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Devising Questionnaire for Market Research and Customer Segmentation

Devising Questionnaire for Market Research and Customer Segmentation

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Devising Questionnaire for Market Research and Customer Segmentation by Sean Kelly - COMHRA
Devising Questionnaire for Market Research and Customer Segmentation by Sean Kelly - COMHRA

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Published by: evrenzz on Dec 22, 2008
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11/28/2012

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Devisingquestionnairesfor marketresearch andcustomer segmentation
A Comhra White Paper
 
Comhra White Paper Devising questionnaires for market research and customer segmentation
2
1Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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2Closed and open-ended questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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3Format of questions and responses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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4Common questionnaire design errors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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5Sampling error and bias . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6Providing an incentive to respond . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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8Appendix A: Hierarchy of question types . . . . . . . . . . . .
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A Comhra White Paper
Devisingquestionnairesfor marketresearch andcustomer segmentation
Seán Kelly
© Comhra Limited, 2003.Patents applied for.All rights reserved. No part of this document may bereproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form of by any means whatsoever without the prior written permission of Comhra Limited.The information contained in this document is subject tochange without notice. Although this information is believed to be accurate at the time of publication,Comhra assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of this information or for this information being correct.Comhra makes no warranties, express or implied,relating to this document, or to any products or softwaredescribed in this document.Comhra software referred to in this white paper may beused only under the terms of the Comhra softwarelicense agreement.
Comhra Limited
PO Box 7, Skibbereen, Co Cork, Ireland Tel+353 28 38483Fax+353 28 38485info@comhra.comwww.comhra.comVersion 1.0
 
Comhra White Paper Devising questionnaires for market research and customer segmentation
3
Devising questionnairesfor market research andcustomer segmentation
1Introduction
Devising a questionnaire or even a single question requiresa degree of skill and experience on the part of the designer.In order to make the question user-friendly, non-threatening,clear, and free of bias the approach to questionnaire designneeds to be carefully considered. This paper is intended to provide Comhra clients with guidelines to follow whencreating or customising questions for the purposes of conducting market research or customer segmentation.There are a variety of pitfalls that may be encountered when designing questionnaires and the followingchecklist offers the designer an insight into the morecommon considerations:Does the question serve a business purpose?Do the responses provide the necessary informationrequired for decision-making?Is the question clear, precise, and free of bias?Is the question/response format themost appropriate?Is the question posed in a relevant context?Can the question or response be subjected todifferent interpretations?Does the questionnaire take account of the respondent?How is the consumer incentivized to answethe question?In general, the managers who will be using the data for decision-making within the business should always beactively involved in the design process and should approvethe questionnaire. Because it is common for large numbersof people presented with a questionnaire to refuse to com- plete it, extreme care should be taken to make the questionsrelevant and non-threatening to the respondent. In addition,the respondents should perceive a benefit to themselves in participating in the dialog.A common mistake made by researchers is to presentdisjointed questionnaires to potential respondents. This mayoccur because more than one constituency in the business issponsoring the research, often with the result that unrelated and confusing topics are introduced. Keeping a questionnaireshort is also a key goal of the researcher as it is moredifficult to find individuals that are prepared to engage inlengthy dialogs.At all times the language and orientation of the question-naire should be tailored to the respondents. At no time should the marketing jargon or terminology employed byresearchers in analyzing the results find its way into thequestions. The style and language employed in engaging atechnical audience, a youth audience, a community audience,an ethnic audience, or a dissatisfied user audience will all bedifferent and will reflect the prior experience, knowledge,and attitudes of the target group. In this regard the testing of questionnaires plays an important role in establishingwhether the tone and the intellectual level of the dialog isacceptable to candidate respondents.In addition to making the questionnaire easier for therespondent to complete, the researcher may wish to improvethe quality of the survey by introducing validation questions.For example, where a key goal of a questionnaire is toestablish whether a customer is satisfied then a number of separate questions might probe this aspect obliquely instead of, or in addition to, posing the question baldly. Suchquestions serve the purpose of measuring the degree of consistency of a response and allow the researcher to applyconfidence weightings to the individual responses.
2Closed and open-ended questions
Closed questions are those that present a set of possibleanswers from which the respondent selects one correct value.Where possible, when posing closed questions to consumers,it is more efficient to include all of the possible answers and invite respondents to select one of these available options.Since this approach presents a limited number of valid responses, the data collected is easy to tabulate and present.However, since the range of valid responses is necessarilylimited there is a danger that the available range of responseswill not cover all possibilities.Open-ended questions are those that allow respondents toanswer in their own words. Since the vast majority of responses to open-ended questions will be different, the datais difficult to tabulate and analyze.In summary, it may be said that open-ended questions area useful means of establishing what people think, whileclosed questions are primarily concerned with discoveringhow many people think in a certain way. Some examples of closed questions and open-ended questions are givenin Figure 1 (page 4).

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