what questions to ask testers?

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radar-78

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I am up to about 12 batches now and overrun with soap! I am packaging up some samples to give out to willing testers. I have printed a short note about the characteristics/benefits of handmade soap to include and am also devising a short survey so I can get the honest feedback I need to improve.What questions do you all ask when looking for honest, constructive criticism?I have plenty of possible questions but not sure if I've missed anything important to ask.Not concerned with packaging/labelling style at the moment just the look, scent and performance of the soap.I dont want to bombard them so how many questions would be appropriate without making it too time consuming for them?Multiple choice/tick box answers would be easiest-yes?
 

Fragola

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I have printed a short note about the characteristics/benefits of handmade soap.
I am not sure what your purpose is here, but this will reduce the relevancy of the answers received.

Yes - what is your goal, what do you expect from all this ? How/where do you plan to apply the information you gathered ?

Multiple choice/tick box answers would be easiest-yes?
Ideally that is a second stage after you refined a list of possible answers. Also, multiple choice can be more confusing than single choice.
 

radar-78

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Just started a reply and then realised what you meant, any info I'm giving them will influence their perception of the product.What I intended to do was to give some information to a person who has never used or is not familiar with the concept of handmade soap and usually uses commercial syndet bars or shower gel/body wash.I will rethink this.My goal is to find out peoples preferences.How is the size/shape of the bar?How do they like a particular fragrance?Is the fragrance too light/too strong?Do they find the design appealing?How does it leave the skin feeling?Would they consider purchasing the product?What they perceive as a fair retail price.I have loads more questions but a) I don't want to make it long and tedious b)I have issues with the wording of some possible questions.
 

Sunny

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yes, that's what I was going to suggest - don't give them a lot of info. the questions you listed are great. I also like to keep it super basic for people who may not know what to really say. (for example, a lot of my family members don't/haven't used handmade soap ever so all they can compare to is Irish Spring or Dove!)

example:
What did you like about it? What didn't you like about it?

I liked the scent. I liked the scrubby oatmeal.
I didn't like the seeds.
I really like the "feel" of this particular bar, I can't tell what's different but I like it.


Then after they have used the soap for a while and know what things they are looking for, or get a feel for what they like or don't like, that may be the time when you introduce more complex questions.
 

Fragola

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You should also make sure that the people you're asking are part of your target market. If you ask those questions somewhere where you don't plan to sell your soap, they aren't much help.

Another important matter is how your soap compares to whatever they're using.
 

radar-78

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Yes, of course aimed at my target audience. I guess what I felt I should do was to persuade these people that handmade soap is superior to mass produced soap therefore justifying the cost.Why they should consider buying a bar of my soap in the future at £3-£4 as opposed to 4 for £1 at the supermarket.That does kinda defeat the object of gaining impartial opinions though.I think I am getting muddled here.I need to find out peoples opinions/preferences to help refine my product then I can do some marketing which is what I was probably trying to do, market the product before I've decided on a formula,trying to convince them that it was a superior, luxury, artisan product not just any old bar of soap!
 

Fragola

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That's what I wondered about ... If you wish to do masked advertising, go ahead, as long as you know what you're doing :)

You're right about that, it takes a lot of power to change the people's buying habits. I mean, if they're buying the soap at the supermarket, they might not even noticed it if it was for sale somewhere else (not to mention the price issue).
 

eleraine

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I just sent some samples to friends and family and ask them to take note of:

- Appearance (colour, size, hard/soft, shape - fits well in your palm, etc)
- Conditioning & exfoliation (how does your skin feel after usage)
- Lather (Bubbly, creamy)
- Fragrance (for bars with essential oils and scents)

I keep things open-ended because I don't want them to be bombard with the idea of "trying this for someone". I just want them to enjoy the bar and if they have any feedback, good or bad, just let me know.
 

Kraphti

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Sorry to revive an old thread but it had a lot a good information and applied to my question.

I am having friends and family test my soaps and give me feed back but I wanted a more organized way of getting specific information and tracking the responses. I thought to use survey monkey would be a good option. What do you all think of this survey? https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VWLB3FK

I plan to create one for each test batch to find out which are the "winners" hoping to get to some great base recipes that I could then use in business.
 

Obsidian

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I like that survey very much. Its simple and quick but answers most of the questions we have when testing.
 

DeeAnna

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I would not give the soap a descriptive name -- you don't want to risk having people's perceptions of the name alter their responses. Just give it a code name that is as neutral as possible.

Q1: Based on my experience, most people who have tested my soap seem to think "soft" is roughly the same as "moisturized". Also, you don't have "sticky" on the list; someone with very hard water might end up with a sticky skin feel.

Q3: We soap makers use creamy or bubbly to define lather and I think most of us know what we mean by those words, but I'm willing to bet many non-soapmakers don't think about lather using those terms. The way most of my testers seem to think of lather is "it lathers a lot" or "it doesn't lather enough". And it will depend a lot on how the person uses the soap -- rub directly on smooth skin, rub on hairy skin, use a cloth, use a "puff", etc.

I know I've picked on your survey a bit, but I really do think you've done a good job of designing it. Kudos to you!
 

clhigh29

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I just give them to my friends and family. My daughters like using them to give their friends/friends parents as gifts, and I've gotten a lot of surprising feedback just from that. For instance, almost everyone I asked said they didn't like lavender, but I gave it to them anyway. It turned out to be the most loved. And I don't give them out until I've used them first, so I'm not handing out anything that doesn't perform well. The comments I get back are on design, scent and exfoliating level (which is one of the things loved about my lavender soap). As you can see, I'm not quite as organized as you, but I'm getting what I need.
 

soap_rat

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That survey seems really nicely made. In fact, when we do a soap swap, we should make surveys like that for our reviews!
 
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I think the questions are good too. But the answer choices to 3 and 4 are a little mismatched. For example, the choices to 3 should be more like "great, good, and just okay", and 4 could simply list "yes, no and no opinion." I also think question 3 could be simplified by at least dropping the "long lasting" part, since I doubt most non-soapers care much about that. But heck no harm done so if you really want to know that level of detail, then indeed ask it!
 

Kraphti

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DeeAnna....feel free to pick it apart. Those are some great suggestions. It's funny because I live in a hard hard and I do mean hard water city and we've been struggling to come up with a term to describe how most handmade soaps feel while you are using them....and sticky is perfect. While your skin is wet, your hand "stick" if you rub that skin, but the skin is usually soft after it drys. I told my friends "sticky" and they are like YEEESSSSS...that's the word.

And I think I know a lot of people that use handmade soaps, because alot of them describe their favorites in terms of creamy or bubbly...but I will look at using some other terms.

clhigh29, I was getting so many random responses, that I couldn't keep up, so I had to get a bit more organized.

CaraBou, I like your suggestions for 3 and 4. I actually have a free weekend, no work, not events...so I'll have time to rethink some of this.

What I have found out from my survey so far is that men LOVE Oatmeal Honey Soap...who would have guessed.

Thanks all!
 

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