Ingredients of a Successful Survey

Asking your students for feedback is powerful way to improve your holistic business. Unfortunately, many times the design of a survey is flawed, resulting in responses that have limited value.

Use the following survey recipe to make sure the constructive feedback you receive can be put to good use building a better value and a stronger business.

#1: Understand and limit your objective.

Rather than asking a lot of questions about many different aspects, hone the survey, making it shorter and more succinct. For example, pull out of your database all the new students that have come to your studio over the last 3 months. Send them a targeted survey to determine the “newcomer experience”. Did they feel welcomed? Was the registration process easy? How did they find out about the studio?

#2: Be prepared to use the results.

If you’re not going to use the research, don’t bother doing the survey. It’s a waste of your time and your students.

#3: Include the basics in every survey.

In no more than three sentences, tell your students why you are asking them for feedback, how long the survey will take, and the confidentiality of the results. And of course, say thank you.

#4: Avoid unnecessary questions.

Rate each question you come up with as “essential” to the objective, “nice to know”, or “who cares?” Keep only the essential. Less is more.

#5: Measure one dimension for each question.

“How would you rate Monday classes with Jennifer?” You can’t tell whether they are responding to the fact the class is on Monday or the qualities of the teacher.

#6: Accommodate all answers.

Rather than just a yes/no response, include “undecided” or “I don’t know” for the question “Would you attend a workshop?”

#7: Use open-ended questions judiciously.

An example of an open-ended question is, “What suggestions would you recommend for improving our studio?” This type of question takes more time, thinking and effort for people to answer, and more difficult for you to integrate.

#8: Make the survey easy to complete, collect and analyze.

One way to make the process easy for all involved is to simply send an email with the hyperlink to an online survey such as www.surveymonkey.com.

#9: Communicate the results.

For example, “We are adding another class on Tuesday because of the survey results.” This reinforces the value you place on students’ opinions and feedback.

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