5. Structure Your Questionnaire Correctly
For the love of all that’s holy, don’t ask broad, open-ended questions of your testers. If you want specific information, you must ask specific questions.
Questions like, “How was your experience?” will yield lots of useless replies like, “Super awesome!” and “My favorite part was the free pizza!” These aren’t relevant to your testing.
Instead, ask specific questions. for example, “Did you notice that we’re certified by the Better Business Bureau?” This will easily target the information you’re looking for. If you have close-looped questions, offer very few answer choices. This ensures you’ll have responses that are quick to categorize and review.
And of course, your questions should be brief and simple to understand. If people have difficulty understanding what you’re asking, they’re likely to give incorrect answers. Bad data is worse than no data at all.
6. Push People Past Fear
Society has ingrained in people a fear of offending others. This means some testers will hold back, rather than give you the real dirt because they don’t want to hurt your feelings.
Avoid this by making it clear that constructive criticism is welcomed. Let your focus group know that you can’t improve if you don’t know what’s wrong.
While focus groups can seem uncertain and difficult to conduct, they don’t have to be. Selecting the right people, asking the right questions, and demonstrating openness to their feedback will improve testing results in the long run. Participants will be glad they can help and grateful that you won’t put them to sleep.
Photo Credit: Madewell
Nicolas Gremion is the CEO of Free-eBooks.net, a source for free e-book downloads, e-book resources, and e-book authors. Nicolas also owns Foboko, a social publishing network that gives away free eBook downloads while empowering users to publish and profit as eBook authors themselves.