Asking questions has always been the most direct and easiest way to learn about things. Similarly, a market research questionnaire serves the purpose of asking and learning from the customers. It helps a researcher learn how the customers think, or feel about the company.
A questionnaire is a collection of questions that you feel the need to ask your customers. These questions are designed to collect customer opinions and feedback on their experience, preference, or intention.
A questionnaire is solely for the objective of collecting feedback from customers on specific questions. It does not help determine a market trend or customer behavior. This makes it different from Survey which helps gather data for further statistical analysis.
A questionnaire is limited in what information it provides. When you are asked to fill a form for a health check-up, you are given a set of questions. This is called a Questionnaire. The information you provide helps healthcare specialists understand your medical history. They don’t look for trends or behavior by using the information.
Questionnaires can help you collect a huge volume of information with little effort and resources spent. However, it is important that you pay careful attention when you create a questionnaire.
The first step you need to take is to understand what information you want to obtain from your customers. The questions need to be translated in such a way that the customer feedback can help achieve the goal of your research.
You may have questions designed which serve the main objective of the research. But, you can always look into existing questionnaires. This can help you learn:
Looking through pre-existing research questionnaires can help you design better questions. You may discover aspects you have not considered.
You need to determine the population, i.e., target market. From the population, you have to select your sampling frame. The sample group consists of customers who you will conduct research upon. The selection of the group is important because the data obtained from the group will be used to generalize against the entire population.
As a researcher you have to determine certain factors:
Whether you should conduct research on only existing users or also include non-users of the product category.
This helps analyze how the information changes over time.
This shows the difference in insights among the groups.
As a researcher, you should assess the importance of questions before including them. You want to avoid using questions that don’t benefit your research data and confuse the respondents.
For every question you want to use, you must have a positive answer to “Is the question needed for the research?” The questions must help achieve the research objective. Avoid questions that do not contribute to the data.
You also need to make sure that the questions are phrased in a way that it is easy for the respondent to understand. The data is of no use if the respondent answers incorrectly because they could not understand the question.
Ask one question at a time. Avoid merging two questions that ask for two completely different responses together. It will create confusion for the respondent.
Open-ended Question allows the respondents to share their opinion and suggestion freely, in their own words. While the data may be difficult to examine, open-text feedback helps you understand the respondent’s emotion and sentiment.
Example: What did you like about our Company’s annual event?
Closed-ended Question offers respondents to select their preferred answer from a list of answers. The respondent does not have to think too much about the answer. It helps the respondent finish the questionnaire fast. The data collected can be statistically analyzed.
Closed-ended questions include – Yes/no, multiple choice answers, rating scale, ranking scale, etc.
Example: How likely are you to recommend our Café on a scale of 1 to 10?
You can follow up a closed-ended question with an open-ended question for topics that require more information.
The opening question should be easy to respond to. The first question should be simple so that the respondents understand what the questionnaire is about. It should set the tone for the rest of the questions. If the first question is difficult the respondents may leave the questionnaire. It should encourage them to continue.
There should be a flow in the questionnaire. The questions should lead to the next. Questions about a particular topic should be grouped together. Respondents may find it frustrating if the questions shift from one topic to another and back to the first topic.
Also, keep the number of questions limited. Respondents may get bored answering too many questions and leave midway. Don’t ask too many open-ended questions. However, they are a good break from too many closed-ended questions where respondents are not given many options to share their thoughts.
Use scales, pictures, or any other interesting form of questions to keep the questionnaire interesting.
It is always important to test a questionnaire before you go live with it. It is difficult to say if the questionnaire can help achieve the objective of the research or not unless it has been used. So, a pre-test run on a small group of respondents can help you learn how feasible the questionnaire is.
By testing your questionnaire prior to the actual market research you can determine
You can benefit in the following ways by using Questionnaires for market research.
A standardized Questionnaire refers to the type of questionnaire that asks all the respondents the same questions in an identical format. The responses obtained from the questionnaire are recorded in a uniform way.
There are primarily two types of questions.
Dichotomous Questions offer respondents only two answer options. The options could be a Yes or No, True or False, or Agree or Disagree.