Conductingsurveys have become an essential aspect to businesses emanating fromthe benefits that they offer to businesses for instance, because ofsurveys, businesses are capable of obtaining the necessary feedbackfrom customers concerning their future strategies in services andproducts that businesses offer. This implies that surveys can aidbusinesses in planning their future. Despite their importance tobusinesses, surveys usually have ethical issues. Information fromsurveys is crucial in helping an organization serve its customers ina better and enhanced manner. However, sometimes organizations cannotrely on these survey researches because they do not usually providethe right information. In such a situation, customers and theorganization conducting research are likely to be affected in anegative manner. Survey research is usually associated withinaccurate information. This is because of the different errors thatare associated with surveys. These errors include selection error,sampling error, population specification error, non-responsive error,and measurement error. In order for an organization to rely fully oninformation obtained from surveys, there is a need of findingsolutions to these errors this will make the information fromsurveys accurate.
Inthis epoch of business transformations, consideration of customersatisfaction is a critical issue that every business has to look intoin order to succeed in its operations. Without customer satisfaction,it becomes exceedingly cumbersome to retain customers that a businessalready has. Most businesses prefer keeping their existing customersbecause the cost of attracting new customers turns out to bemoderately high. Therefore, in an attempt to keep customers,businesses are considering to engage in customer satisfaction surveysthat aid in establishing whether customers are satisfied by theservices of a given business or not. Besides, these surveys helpbusinesses in determining what strategies to develop in order toenhance customer satisfaction. Some businesses do not considersurveys since they believe that surveys are associated with ethicalissues and errors that can lead to inaccuracy of information gatheredfrom surveys. However, the ethical issues and survey errors havesolutions, which free surveys from inaccurate information.
Althoughsurvey research is usually considered critical to businesses, somebusinesses are still in the dilemma of whether to engage in surveyresearch or not. This emanates from the ethical concerns associatedwith surveys and survey errors. Businesses argue that, due to theethical concerns associated with surveys, respondents may not feelfree in participating in surveys, which can make surveys notsuccessful. On the other hand, because of survey errors, differentbusinesses feel that the information collected from surveys may notreveal the real situation being investigated. It is because of thesetwo issues that businesses are usually in a dilemma of whether toconduct surveys or not.
Purposeof the Study
Thepurpose of carrying out this study is to establish whether businessesshould be engaged in conducting surveys. In tackling this issue, itwill be critical to look at the importance of a business conductingsurveys, ethical issues associated with surveys and how they canbecome eliminated. In addition, it will be critical to analyze theerrors associated with survey and how they can be solved.
Significanceof the Problem/ Concern
Accordingto Fowler(2013), most successful business managers and owners find it easy tokeep customers’ costs less by maintaining the ones that they haverather than attracting new ones. In case some practices keepcustomers away, a business can repeatedly spend time and resources inan attempt to recruit customers. Since business managers and ownersknow that weaknesses in the delivery or production of commoditiesmake customers to be distressed, they make use of surveys incollecting feedbacks from customers that help in enhancing customersatisfaction. Studies have shown that satisfied customers usuallypurchase products more often and usually develop loyalty for acertain brand. These customers spread the word through recommendingservices and products to family and friends. Therefore, surveys areusually exceedingly vital to businesses the following paragraphswill discuss the benefits of surveys to businesses.
Importanceof Conducting Surveys
Helpsin Determining Tastes and Needs
Obtainingcustomer surveys are paramount in determining customers’ tastes andneeds especially when a business is introducing a new service orproduct. According to Grigoroudis& Siskos(2010), Businesses can conduct in-person research, focus groups orphone surveys in determining product features, styles or flavors thatcustomers want. Surveys usually help businesses in establishing whatis valuable to customers. Without conducting customer surveys, it canbe exceedingly difficult to meet customer needs because a businesscannot meet the customer needs through guess work. Customers usuallyhave diverse needs, which imply that a company must conduct a surveyin order to get a clear view of what customers desire.
Ina survey environment, it is possible to learn about the keymotivating factors to survey respondents and what emerges asimportant to the respondents. A business may have the need ofuncovering potential questions that it has concerning a certain issuerelated to its operations. In uncovering such a problem, a businessmay carry out a survey that tends to focus on the issue that thecompany desires to know. Through such surveys, a business is capableof understanding the source of the problem and taking the necessarysteps towards managing the problem. For instance, a business mayconduct a survey when it realizes that customers keep on avoiding itsbusiness. In such a scenario, customers can provide different answersand opinions concerning the business, which the business can utilizein solving the problem that is identified by customers. Thus, surveysare critical when a business wants to uncover solutions to a givenproblem.
