General Tips for Conducting Consumer Research
Consumer research is an important part of the business process. It helps you understand people’s behaviors and needs so that you can better serve them. Conducting market research, focus groups, surveys, etc., are all different types of consumer research methods that will help you create a better product or service for your customers. Here are some general tips to keep in mind when conducting consumer research:
1) Be thorough with your questions- these need not be simple yes/no answers either.
For example, “Do you like the taste of this product?” is a bad question since it can be answered with either yes or no. Instead ask something more specific such as, “How would you describe the flavor profile? What flavors do you think are strongest/weakest in our current formula and why?”
2) Keep track of what information has been collected in order to avoid duplicating efforts or forgetting about any important data points.
It leads to inaccuracy of the data if you repeat yourself and it’s a waste of time for your research participants who have already answered that question.
It also makes people feel like they’re being put on the spot which is never good.
3) Avoid asking too many questions at once.
If you know that it will take a long time to get through them all, cut down on the number of questions. This is so because people’s attention spans are typically short and they may end up rushing through the rest of your questions.
4) Don’t forget to ask for contact information from participants in order to stay in touch.
You never know when you might need to reach them with a follow up question or ask them for their feedback on another product.
In addition, if they’re happy with your business and the service that they received from you, it will be much easier to convert more of those people into customers as well.
5) Always thank people for participating in the survey.
It’s not a common practice to do so anymore since most of us are used to completing surveys on our own time. However, it will still go a long way with your participants if you take the time out of your day to show that you appreciate their feedback and opinions.
In addition, this also lets them know what type of information they can provide is valued by companies like yours which makes future participation more likely as well.
7) It’s a good idea to keep your questions as short and straight forward as possible.
This will help people answer them quickly so that they can get on with other things in their day, such as work or school. In addition, the more complicated you make the survey look by writing really long questions it puts off some participants from completing it all together which isn’t ideal either.
If you need further explanation about any question then write an annotation next to that question for clarity but don’t use too many words when asking a question itself since this is very time consuming for both parties involved.
8) Keep in mind that your survey should be short and to the point.
The shorter it is, the more likely people are to take a look at it which means you can get much higher participation rates as well. In addition, when conducting consumer research via phone make sure not to keep participants on for too long since they have other things going on in their lives such as work or school where they need to focus.
Typically though a 30 minute conversation is sufficient enough time if you’re doing a one-on-one interview over the phone with someone who’s willing to share their opinions about your company/brand.
Things to avoid when collecting and interpreting consumer research data:
There are many things that can go wrong during the process of collecting and interpreting data.
- Make sure to avoid asking questions that don’t apply or words/phrases that your participants won’t understand since this will lead to inaccurate results.
- It’s also important not to ask leading questions which try to influence the participant into answering in a certain way.
- Avoid asking questions that require long answers. If you’re conducting consumer research on the phone then make it short and to the point since people are busy with their daily lives.
- Some other things to avoid not including a demographic section in your survey, putting off participants by having very complicated surveys or making them feel like they don’t need to answer all of your questions which is never good either.
If you follow these general tips, then conducting research shouldn’t be too difficult for you or anyone else looking to get started. Remember that the more comfortable people are with being surveyed then the more likely they’ll respond favorably which is why its important to always treat them how you would want somebody treating you in this type of situation.