Carolyn Browne Tamler

has helped hundreds of businesses and organizations with her thoughtful facilitation and research services. She also writes colorful and compelling articles about new business initiatives! Would this help you? Call Carolyn today!

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    5-9-13 How do you decide what questions to ask in a survey?

    The basic purpose for conducting a survey is to gain information to help with planning and marketing decisions.  Whether your business involves a product or a service, having reliable information about what your customers want is essential.   A survey is an objective tool for obtaining this information through asking questions to a sample of your current or potential customers.

    Unless you have a clear goal in mind for using the results of your survey it’s difficult to create questions to get the information you need.  Ask yourself, and others who will be using the information you’re gathering, what you want to know to make future decisions.

    I often do a planning workshop at the beginning of a survey process to be sure there is consensus about what information is truly needed.

    A focus group* is an excellent tool for identifying what questions you will want to ask and what kinds of answers you are likely to receive.  This is especially important if you are having closed-end questions – i.e. questions that have three or four possible responses.  I think it also helps to provide an “Other” response, with a space to include something, just in case there is a significant topic that was overlooked.

    Creating productive questions requires knowing where you really want input and where you are willing to make changes or do something different to better serve the needs of your customers.

    And, there’s no point in asking any question unless you can use the information you’ll gain from the results.

    If you’re thinking about doing a survey, give me a call, and we can talk about your goals.

    *Note: I'll talk about focus group discussions in my next Blog.


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