Tag Archives: Consumer Surveys

How to humanize a survey

I recently wrote an article about humanizing surveys
which suggested that more casual language may create a better survey experience
for responders while not comprising data quality nor research results. Here are
a few tips on how to achieve those results for yourself.
  1. Don’t
    compromise on grammar
    . Even though we’re trying to loosen up and use a more
    casual writing style, we don’t need or want to compromise on grammar. This is
    not the place to forget how to use a comma, switch around your verb tenses, or
    generally be sloppy.
  2. Shorter is
    . Charles Dickens is well known for his ability to write perfectly
    crafted sentences of 100 words or more. Surveys are not the place for that. Once
    sentences creep over the 15 word mark, figure out they can be broken down into
    more readable lengths. This long question can easily be shortened: ‘For each of the following descriptions of
    shopping behaviors, please indicate whether the description is highly
    characteristic, somewhat characteristic, slightly characteristic, or not characteristic
    at all of you when you visit a membership-only warehouse club store
    .’  Instead try, ‘How descriptive are these characteristics when you visit a membership-only
    warehouse club store
  3. Don’t
    over apply grammar
    . We’ve all heard the adage of not ending a sentence in a
    preposition. Well, as part of natural language, we do it all the time. Don’t be
    scared to do it in a survey if the language sounds natural. Instead of awkwardly
    yet correctly saying ‘Into which of the following groups do you fall’? why not
    simply say ‘Which group do you fall into’?

Avoiding ending a sentence in a preposition is not something you need to strive for.

  1. Keep grid
    headers short
    . Researchers like to be as descriptive as they possibly can
    when writing surveys, perhaps to the point of being over-descriptive. Do we
    really need to ask what someone ‘currently
    ‘ instead of just asking what they ‘own.’
    Do you we really need to ask what someone has ‘used in the past week‘ instead of just asking what they ‘use a lot.’
  2. Loosen up
    your wording
    . Try using some different scales. Instead of using a scale
    from ‘Strongly Agree‘ to ‘Strongly Disagree,’ what about a scale
    of ‘Love, Like, Neutral, Dislike, Hate
    or ‘Awesome‘ to ‘Terrible.’ Yes, the words are much more casual but they will create
    differentiation among your responders and that is your true goal, and could
    even generate more meaningful results.
  3. Add a
    little humor
    . There’s no denying that humor is tricky. Jokes about politics,
    religion, and the usual iffy suspects remain off the table but that’s no reason
    to avoid all humour. Mention a currently popular meme (‘This survey may not be as fun as your favorite cat playing the piano
    video but we hope you like it anyways!
    ‘), a generally popular movie (‘May the survey force be with you‘), or
    spice up your answer options with some fun descriptors (‘Zero, Zip, Zilch!‘).

This survey may not be as fun as your favorite cat playing the piano video but we hope you like it anyways!

  1. Say
    please and thank you
    . Whether it’s minding your manners or treating others
    as you’d like to be treated, don’t forget to be polite throughout the survey
    experience. There’s no need to plaster it onto every question, but a little
    reminder now and then is much appreciated. Research participants like to know that
    there’s a human being on the other side of the research. And of course, use
    your Ps and Qs in a more casual way. Instead of ‘Thank you for your participation,’ why not try ‘Thanks a bunch for all your help‘ or ‘You’ve been a great help. Thanks so much!

If you apply these techniques carefully and don’t overdue
it, you too could benefit from happier responders. May the survey force be with

PrideBites learns which dog toy features matter most to owners

Today’s blog post comes from TMRE Sponsor Google.  For more information on upcoming Google Consumer Survey Web Seminars, visit this webpage.

PrideBites learns which dog toy features matter most to owners

Google Consumer Surveys helps you make informed business decisions by asking internet users survey questions. Users complete questions in exchange for access to content around the web, and content publishers get paid per answer. Google automatically analyzes responses, providing the data through a simple online interface. Below we share the experiences of one of our customers, PrideBites, a manufacturer and distributor of high quality, durable dog toys with unique designs.

The four founders of PrideBites first knew they were onto something when their box of 50 trojan-shaped dog toys sold out in under an hour at a USC football game. ‘They were so different and colorful, but the stitching was still very high quality,’ says co-founder Steven Blustein. ‘It became clear that there is demand for dog toys that hit the sweet spot between design and durability.’ As new entrants into an industry with particularly established distribution relationships, PrideBites knew they needed to be smart about how they expanded their product line. ‘Retailers will always want a cheaper product that has tried and true features. We need to know that we have what consumers really want.’

As a small business, it can be difficult to quickly and affordably access detailed market research. ‘We had broad statistics about the pet goods industry, but nothing about the demand for rubber versus plush.’ Using insights from Google Consumer Surveys, PrideBites could more closely hone in on messaging and feature priorities. Surveys showing that people don’t play with their dogs in the water influenced their decision to de-emphasize waterproof features on the packaging. Similarly, surveys indicating that machine-washability isn’t important to consumers the way it is to retailers helped differentiate the important selling points across audiences. They also validated their hunch that dog lovers value contributions to pet charities, and are now developing ways to support animal welfare organizations.

After completing their first set of surveys, Blustein is excited about the future questions PrideBites will be able to answer using Google Consumer Surveys. ‘We couldn’t take our eyes off of the results and would love to ask more targeted questions about price thresholds for various demographics, and how long men versus women expect a dog toy to last.’

Joanne Schneider, Consumer Surveys Business Development