Surveys are the workhorse of market research. Recent surveys indicate that a staggering 89% of marketers leverage online surveys to gain valuable consumer and market insights. Common applications include:
- Understanding your target audience through customer profiling
- Tracking brand awareness
- Conducting product market research
- Forecasting trends through share of wallet surveys
But designing, fielding and analyzing surveys can be time-consuming. In 2022, the arrival of ChatGPT ignited a revolution in AI capabilities that stands to disrupt the world of survey research much like it has many other industries.
So how exactly is this powerful, large language model AI poised to transform surveys? This comprehensive guide explores 12 innovative applications of ChatGPT across the survey process – from creation to analysis and reporting. Read on to unlock the power of AI for your next survey project.
Streamline Survey Design with ChatGPT
Well-designed surveys are critical for extracting meaningful insights. Unfortunately, drafting effective questions that avoid bias and elicit insightful responses can be difficult. AI-powered tools like ChatGPT can make survey design far more efficient.
1. Rapid Hypothesis Generation
In-depth surveys typically start by identifying hypotheses to be tested or validated. Formulating hypotheses has relied heavily on human brainstorming.
ChatGPT flips that paradigm upside down. Within seconds, it can analyze background information and rapidly generate dozens of interesting, testable hypotheses on the topics researchers specify.
For instance, a McKinsey survey revealed that when given a business situation, ChatGPT developed 5-10x more hypotheses compared to the human consultants. Researchers can then refine and select the most promising hypotheses for further investigation through surveys.
Let‘s see this in action. A cosmetics brand wants to understand whether offering virtual try-on experiences can increase purchase intent. They provide ChatGPT background on their customers and business model.
In seconds, ChatGPT comes back with this hypothesis:
Younger female customers who use virtual try-on technology before purchasing cosmetics will have higher purchase intent compared to those who don‘t use try-on technology.
The brand can now design survey questions to gather data to confirm or reject this hypothesis, saving significant time in the hypothesis creation process.
2. Engaging Question Creation
Designing survey questions that are unbiased, clear, and likely to elicit thoughtful responses is an art and science.
Leveraging its vast training data, ChatGPT can rapidly generate suggested survey questions on a given topic for researchers to work from.
To see this in action, I provided ChatGPT the topic of "media consumption trends" and the goal of understanding consumer preferences. It came back with these creative questions in seconds:
- Which streaming services do you currently subscribe to? Select all that apply.
On a typical weekday, how many hours do you spend watching online videos?
- Less than 1 hour
- 1-3 hours
- 3-5 hours
- More than 5 hours
What factors most influence your decision to subscribe to a new streaming service? Select top 3.
- Content library
- Recommendations from friends
- Platforms used by family members
- Advertising or social media hype
How likely are you to cancel a streaming service subscription within 3 months of signing up?
- Very unlikely
- Somewhat unlikely
- Somewhat likely
- Very likely
While the examples may need refinement, ChatGPT accelerates the question ideation process so researchers can focus on finalizing survey design.
3. Adaptive, Personalized Questionnaires
Standard surveys ask every respondent the same static questions. But as McKinsey notes, "personalized questionnaires deliver markedly higher-quality data."
ChatGPT holds potential to take personalization to the next level by generating adaptive, personalized question flows for each respondent.
By incorporating data like demographics, past responses, and stated preferences, ChatGPT can tailor questions to be as relevant as possible to each individual.
For instance, if ChatGPT knows respondent X is a mother of 3 kids under 10, it could ask:
"As a busy mom of young kids, what types of family entertainment content do you find most appealing?"
For respondent Y who is a single young professional, the question may be:
"As a young professional without kids, what types of entertainment content and experiences appeal most to you?"
This level of personalization improves engagement and quality of responses. Of course, humans are still essential for designing the overarching survey topics and flows.
4. Gamify the Survey Experience
Standard surveys often feel lifeless for respondents. Studies show adding gaming elements and interactivity significantly improves engagement. Up to 70% prefer surveys with game-like features.
While developing an elaborate survey game requires technical skills, ChatGPT can take a traditional survey and add light gamification elements such as:
- Assigning points for completing sections or answering quickly
- Turning questions into short quizzes or challenges
- Adding progress bars, feedback, and fun visuals
These enhance the experience without intensive development. For instance, consider this short interactive quiz question generated by ChatGPT:
Little touches like this boost completion rates and satisfaction.
