How To Use Your Ordinal Survey Responses To Improve Your Ads, Part I

Ok, so if you’ve used an ordinal value survey as I recommended, here’s a set of ideas on how to use and interpret the data…

Keep in mind that ordinal rankings measure the priorities and their urgency in the minds of your subjects, not necessarily whether they value something at all or not.

It is important for businesses to focus on the most urgent and pressing priorities of their customers, so ordinal surveys bring useful information. It’s more useful the faster their analysis is applied.

So lets say you get 100 responses of an ordinal customer survey that looks like this:

Please prioritize, from first to last, the following list where you think [company name] should improve on (write letter only):

a) Waiting line                                               1______

b) Employee Service                                    2______

c) Quality of Products                                 3______

d) Office Environment                               4______

e) Competitive Pricing                              5______

f) Customer Service Line                          6______

You get back the following spread of responses (numbers show how many times each rank was marked for that aspect) :

—————————————————1st      2nd     3rd      4th      5th      6th

a) Waiting line                      28       22       17        13        14         6

b) Employee Service           22      17       13        14         6          28

c) Quality of Products         17       13       14         6         28        22

d) Office Environment         13       14        6          28       22       17

e) Competitive Pricing         14        6         28       22       17       13

f) Customer Service Line     6         28        22       17       13        14

The “Winner Take All” Analysis

One way to interpret the data is to take a sort of “winner take all” approach. You just look at each total at the 1st place ranking only.

In this case, “Waiting Line” takes the cake at 28, with “Employee Service” coming in second at 22, and “Quality Products” coming in at 17. Since this is out of 100,  28% of your responders think improving employee service should be your highest priority.

By the way, I highly recommend changing the numbers into percentages. It’ll be easier to understand what the numbers mean. That means if you got back 461 surveys and 1st place for “employee services” had 78 marks, that’s  16.9% for thatrank (78/461*100%)

Anyway, by just looking at 1st place rankings, the majority of your responders say you should focus on improving waiting lines. So it would be smart to focus more of your resources on improving waiting lines, and then employee services because that came in second.

In the coming weeks or months, after you improve your waiting lines and employee services, you can start marketing these improvements in some of your ads. You could say in a headline or a description  “Never wait in line for more than 3 minutes, someone is always ready to serve you” and “Now when I come in here after a hard day, the service here is a breath of fresh air “. Taylor your headlines and descriptions to honest improvements.

If your sample size was big enough (In statistics, they teach that a sample size of more than 30 is usually enough to represent the general population, so try to get more than 30 survey responses. 100 or more is much better), your customers and potential customers should respond to this.

Next time I’ll talk about another way to analyze this survey, if that’s considered the highest priority 🙂