MakeCustomers Feel Special
Accordingto Gordon(2008), surveys are crucial since they help customers feel special tothe business. Once a business carries out a survey, it does so inorder to enhance its services or products to its customers. Whencustomers are invited to provide their opinions concerning a certainissue in a business, they feel special since the business tends toengage them in its operations. Surveys make customers feel specialbecause they know that the opinions that they provide to themanagement can be utilized in serving them better.
MeasureQuality of Services or Products
Abusiness may want to know the quality of services or products that itoffers to its customers. In such a case, the business may conduct asurvey that can help in understanding the quality of its services orproducts. In most cases, businesses lack systems that can aid intracking the failure rates in a product. However, through surveys, abusiness can be in a position to determine the quality of itsservices or products since customers provide feedbacks that tend torate the service or products offered by a business.
Conductingsurveys help in building strong relationships amid the business andcustomers. It does not matter how long a business may contact itscustomers, but once it keeps in touch with customers it strengthensthe tie between the business and customers. When a business keeps intouch through surveys, it shows its concern to the customers. Thismakes customers feel appreciated and keep their relationship with thebusiness. Because of conducting constant surveys, customers arelikely to identify with the business that engages them in itsoperations. Therefore, constant surveys help in building strongrelationship between the business and customers.
Helpsin Finding Missing Services or Products
Abusiness may be interested in finding out what services it can offerto its customers apart from the ones it offers. Apart from services,a business may have the desire of increasing the product range thatit offers to customers. Studies have indicated that through involvingcustomers, businesses have been capable of coming up with servicesand products that customers identify with (Rea & Parker, 2005).Through conducting surveys, businesses have been capable of obtainingservices and products that identify with customers’ needs. Thus,surveys aid a business in finding missing services and products thatgo along with the desires of customers.
Obtaininga Feel for Future Business
Sometimes,businesses desire to obtain a feel for the future by obtainingfeedbacks from customers. Take, for instance, a business may conducta survey from its customers in order to find out the satisfaction ofcustomers, which is critical for future success of the business.Therefore, it is through surveys that a business can get a feel forits future operations.
Oneof the ethical issues in conducting surveys entails confidentiality.When conducting surveys, respondents usually give out informationvoluntarily. The information that is given out should be confidential(Kimmel,2007). The only individuals that should have access to the responsesis the management however, in surveys, the respondent is notguaranteed confidentiality because there are many individuals thatmay have access to the responses given out by the respondents.Addressing the Issue
Inorder to address the issue of confidentiality, a business conductinga survey should ensure that it limits the number of individuals thatwill have access to the information collected through surveys. Forinstance, a company can decide that only two individuals will haveaccess to the information collected. This will have an impact ofincreasing confidentiality of the information provided in a survey.Besides, when conducting survey, a business should inform therespondents how confidentiality of the information given would beensured. On the other hand, a business conducting survey should havea form that is fully signed indicating its responsibility formaintaining confidentiality of the information provided (Zikmund& Babin, 2007).
Anotherethical issue surrounding survey research entails providing aninformed consent. When a business conducts a survey using a surveymonkey, it is not feasible to offer an oral explanation concerningthe study or take an oral consent. Any survey that is conductedshould be capable of, first of all informing the respondent oncertain issues such as why the study is being conducted and how theinformation will be used. Failure of notifying the respondent on howthe data will be used may lead to respondent not giving outinformation as required. Addressing the Problem
Inorder to take care of such a problem, every company conducting asurvey should provide the respondents with a consent form. Thisconsent form should provide information such as the identity of thecompany conducting research, contacts, reasons for the survey, andhow the information collected in the survey will be used. Throughsuch information, a respondent will be in a position to determinewhether to participate in the survey or not.
Thereare different errors that can affect the accuracy of informationcollected by ITG in a survey these errors include selection errors,sampling errors, population specification errors, non-responsiveerrors, and measurement errors (Groves,2004). Measurement error describes the extent to which a statisticwill differ from the true value because of the imperfections in themanner the statistic is collected. A non-responsive error can occur,when an obtained sample tends to differ from an original selectedsample. Sampling error describes an error that occurs the moment asampling technique is used in selecting a sample, but the sampleselected is not a representative of the population beinginvestigated. Population specification error is a kind of an errorthat occurs, when a researcher chooses an inappropriate population orarea in which to collect information. On the other hand, Selectionerror entails a sampling error for a sample, which is chosen througha non-probability method.
