A survey is a systematic method of collecting data from a population of interest. The purpose of a survey is to collect quantitative information, usually through the use of a structured and standardized questionnaire. A good-structured questionnaire is the foundation of a quality market research survey. It is the basic tool to gather data that are specific and crucial to the success of your business. A carefully designed questionnaire can generate vast amount of revenue or it can dramatically change strategies.

Through market research survey, you can determine the likely performance of a product or service, the buying behavior of consumers, consumers' awareness of a product or service, and the consumers' attitude toward existing or proposed products and services. The effectiveness of the questions would depend on the way they are structured such that your results will be relevant, accurate, and even conclusive.

There are different methods of market research surveys and they are categorized depending upon your target market or population of interest. There are so many factors to be considered as well in conducting a quality research surveys, but the most important thing is how to construct a survey questionnaire that would help you convince your respondents to answer it accurately.

Composing your Survey Questionnaire

In order to have a quality survey, try to make your questionnaire as short as possible. Use only those questions that will provide the information you need. Do not make it too broad and you will need to ask too many questions, or do not make it too narrow and you will not be able to research the topic thoroughly enough.

  • Determine your target market. This is the first thing you need to consider in composing your questionnaire.
  • Structure the survey in such a way that the questions will follow a logical order and educe from general to specific.
  • Use multiple-choice type of questions whenever possible. This helps the respondent understand better the purpose of your question and save time in completing the questionnaire.
  • Avoid leading questions that might generate false positive response. E.G. “How satisfied are
  • you by the service provided by our excellent waiters?” Instead, “How satisfied are you by the service provided by our waiters?”
  • For questions requiring the respondent to rate the items, use the same rating scale all throughout your survey. If you use numerical rating from 0 to 5 or from 1 to 10, keep the same scale for all of the questions that require rating scale.
  • Try to test the survey for at least 10 to 15 people before you produce it for mass distribution. After completing the survey, conduct an interview with these people to determine if your questions were easily understood and easy to answer.

Professionally conducted surveys can definitely help you improve results. There are Business Process Outsourcing or BPO industries nowadays that specialize market research survey and you can be assured of a valuable result. With the emergence of offshore BPO, outsourcing market surveys have helped a lot of businesses in assessing opinions, trends and competitors.