Is an online survey the right solution?


“I want to do an online survey of my customers.”


That’s a statement I’ve heard many times from people.  However, it might not be the best thing to do.  Or it might not be sufficiently well defined.


People are always surprised when I don’t immediately say – “Ok – let’s do it”.  Maybe they’re wondering : “Why is this guy talking himself out of a possible sale?”


The reason is simple.  I’ll only do an online survey for people if it is what’s best for them.  And, to determine what is best, we need to step back a little and ask : What is the ultimate goal here?


Imagine, for example, if your customers don’t use email or don’t have good internet access.  Or imagine if they employ gatekeepers to filter their emails.  Or imagine if they are sufficiently important to you to warrant a different research tool, e.g., face-to-face conversations as opposed to an online survey.


So an online survey might be entirely appropriate.  Or it might be only a partial solution.  Or it might be the entirely wrong research tool to use.


Looking at the overall context will light the way!  And that requires clearly identifying what the ultimate goal is.  All else follows from that.


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