Asking Questions Right: The Right Methods for the Right Answers
Posted On November 12, 2021
Engaging in market research requires the collection of loads of information, specifically the opinions of people. This could be the opinions of your target audience or of the people that have a negative image of your brand. Collecting secondary data can be beneficial at times but the information you get might not have been gathered for the same purpose you have in mind, and it could also be outdated. A lot of times, data needs to be collected by sending surveys that will allow people to properly provide their thoughts and opinions on the research subject. These surveys can be done in person or be sent out through email blasts or social media messages, depending on the tactic of your choice. When conducting a survey, I found it most beneficial to separate my questions into two categories, rating scales and open ended.
A Rating Scale
Questions that have a rating scale are very easy to answer. Which means that the person answering will feel less inconvenienced by taking the survey. They will also be able to provide a value that will help the researcher categorize the data after it has been collected. For the rating scale to function properly, it is important that the ratings do not go higher nor lower than five. They can be five stars, or five numbers, but the scale should not be longer than five. The reason for this is because it provides enough choices for a person to choose an option that they are comfortable with, and it doesn’t provide so many choices that might make it difficult for them to answer. Think of online reviews that are typically rated under a five-star scale. You can also use a grade scale (A-F) since it is the most common scale used in schools. I would also make sure that these types of questions are placed in the beginning of the survey, so people are more inclined to take it
Open ended questions should be placed at the end of the survey, and there shouldn’t be too many. The best reason to add them is to reiterate their scaling choices. Meaning, it should provide the person with the ability to thoroughly explain why they gave a certain rating, whether positive or negative. It isn’t as easy for the researcher to categorize later, but it does provide a closer look into the thoughts that a person has of a certain brand. While a scale may allow a person to say if they liked something or not, the open-ended question asks “why?” As a person who likes to leave reviews based on service, I like to compliment the areas where I felt the waiter did a good job. Restaurants like to know if their waiters are providing the right service and what specifically that waiter is doing so that other customers can also get the positive experience.
Getting someone to take a survey is already hard enough so it is important to make it as simple as possible while also helping the researcher get enough information for the researcher to use. These two types of questions are meant to both motivate the individual to take the survey and for the researcher to get the information that he/she needs. If the questions are too long and complicated or not properly structured, not many people will want to take it. I survey should be made with the survey taker’s convenience in mind. If the researcher only thinks about making a survey incredibly long and detailed and only for their benefit, then it will be harder for them to get the answers they are looking for