Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Simple Survey Steps with Good Results

Last week I had two separate conversations (educational & business) about developing surveys that actually get information that can be useful and not waste the responder’s time.

Please use the following guidelines to collect data from internal or external customers (educational/business) to do one or more of the following:

· Verify the team is working on the right theme or problem statement.
· Measure customer satisfaction levels to determine a quality indicator, set goals or to
measure whether change has occurred.
· Collect data on probable causes/barriers.
· Collect data on possible countermeasures/solutions.

· Written for Distribution
· Internet
· Telephone
· Mail
· Email
· Focus Groups


Warning! Surveys can be very time consuming for your customers/participants and yourselves. If you are unable to follow the guidelines for conducting surveys, you may do more harm than good with your customers. If you do not know how you will use the information or data do not ask the question.

Please don't make it confusing or difficult, if you can't understand the question throw it out.

Here are the Simple Steps:

Step 1 - Objectives
Define the purpose, determine what data you want (checklist) and why you are collecting it. If you are unable to determine in advance how you intend to use the
data when you receive it, Stop!

Step 2 - Sample
Identify who and how many (use statistically accepted method,) to interview (target audience) and choose a method (i.e. random) for selecting participants.

Step 3 - Method
Determine what to ask. Talk to small portion of your target audience (one on one,
focus group) and develop questions (method) from their input.

Step 4 – Questionnaire/Survey
Outline appropriate instruments (i.e.; form, survey, checksheet) for screening and
data collection.

Step 5 – Pretest
Prepare plan to pilot the survey to ensure you’re getting the correct information/data that you need to make inferences/conclusions.

Step 6 – Field/Location
Prepare plan and schedule date(s) and location(s) for collecting and processing information/data.

Step 7 – Analysis
Select appropriate techniques/tools (i.e.; checksheet, graphs, charts) for analyzing
and interpreting the information/data.

Step 8 – Report
Prepare plan for final documentation and determine how you will report survey results. Make sure you do a gesture of thanks to respondents if applicable.

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