There are a multitude of tools available these days that allow organizations to easily ask questions of their customers. It is certainly not uncommon when Corona begins an engagement for the client to have made internal attempts at conducting surveys in the past. In some cases, these studies have been relatively sophisticated and have yielded great results. In others, however, the survey’s results were met with a resounding “Why does this matter?”.
The challenge is that conducting a good survey requires a much more strategic view than most realize. This starts with designing the survey questions themselves. We always begin our engagements by asking our clients to think through the decisions that will be made, the opportunities to improve, and the possible challenges to be addressed based on the results. By keeping the answers to these questions in mind as you design your survey questions, you can minimize the amount of “trivia” questions in your survey that might be interesting to know, but won’t really have any influence on your future decisions.
Even after having questions designed, you have to consider how you will get people to participate in the survey. If you have a database of 100,000 customers, it may be tempting to just send invitations to all of them. But what if you plan to send out a plea for donations in the next few weeks? Consider the impact of asking for 15 minutes of time from people who might be asked to support you very soon. Being careful to appropriately time the survey and perhaps only send it out to a small segment of customers might help to minimize fatigue that could negatively impact your overall business strategy in the near future.
Finally, once you’ve collected the results, simple tabulations will only tell a small part of the story. Every result should be examined through the lens of the actual strategic impact of the results. A good question to ask throughout the analysis of your results is, “So what?”. Keep the focus on the implications of the results rather than the results themselves, your final report of what you learned with have a much better chance of making a meaningful impact on your organization moving forward.
Obviously, we at Corona are here to help walk you through this process in order to ensure the highest-quality result possible, but even if you choose to go it alone, keeping a strategic view of what you need to learn and how it will influence your decisions will help to avoid a lot of wasted effort.