They are PEOPLE - not respondents
In the research space, there has been a nasty habit that has caught on, calling people who take surveys - respondents. While it is an accurate term and serves well for shortly naming the people who respond to survey questions, but using a word “Respondent” objectifies the people, making them sound like data points. We’re often asking them personal preferences and attitudes, hence calling them respondents seems a little too impersonal. Moreover, it actually places you in a context of collecting data points, instead of preferences and personal insights, which is what we are looking for.
In these types of surveys, our main goal is to get to the bottom of what matters to our customers the most. We are curious about what keeps them up at night, what makes them restless and what is that they desire most. The surveys we create need to reflect that.
No doubt for any researcher, your survey should be introduced with demographic questions first. A wide variety to choose from - but pick those that matter the most to you. You might want to use questions that are more “temporal “in nature and might change over time, such as:
- Geographic Location
Select the one that matters to you the most — but only pick three!
Ask questions that let you read their mind
For the next part, your task is to brainstorm and come up with qualitative or psychographic questions that will reveal what your customer think and what triggers those thoughts and feelings.
Here are some example questions you could use. These are rather open ended and you can use them if you haven’t yet established a list of items that you already know:
- What are the biggest challenges they are facing?
- What frustrates them when using your product or service?
- What are their expectations when purchasing the product or service?
- What factors influence their buying decision?
- What are their interest, hobbies, habits?
- Do they have any particular music taste?
- What get’s them from point A to Z? What car?
Call people by their name
Whenever you can - get the name of the people who take your survey. Make sure you get it especially if they are your customers. Consider this - if you were a restaurant owner and a customer who you know came in - you would not call them by their email address, you would surely call them by their name. While not everyone out there will give you their name, you will get some, and that information will come in handy for your marketing team.
These were just a few pointer that you can keep in mind and use in order to improve the degree to which you know and understand what matter to your customers most. Start creating your customer survey here.