Write questions for market research surveys

1. Create a spreadsheet with the purpose of your market research at the top.

Your purpose can be learning more about how customers see your brand, what they feel about a specific product, what they expect from a new product or service, or how they think about your competitors.

2. Describe, in one or two sentences, the people who will participate in the research.

Focus on details that allow you to adapt your questions to the audience, such as age, geographical location, education if relevant, whether they’ve bought from you in the past, or have never heard of your product.

3. Identify each segment of prospects or clients that will be part of the research. You’ll develop separate questions for each.

For example, if you’re a SaaS company planning to learn more about how your clients feel about a new feature, you can have questions for end-users and the IT department, since they use your product differently.

4. Break down your research goals into the details you want to learn from the research participants.

For example, if you launch a new product, you want to find out what words and phrases people use to describe the problem that your product solves, not how they feel about your competitors.

5. Draft at least 35-40 questions based on what you want to know from each group of research participants.

Make sure you ask one question at a time. For example, What are your expectations and standards of quality when purchasing Product X? is a double question, and most people will only provide partial answers. Use active and clear language. If need be, engage someone in your team to help you draft questions.

6. Group questions around common topics, and choose the top 20% of your questions for each group.

When selecting questions, consider that, on average, 10 questions take about 5 minutes to answer.

7. Use open-ended questions to gather more details or multiple-choice questions when answers have clear, limited options.

Avoid yes/no questions. Open-ended example: Describe your purchasing process for Product X. Multiple-choice example: How long have you been using Product X? a) six months or less b) 12 months c) over two years. Alternate types of questions to keep respondents engaged.

8. Use the Net Promoter Score question to evaluate customer satisfaction

Example: How likely would you be to recommend Product X to a colleague or a friend? With a scale from 0 to 10 whereby 0 is the lowest and 10 the highest.

9. Prioritize your list and put your most important questions in the first half of the survey.