Surveys are one of the most common ways to do mass market research. While they do a great job of asking the exact questions an organization wants to get answered, they are as good as the seriousness and credibility of the people answering the questions. Most surveys are one-time communications with rare follow-ups. People don’t know how their input is getting used and whether filling it out is worth their time. I believe the biggest concern with surveys is that they are open-ended.
How can we make surveys more interesting and effective? By providing a means to provide closure to what you are trying to find through these surveys. Researchers trying to find out information should link the surveys to an online community controlled by them. This community will have a workflow mechanism to help them show the progress of issues being asked in the questionnaire. Looking at the progress on specific questions they answered in the survey will make people more interested in filling them with sincerity because now they know that their input is really making a difference.
Linking surveys to a controlled community will fix another major issue faced by the researchers. It’s often seen that surveys are not able to attract the most insightful customers. Mavens tend to avoid filling surveys because of the nature of these surveys being pre-planned and not up for open discussions and collaboration. Researchers can put out the most interest generating topics in the survey out on their community to generate effective communications and collaborate with the customers. This will provide mavens a way to have two-way communication with the organization and researchers can effectively use these discussions to make better decisions. By implementing these decisions and communicating them to the network they will be able to excite the customers and close the loop!