Asking Questions Right: The Right Methods for the Right Answers

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could also be outdated.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

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Open Ended Questions

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.

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Using The Right Questions

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

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