. This will help build good relationships and make it more likely for the taker to help you out in the future. Preferably, say thank you immediately after the survey and then follow up a few days later with an additional one.