As a student at Quinnipiac University, everyone I meet asks two questions. The first question is how Quinnipiac is pronounced, to which I typically answer ‘whatever way you can’. (It is in fact pronounced KWIN-uh-pe-ack.) The second is if I work at the polling institute. While Quinnipiac is known locally for it’s outstanding academics and beautiful campus, it is known nationally for its Quinnipiac Poll.
The Quinnipiac Poll is a national poll that surveys the public on a variety of topics. Unofficially beginning in 1988 as a project for a marketing course, it has now blossomed into an important nationwide poll. The statistics from the polls have been cited by multiple major news outlets including Fox News, CNN and The Washington Post. However, polling is not solely used for coast-to-coast political questioning.
Surveying and polling are crucial for hundreds of companies. In order to sustain successful relationships, surveys are used by companies of all sizes to gain insightful feedback from clients and customers. This feedback is vital for the businesses that need to keep their customers happy. If their service is not up to standards, the public will be the first to let the business know. When the customers are happy, the polls and surveys will show that. There are more to these surveys than just yes or no answers. It can affect the influx of new customers as well.
Many people base their opinions on the opinions of others. It’s human nature to want to agree with others who may have more knowledge of a subject than you. This can severely affect a business. Word of mouth spreads like wildfire. If someone fills out a survey because they are unhappy, it is almost guaranteed that they will tell a friend about the bad service. This starts a snowball effect that can put a company in hot water. An example of this can be seen in one of Quinnipiac’s poll latest survey.
A recent Quinnipiac poll of adult Ohio natives showed that over 60% of the natives are happy that future Hall-of-Fame player, LeBron James is back with the team. LeBron had left his home state team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, to go play for the Miami Heat for three seasons. The initial departure from Cleveland left Ohio in a state of sports-induced chaos. The backlash from fans led many to burn their LeBron James jerseys. However, this seems to be all but forgotten by Ohioans, as fans scramble to find ways to “un-burn” their jerseys. It seems that even non-sports fans are excited about their homegrown talent returning. James’s ‘favorable’ rating went from a bleak 19% to an overwhelming 62%.
Just like LeBron James wants to be liked by fans, corporations want the majority, if not all of the public on their side. Through surveying and polling of their customers, happy or unhappy, these businesses can adhere to what the public wants and needs. As long as the customer or client is happy, the polls will show it.
Here are 5 Tips for Running A Successful Business Survey:
1. Know What You’re Asking… and Ask It Clearly
The first step to any effective survey is to know EXACTLY what you are looking for. Once your business understands what it wants, word it in a way the general public will understand. Limit the jargon because those who choose to engage in the survey should know exactly what is being asked of them.
2. A Little Goes A Long Way
A long survey is a boring survey. The easiest way to make sure that your survey is completed with accurate answers is to keep questions simple and short. Surveys that drag-on tend to have the “random clicking” effect. This is when the person being surveyed is losing interest in the subject rapidly and chooses random answers.
3. Remember Who You Want Answers From
If you are trying to ask college students or milleniums about what they would most like from your business, do not ask them through traditional mail. Know whom you are targeting and position the survey to be most accessible to them. Rather than go through a mailbox or email, try asking students through social media.
4. Consistent Questions Keep It Easy
If your first question is a scale from 1 to 5, keep the rest of the questions uniform. It makes keeping track of the statistics that much easier and those being surveyed don’t have to put more thought into answering than necessary.
5. Test It
Test it first with employees. Your employees should be able to check for spelling mistakes, grammar miscues, etc. They will also be able to tell you if the survey is worth sending to the public.
We wish you the best of luck on launching your first business survey. If you are considering sending a survey by email, we recommend using Constant Contact’s Survey Tool. It has many templates to choose from and offers an easy and quick solution for surveying your email contacts and customers.
Have questions or want to share your experiences running surveys with us, please comment on this blog.