QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGNING: KEYSTONE OF MARKET RESEARCH
Many researches and dissertation demands collection of primary data from individuals and no market research is complete without a questionnaire. A questionnaire is a tool, which comes under survey. It consists of a series of questions and other prompts in order to collect opinions and information from respondents. Questionnaire can be in different form: check list, factual to opinion based or in the form of text responses.
Designing a questionnaire plays a key role in getting legitimate responses for the research. It is impossible for a survey to achieve success without a well-designed questionnaire. Designing a questionnaire is not an easy task. For achieving excellence a proper contextual knowledge and integrated statistical information regarding the subject is needed.
There are two objectives of a questionnaire:
- To maximize the no. of responses i.e. response rate.
- To get accurate and specific relevant information for the survey.
In order to maximize response rate, the purpose of the survey, type and layout of questions, how to ask them and what will be the order of questions should be considered carefully
PRELIMINARY DECISION IN DESIGNING A QUESTIONNAIRE:
- Deciding on information to be required from respondents.
- Defining target respondents.
- Deciding question content.
- Developing question wording.
- Ordering the questions.
- Length of questionnaire.
- Pilot survey.
All this decisions creates a road map for the development of a questionnaire.
DECIDING WHAT AND WHOM TO ASK?
Before designing a questionnaire first give a thought as to who will be the target sample and what kind of questions to be asked in order to get relevant information for the survey. For taking a sample ensure that the person must have the necessary knowledge about the topic. The questionnaire should confine to the topic. If possible, it should start with small questions which are easy to answer and the respondents are comfortable with. Contradictory questions should be used in order to detect consistency of the respondents.
Phrasing of questions is very important in a questionnaire. The questions should be small, precise and clear. Only one piece of information should be asked at a time. Explanation of complex and technical words should be provided in order to avoid confusion. Questions should be designed in a way to get minimum biasness from the respondents in order to obtain fair result. For e.g. if you ask “How many times you have broken traffic rules, within the past month.” The desired answer will always be never.
LENGTH OF QUESTIONNAIRE:
Short and simple questionnaire gather more response rate than long and complex ones. In this fast life people don’t have time for anything. In order to make questions small don’t make them complex. Individuals are not interested in responding to complex questions which will take time to understand and answer.
The order of questions should be from general to particular, easy to difficult and factual to abstract. It is useful to use variety in the questionnaire in order to maintain interest. It should be designed in a flow that the respondents think about the question before answering it. During a mall intercept try to ask complex questions first, as people there don’t have time and effort to put in order to answer . A questionnaire should contain two or three text based questions, this will provide more insights of the respondent’s opinion and viewpoint about the concerned subject.
A questionnaire should be carefully designed to yield relevant and specific information. The arrangement and layout must be clear. Questionnaire must be piloted before conducting the survey to check its efficiency. The pilot survey should be representative of the type of respondents in the actual survey.Meticulous attention should be paid to ensure relevance, precision, clarity and non-biasses of the questions.