The ABC Of An Online Questionnaire
- Author Paul Smith
- Published October 26, 2011
- Word count 625
The key to success of almost any business is effective communication with clients and quick responses to their needs. Clearly, it’s impossible to ask every single customer’s opinion in person unless maybe if it’s a corner shop. So, businessmen should look for more convenient and reliable ways to get feedback on the quality of goods and services. There are different types of customer satisfaction surveys but those carried out online have certain advantages because nowadays both companies and clients spend a lot of time on the Internet. Compiling a suitable online questionnaire can help businesspeople achieve important goals.
A. What is a questionnaire?
Questionnaires are lists of questions on certain aspects of company operations which are offered for customers to answer. An online questionnaire is an efficient way of gathering statistical information because submitted replies can later be easily analysed thanks to their uniformity.The layout of questions may vary considerably from check boxes and drop down menus through to open ended questions and rating scales. The choice would depend on the character of the information needed, so one questionnaire can combine several types of questions. It’s vital to provide respondents with clear instructions on how to fill in different forms in order to avoid misinterpretation.
B. What to ask?
What you ask may be even more important than how you do it, so both questions and their wording should be thought through carefully. For example, if the aim of a survey is to find out who is a company’s average client it may be a good idea to inquire about respondents’ age, gender, education and occupation. Quite often an online questionnaire concentrates only on positive sides of a business but in this case there’s no way for customers to express their criticism. Businessmen shouldn’t be afraid to include negative variants of answers and offer people to write suggestions on how they would like to improve the quality of services.
C. What to do with the results?
The next step is to analyse the data collected during a customer satisfaction survey. With the help of special computer programs it’s possible to present the results in vivid and clear-cut forms such as graphics, diagrams and tables. In comparison with a hardcopy one an online questionnaire is much easier and quicker to process because all answers are already in digital format. Later on these results can be used when planning marketing policies, advertising campaigns and development strategies. Questionnaires can give businessmen food for thought and highlight problem areas to work on.
Companies shouldn’t underestimate the role of surveys because a single online questionnaire provided that it’s prepared correctly can do one’s business a lot of good. Besides the already mentioned practical uses of valuable information it’s a great way to show customers that their opinions are appreciated and taken into account. When they see that thanks to their participation in surveys there are real improvements then next time they may be more eager to answer the questions. Such an open and cooperative approach may contribute to the positive image of a company and attract new clients.
Knowing who your customers are and what they think of your business is crucially important for effective communication with them. An easy-to-use online questionnaire is a convenient tool of getting feedback because it can be adapted to meet the specific needs of a company. The right choice of questionnaire formats makes it quick for clients to answer the questions and for businessmen to analyse the results. It may be a good idea to conduct such surveys regularly to estimate progress and development. At the same time, it’s also important to study public opinion before making important business decisions.
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