Theseerrors can be eliminated through various interventions. Measurementerrors may be caused by poor questioning of the survey questions.This error can be eliminated through ensuring that questions are welldesigned to the target population such that the questions are easy tocomprehend and answer (Biemer &Wiley InterScience,2004). At times, the questionnaires’ wording and content may bemisleading to respondents. This may make it difficult for respondentsto provide responses accurately. This can be eliminated by ensuringthat the questions designed for research should not be misleading orambiguous the research questions must be relevant to the aims of thesurvey. Non-responsive errors can be mitigated or eliminated throughdifferent interventions. A business should ensure that there is goodsurvey design through asking short and simple questions. Besides, itis good to ensure that survey uses and purposes are well explained torespondents in order to encourage respondents to give out accurateinformation and participate fully in a survey. Follow-ups and callbacks for respondents not available during a survey can aid inincreasing the response rates for the responds that were initiallyunable to provide responses (Marsden &Wright,2010). In addition, it is critical to explain the importance ofproviding responses to respondents as representative sample.Furthermore, it is critical to ensure that confidentiality of theresponses provided by respondents is adequately assured. Moreover,the error can be eliminated through increasing public awareness byholding discussions with interest groups or media as this helps inkeeping the target population informed about an incoming survey andits importance.
Samplingerror can be eliminated by establishing a sample, which is free frombias and that is capable of acting as a representative sample of thetarget population. In case the sampling error is due to chance,probability sampling and randomization process can be utilized inminimizing the error (Sapsford,2006). On the other hand, selection error can be avoided through theexamination of the correlations amid a treatment indicator andexogenous variables (Groves,2004). In regression models, selection error can be eliminatedthrough examining the correlation amid the unobserved determinants ofselection and unobserved determinants of the outcome. In addition,population specific bias can be avoided through the company having amarketing problem, which specifically describes the type ofpopulation it desires to study. It is good for the organization andthe researcher to discuss and concur on the population definition.Besides, ambiguous descriptions must be avoided, when specifying thepopulation under consideration.
Accordingto this theory, a person is likely to weigh every new idea andcompare it with the present point of view in determining where thepoint should be placed. In this study, this theory is critical sinceit helped in analyzing the different opinions provided by differentbusiness owners that were interviewed. During the interview,different ideas concerning the research problem were presented, butit was critical in relating the ideas in an attempt to find asolution.
Conductingsurveys emerges as a critical aspect to every business. Througheliminating survey errors and solving ethical issues associated withsurveys, a business can be in a position to reap the full benefits ofconducting surveys. In fact, most businesses that analyze customersatisfaction usually utilize surveys. It is through these surveysthat businesses are capable of planning their future. Therefore,businesses should not hesitate using surveys since they can reap alot of benefits from them they should not remain in dilemma sincethere are solutions that they can apply in eliminating the issuesassociated with surveys. It is apparent from the above presentationthat all the errors and ethical issues can be solved.
Interviewmethod was used in finding solution to the problem under study. Thismethod is critical in helping in the collection of detailedinformation concerning the selected problem and solution. Anotherreason for choosing the interview method as the best method for thisstudy is because it helps in achieving a high response rate. In anystudy, the chief objective is obtaining information from theparticipants that will help in making conclusions or findingsolutions to the problems under study. This implies that a highresponse rate is critical in a study since it means that most of theinformation presented in a study can act to represent the populationunder consideration. During the study, different businesses wereinvolved in the interviews, where different information becamecollected from business owners and management team.
Conclusion& Recommendations for Future Study
Fromthe study, it is apparent that surveys hold high potentials forbusinesses. A business conducting surveys is likely to have a lot ofbenefits compared to a business that does not conduct surveys. In thearea of reviewing customer satisfaction, surveys are likely to yieldresults that are critical in telling a business, which way toconsider taking in order to enhance customer satisfaction. On theother hand, since the issues associated with surveys can be resolved,it is critical for businesses to consider conducting surveys in orderto reap all the benefits that they can offer. In the future study, Iwould recommend carrying out a study that can help in establishingwhether there are better methods that can be used in reviewingcustomer satisfaction other than the survey method. This will help inunderstanding whether survey remains the only best method or not.
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