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Market Research Strategies: Summertime Activity for Survey Writers
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Market Research Strategies: Summertime Activity for Survey Writers

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With the summer season upon us, along comes a most welcomed relief for many market research project managers. The workload slows and creates a great opportunity to take care of some market research …

With the summer season upon us, along comes a most welcomed relief for many market research project managers. The workload slows and creates a great opportunity to take care of some market research housekeeping. For survey writers, one of the best uses of slow time is to spend it creating (or updating) standard survey templates for use year-round. Without the normal crush of deadlines, market researchers can create templates with these goals in mind:

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  • 1. Market Research Strategies: Summertime Activity for Survey WritersWith the summer season upon us, along comes a most welcomed relief for many market researchproject managers. The workload slows and creates a great opportunity to take care of somemarket research housekeeping. For survey writers, one of the best uses of slow time is to spend itcreating (or updating) standard survey templates for use year-round.Without the normal crush of deadlines, market researchers can create templates with these goalsin mind: 1. Set standards. Use this time to think carefully about how you want to standardize specific question types, along with formatting and scaling options. 2. Get approvals. Get approval from those colleagues or managers who will be involved in year-round research efforts. Explain you are constructing standard templates and want their input during the slow season—this will help everyone come crunch time.For those newer to research, you will find that there are three common survey templates thatcome in handy. A few examples of question types are included below, but there are manyoptions—so be sure to look at several examples before you craft your templates.Survey Template #1: Customer Satisfaction ResearchA simple satisfaction survey would consist of four or five questions to gauge satisfaction andloyalty. Of course, the type of customer satisfaction and loyalty questions depends on whetheryou’re selling business-to-business or business-to-consumer, whether you’re selling services orproducts and so forth. In general, you’re going to want an overall gauge of satisfaction, whichcommonly uses a five-or seven-point Likert scale question. Add a few follow-up questions aboutsatisfaction relating to the specific aspects of your products or services, as relevant, such ascustomer service, product’s ease of use, and possibly aesthetics.As an example of how this might need to be modified for different product categories, let’sconsider a snack product company. For this case, satisfaction measures might focus on thevariety of flavors offered, response to specific flavors, and package size.
  • 2. Survey Template #2: Website FeedbackIf your organization interacts with customers on its website, it’s good to have a standard templatefor collecting website feedback. This could be used on either a transaction or a rotation basis (sothat customers see it on every 10 or 20 visits), or maybe it’s something you will use once aquarter.Common questions collect feedback on overall attractiveness, distinctiveness, and ease of use.So answer options might use a scale of “very mundane” to “very exciting”; or maybe a rangefrom “amateurish” to “very professional”; or perhaps, “not at all easy to use” to “very easy touse”.Other key questions may include:  “Were you able to find the information you were looking for on our website?”  “How likely are you to visit this web site again in the next 30 days?” (or whatever timeframe would make sense for your particular category).Survey Template #3: Customer Service TransactionYou may want to have a survey that’s triggered every time someone completes a support call orother type of customer service transaction with your organization. This could be done through acall center, email, or even through a social media interaction such as on a Facebook fan page orvia Twitter.Typical questions ask about:  How quickly they got a response, which gives you an objective assessment of whether or not it was timely  Their satisfaction with the timeliness of the response  Their satisfaction with the quality of the responseMoreover, also use it as an opportunity to make sure that the matter was completed successfullyso that you can create a red flag if necessaryMarket Research PlanningIn my town, the Department of Public Works knows that we’re going to get a lot of snow eachwinter, and you can be sure that for the couple of months before winter comes, they’restockpiling salt and sand for the roads. They’re using that relatively slow period before crunchtime hits to make sure they’re prepared.Well, it’s the same thing for survey writing. Let’s take advantage of this slow time to make surethat we have everything we’re going to need before the next crunch time hits — as it inevitablydoes.
  • 3. Author Bio:For more expert tips on market research subscribe to Research Rockstars free newsletterat http://www.researchrockstar.com.Free Membership Pass: Get unlimited access to Research Rockstars mini-courses, newsletters, e-books, and RFP templates: http://www.researchrockstar.com/amember/signup.php.Have a market research question? Kathryn Korostoff is president of Research Rockstar, acompany that delivers online and in-person training to busy professionals seeking marketresearch excellence. Kathryn is a market research professional with a special interest in howorganizations acquire, manage, and apply market research. Over the past 20 years, she haspersonally directed more than 600 primary market research projects and published over 100bylined articles in trade magazines. http://twitter.com/ResearchRocks