Effective Surveys Begin with Best Practices

Businesses create surveys for a variety of reasons. Whether you are testing your customer satisfaction or launching a new product, surveys help you make quick and smart decisions.

The first thing you need to think about is how you will develop and design your survey.
Every aspect of your survey, from the number of questions you ask to the order you ask them, will trigger a different result.

To keep your survey on the right track, here’s our top 5 tips and tricks:

1- Match your Audience with Brand and Language

Make sure your survey is appealing to your target audience and tailor the image. You are addressing a specific group of people who have already interacted with your brand, so you have to maintain a consistent visual layout of the questionnaire. Survey design is crucial as it can make or break your survey’s achievement rate. Often, participants won’t even read your questions if your survey looks confusing.
Speak the same language as your audience. A user-friendly, simple wording that leaves no room for miscommunication plays a crucial role. Keeping your target demographic in mind at every stage of your survey development will help you phrase your questions accurately.

Phrase your question with positive language; negative words are more challenging to process cognitively, taking longer to answer and leading to misresponses.

2- Keep Your Questionnaire Short

You are tempted to ask a lot of questions, but people rarely are motivated to answer long questionnaires. Most studies indicate that surveys that take few minutes to complete, tend to get the best response rate.
How long is your survey?
It is essential to understand your audience when creating a survey as it helps you make the right decisions on survey length and content granularity.
Are you looking to test general customer satisfaction or trying to see if a new amenity is successful? Or, do you need to evaluate employees about their experience with your company to enhance employee performance and satisfaction?
Survey audience has different motivations for responding to surveys, and their tolerance can vary.

If you’re asking for lots of opinions on one subject, you’d better consider running separate surveys during a different period along with the participants stay.

Keep participants focused on the concept of “satisfaction”.

3- Use at Least Five Response Options and Keep Options Brief

You can create your different types of question types: multiple choice, free text, rating scale, number, option, note.
If you are editing a multiple-choice question, you’re probably wondering how many options you should suggest and how many ticks to allow.
Use at least five response options per scale to capture a broader range of perceptions.
Ask participants to rate their opinion using a scale that has opposite extremities.
“Avoid formatting items as statements with agree–disagree response options and use questions with construct specific response options instead” (Gehlbach & Artino Jr., 2018).

Be clear about whether the survey taker should choose one (“pick only one”) or many (“select all that apply”).

4- Survey Question Order Matters

Pay close attention to the first couple of questions as they must be easy and interesting. This hooks the customer and is one of the most important factors that influence its completion rate.
Once they get into the flow, they may even get enthusiastic about jumping right in and answering the more difficult questions.
Keep the more personal questions to the end.

5- Post-Survey Thank-You Message

A genuine thank you is rare, but it’s a very simple, positive way to build a stronger relationship.
Show participants you’re grateful for the time they took to complete your survey beyond a thank you page or incentive.
Finally, never thank your customer if they’re not satisfied with the service. Tell first them how you’ve used their input to make positive changes; a thank you that comes too early can seem insincere to an upset customer.
You can also use your thank you message to introduce new offers to your site visitors, providing links to relevant pages.

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