5. Review Survey Drafts
Few surveys are perfect out of the gate. Traditionally experts would need to manually review draft surveys to identify problematic questions.
Feeding a draft survey to ChatGPT allows it to rapidly evaluate questions for issues like:
- Ambiguous or confusing wording
- Double-barreled questions
- Leading questions
- Lack of balanced answer options such as neutral or N/A
It can then suggest improvements to minimize bias and ensure clarity.
Of course, AI currently lacks the creative problem-solving, emotional intelligence and cultural awareness that humans bring to survey design. But used judiciously, it can optimize and refine drafts.
Extract Powerful Insights from Survey Data
Getting responses is just the first step. The real value lies in analyzing the data to draw impactful insights. This is another area where AI assistance can take things to the next level.
6. Surface Key Themes and Relationships
Extracting meaning from hundreds or thousands of survey responses is demanding even for experts. AI excels at rapidly identifying themes and relationships in complex datasets.
We asked ChatGPT to analyze a hypothetical customer satisfaction survey and highlight the key takeaways. It rapidly processed the data and produced an incisive summary of strengths and improvement areas.
For example, it found customers have high satisfaction with product quality and customer service but identified opportunities related to shipping speed, app functionality and loyalty programs. This analysis would take hours for a human but ChatGPT can provide a strong starting point in seconds.
7. Generate Interactive Visualizations
Stakeholders often prefer digestible data visualizations over walls of text. ChatGPT can analyze survey findings and automatically produce interactive charts, graphs and dashboards.
For example, when asked to visualize the customer satisfaction data, ChatGPT generated this interactive bar chart summarizing satisfaction drivers:
This self-service ability frees up analysts to focus on higher value interpretation tasks.
8. Segment Audiences for Targeting
Today‘s consumers demand hyper-personalization. Powerful segmentation is key to delivering tailored experiences.
By combining survey data on behaviors, attitudes, and demographics, ChatGPT can group audiences into distinct segments with shared characteristics.
For example, we asked it to analyze sample customer data and create personas. It produced detailed profiles categorizing customers into 4 segments:
- Celebrities – Focused on status and luxury experiences
- Family Travelers – Seek kid-friendly destinations and activities
- Budget Backpackers – Motivated by affordability and adventure
- Cultural Immersion – Interested in authentic local culture and food
These rich personas can inform content and marketing personalization.
9. Prioritize Action Items
Deriving concrete recommendations from survey insights is difficult without proper context. ChatGPT can analyze findings and propose logical next steps and timelines.
For example, if a survey pointed to shipping delays, ChatGPT may recommend:
- Short term (1-3 months) – Optimize warehouse routing algorithms to increase delivery efficiency.
- Medium term (6-12 months) – Open regional distribution centers to bring inventory closer to key markets.
This helps organizations focus on the most critical actions first.
10. Suggest Additional Research
Even robust surveys may fail to answer all questions. However, ChatGPT can point to gaps in understanding that merit further investigation.
For example, exit surveys may show increasing churn among millennial customers. ChatGPT can recommend conducting additional generational research to understand changing needs and values.
This helps ensure insights lead to an ongoing learning journey rather than a one-off project.
11. Generate Engaging Reports
Bringing survey insights to life in presentations can be tedious. But it‘s critical for driving buy-in and action.
Rather than starting from scratch, researchers can have ChatGPT review the survey findings and automatically produce presentation decks highlighting key points. These provide a strong starting outline that can then be refined.
For stakeholders who prefer summaries, ChatGPT can also synthesize key findings and recommendations from a survey into executive reports. This distills insights into consumable takeaways.
The bot produced this sample executive brief for the customer satisfaction survey:
12. Answer Stakeholder Questions
The insights discovery process doesn‘t end when results are presented. Stakeholders often have followup questions that demand revisiting the analysis.
Researchers can reuse ChatGPT throughout the process to quickly answer ad-hoc questions about the survey findings by providing the bot with the context and data.
For example, executives may ask questions like:
- What % of customers under 30 said our mobile app needs improvement?
- How does satisfaction with delivery times differ between urban and rural consumers?
Rather than rerunning analyses, researchers can get answers immediately from ChatGPT.
The possibilities are vast when it comes to integrating AI across the survey process. While ChatGPT won‘t replace human intelligence and creativity, it can augment researchers and help them work smarter and faster.
The key is combining ChatGPT‘s analytical abilities with human oversight and judgment. Leveraged properly, it has potential to revolutionize survey-based insights in 2023 and beyond.
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