4 Situations Where Conducting a Survey is Inappropriate

When should you avoid conducting a survey?

  1. Insufficient Money or Resources
  2. When You’ve Already Made a Decision
  3. Lack of Experience
  4. Lack of A Clear Purpose


Conducting surveys, whether for the purpose of customer feedback or otherwise, is always a sound thing to do. This is especially when you want to improve a service or product you are offering. In fact, it is sometimes considered an essential part of research and development for most companies. This is why even in the online setting, companies are not wasting the chance to survey their clients and potential customers on the web using a WordPress survey tool.

Despite all the benefits that come with surveying and other research endeavors, there are moments and situations where conducting one is not appropriate. The reasons for this are not always clear, and when a researcher or surveyor conducts a survey without being properly equipped, unsatisfactory results are usually the outcome. To help you understand, here are 4 situations where conducting a survey is inappropriate.


Insufficient Money or Resources

Insufficient Money or Resources

One of the first things you should be evaluating whenever doing a survey, or any endeavor in general, is your resources. It’s not a surprise to say that money is an enabling factor when you want to do something. In the world of surveys, resources and money are crucial. This is because you need to not only compensate people for their efforts but also think of incentives for the survey takers. At the end of the day, what you’re supposed to be after is quality data that you can use for improvement.

In order to get quality data, you need a quality survey. To get a quality survey, you need quality people to create it. Unless you’re going to be doing it on your own or for academic purposes, you are most likely going to pay for the service of survey creation. In terms of incentivizing your survey for the purpose of motivating your respondents, you also need money to buy or pay for the incentive. In both cases, resources are needed to execute it properly and without much of it, your survey endeavors might prove futile. Try gathering a suitable amount of resources before pushing through with a survey.


When You’ve Already Made a Decision

Usually, a survey is conducted with a specific purpose in mind. The most common one is for improving a product or service that is being offered, and that often comes in the form of a feedback survey. The implication here is that you are waiting for information from clients and customers before undertaking the said improvements.

That being said, problems can arise when you already have something planned before you conduct the survey. For example, let’s say you are a businessman that operates a barbershop. Let’s also say that you want to improve the customer’s experience through a survey done in the barbershop itself. You collect the results and it turns out, your place needs better airconditioning. The problem is, just the week before you ordered new flat-screen TVs to improve customer entertainment while waiting or getting a haircut. See the problem? There was not much point in doing the survey because you already made a decision!

Although the example is a bit specific, those kinds of situations happen more often than you’d think. Conducting a survey can and will be futile if you’ve already made decisions regarding whatever it is you’re going to be surveying about in the first place.


Lack of A Clear Purpose

Lack of A Clear Purpose

The only thing worse than surveying for the wrong purposes is the lack of a clear one. This shouldn’t be that hard to understand because doing pretty much anything without a clear purpose almost always ends up with inadequate, substandard results. If you haven’t articulated why you want to conduct a survey, then you shouldn’t be doing it just yet.

The secret to developing a clear purpose is good communication between you and your team as well as unbiased analysis. Don’t forget, a lack of a clear purpose usually manifests itself in the survey. Your respondents will feel it and will be reluctant to answer it or may choose to give non-serious answers.


Lack of Experience

Just like in the previous situations, a lack of experience is always something that is detrimental to the success of any endeavor, especially in survey making. This is also another thing that will manifest on the output itself. It could be in the formulation of the questions or in the format itself. One way or another, the lack of experience will show and it will lead to substandard data.

Try asking for help from an experienced surveyor. For the online setting, you can ask tips from people experienced in using different WordPress survey tools in order to have a good grasp of online surveys. On the bright side, you can still look forward to all the new things you can learn regarding surveys.


Key Takeaway

As you’ve read, there are a number of pitfalls regarding surveys that one might fall into. Whether it’s a lack of a clear purpose or not having enough resources, a proper evaluation is necessary in order to create and administer the best survey possible.

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