The Right Questions for Your Market Survey?

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Being a startup enthusiast who is in the process of launching a product, you can’t evade the ‘Whats’ and ‘Whys’. You need to be thorough with your market survey and research. This can go a long way in making your product user-centric.  

  • Who are your users? What is your ideal demographic?
  • Their habits?
  • Their emotional attitudes?
  • Why do they need your product? Do other products meet those needs?
  • How do they access your products?

Conducting a market survey is an effective way to take such questions to specific groups or markets, that are large enough to be statistically valid.

Though, extracting answers out of customers is not a cakewalk. You need to understand different approaches and methods to extract the best answers from your potential customers. There are different ways to structure your market survey, depending upon the kind of answers you are looking for.

To obtain actionable insights from a customer segment, the questionnaire has to be designed intelligently. You need to ask versatile and intuitive questions, to make it easier for customers to complete the market survey. This way you can obtain clean data, making it easier for you to analyze it.

You can be passive or active with your questions, but whatever your approach is, you need to be smart and sharp while preparing a market survey. This is how you can identify customer segments, assess their characteristics, gauge their awareness about the business you are in, or track changes in their attitudes and opinions.  

Customers’ Responses Are Based On?

They are based on the answer-choices they get. Therefore, the options in your MCQs need to be comprehensive and shouldn’t subserve a bias.

If you are getting worked up, then you shouldn’t. There are online tools like SmartSurvey, that can help you build a perfect market survey. You can build surveys using the self-explanatory interface. You can do bulk distribution of your survey form, and view results in the form of charts, percentages, and raw data.

That said, for your own knowledge, you should be aware of certain question-types, that usually comprise feedback form.

1. Open-Ended Questions

Such questions warrant subjective answers. Customers are given free rein and they can fully express themselves. In other words, it’s a freestyle way to extract information out of customers.

A question like “What would you suggest making User Experience more enjoyable?”, falls under this category.

Customers are given enough space to address the core issues if there are any. That said, such questions require a lot of time and patience. It becomes difficult to compile and analyze results at times. You can learn more about open-ended questions here.

2. Rating Scale Questions 

Such questions warrant answers that can be quantified as per the scale, like 1 to 5. The scales are generally branched into Likert-type scales and Semantic Differential.

To produce authentic results, it’s important to give an equal number of positive and negative choices to customers. Also, each choice must carry equal weight, in terms of relevance. By having a balanced scale, you don’t push the customers towards the desired outcome and they can give their response with a neutral mindset

a) Likert-Type Scale

Customers are given statements to which they can either agree or disagree.

You can scale the responses from 1 to 5. Where 1 stands for “I Strongly Agree” and 5 stands for “I Strongly Disagree”.

Statements can be like, “I enjoyed the food of the restaurant” or “The serving staff was very polite and professional”  

Such responses are better than ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answers, as you can sense the emotions of customers. In other words, you can sense their emotional attitudes towards your product. But again, you don’t get answers to your ‘Whys’.

b) Semantic Differential Scale

At times, it’s not just about the agreement or disagreement of customers. You can ask customers to rate products or services on a scale as well, say 1 to 5. Though it’s better to use polarizing adjectives like Good/Bad, Satisfied/Unsatisfied, Likely/Unlikely, etc.  

You can frame questions to evaluate your competitor’s image among customers.

For example, you can ask a question like “How likely you are to use their service again?”, which can be answered on the scale of 1 to 5, where 1 represents ‘Very Likely’ and 5 represents ‘Very Unlikely’.

Similarly, you can ask, “How was your last experience availing their services?”, which can again be answered on the scale of 1 to 5, where 1 represents ‘Very Pleasant’ and 5 represents ‘Very Unpleasant.

The feedback obtained from this method is more precise, and you can make accurate judgments.

3. Rank Order Questions

Alternatives are given to customers, and they need to choose one to answer the question.

Ideally, the customers are given two alternatives. For example, “What is more important to you when you choose a brand, price or quality?”

But you can frame a question having several alternatives as well. For example, you can frame something like “Rank the list of items from most useful to least useful”.

We hope this write-up will help you prepare a more comprehensive questionnaire and help you zero in on the right customer segment.

Sadanand is a content curator and strategist. He understands the Startup gamut, be it ideation, product development, team building, sales, or marketing, and likes to keep up with the trend. His lucid writing style makes up for an intriguing read. His writeups are greatly followed and admired in various communities.