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 🙂