It does not matter if you are attempting to plan an event, market a specific product or service that you specialize in, perform an evaluation of your employees, or simply create feedback from your highly-valued customers, the most positive and productive means of achieving your end is through the enlistment of a carefully-crafted and highly innovative survey. In this market research guide, we will provide you with highly effective techniques for designing a great survey! Continue reading this must-know information today to take your business to new heights as quickly as tomorrow!
1. Outline the Survey’s Purpose
The first step to designing a great survey is to outline or define the overall purpose. You should ensure that the goal that is associated with the survey is clear, it is possible to attain, and it is relevant. This goal should be specific and it should be measurable.
When you outline a goal, you will successfully outline a purpose.
Then, the questions that you include in the survey will be customized to that which you want to achieve.
The data that is then captured by the questions that you include may then be compared to the goal that you have outlined.
2. Ensure Each Question Adds Value
A survey is a questionnaire that is used to obtain insights associated with a specific and measurable goal. When creating it, you should ensure that every single question included adds value. The questions should relate to the goals that are associated with your research.
Additionally, the questions should be laid out in such a way that they drive responses. You may ensure that each question adds value by focusing on the information that you need to collect.
You may also present each question with multiple-choice responses. In doing so, you will be able to obtain responses that are designed to provide you with more information.
3. Short and Simple Will do The Trick
It is important to understand that respondents that will be completing your survey are not as committed to the survey that you are presenting as you are. For this reason, you must snatch up their attention and ensure that there is a solid area of focus all the way to the end of the survey.
The questions should be logical, short, and simple.
You may even want to explain the purpose of the survey so that the individuals completing the survey are more likely to stick with the questions until the end.
Most respondents get lost in the mix when a survey is too detailed and too long. By keeping it short and simple, you are more likely to achieve your goal in collecting the data that you require.
4. Be Clear and Precise
When it comes to the language of your survey, be as precise as you can. If you use vague words or confusing language, it is quite likely that those taking the survey may become confused, themselves. This will taint the data that you receive.
Be specific when mentioning situations, behaviors, and opinions. By using clear and precise language, you will ask clear and precise questions. In the end, you will find that you are able to receive clear and precise data which will benefit you immensely.
5. Ask Only ONE Thing at a Time
While it is true that you want to gather as much information as possible, you should avoid asking multiple questions within a single question. When designing your survey, you should only ask one thing at a time.
For example, if you are interested in determining which cable company provides the cheapest and best service, that would be two questions.
To explain, one cable company may offer a very cheap service, but the individual taking the survey may not feel as if they offer the BEST service. In this instance, you would break the question down into two individual questions.
6. Questions Should Never Lead or Exhibit Any Type of Bias
When writing your questions, ensure that you avoid certain words and/or certain phrases that may lead the question to be viewed as leading or as biased. Just include only the words that the individual taking the survey needs to read in order to provide you with an answer. Do not integrate your own point of view within the question.
Your main focus should be the adjectives that you use, as well as the adverbs.
Review each question before integrating it into your survey. If you find that any lead or exhibit your personal opinion, either adjust the question so that is not the case or completely eliminate the question – the choice is yours.
7. Plain Language is Essential
It is quite likely that your niche includes jargon, terminology, and technical language that the average person is not familiar. For this reason, you should ensure that you use only standard, plain language that is understood by all.
Keep the sentences short that you write and ensure that the questions are quick and to the point.
Do not oversimplify as that could undermine that which you are attempting to do, but do not make it so complicated that the average person gets confused on what you are attempting to ask.
If you use anything above plain language, you may find that you lose participants before they conclude the survey. This will negatively impact the data that you attempt to gather.
8. Lean Towards Response Scales
When reviewing great surveys that are currently in existence, you will quickly find that those that focus on binary responses – such as “yes” or “no” – are not as successful as those that focus on response scales. These provide a lot of data and are able to successfully capture the attitudes and opinions of the person taking the survey.
Response scaled questions are those that outline a pre-defined list of answers that have different options that are related to each other, to which a respondent chooses the intensity of that which they feel towards or to a particular thing. These are most often listed as multiple-choice.
9. Choose Multiple Choice Over Grid
When creating a survey, you may choose to go with a multiple-choice question or a grid question. Respondents prefer multiple-choice. Not only are these easier to select an answer for, but they are mobile-friendly.
Remember, these days, more people are accessing surveys through their mobile device than on a desktop computer.
The goal is to ensure that your respondents may answer as quickly and as comfortably as possible. If you choose to use grid responses, it is quite likely that most respondents will not even initiate responding to your survey.
If they do respond, they are more likely to quit and back out of the survey before completion.
10. Include an Incentive
One of the best ways to capture attention and ensure respondents successfully complete the survey that you design is to include an incentive. This will motivate a participant to give you a hand.
You may offer a discount on your products and/or services, provide a gift card, give an entry into some type of sweepstakes or drawing, or providing something for free – such as an eBook or other type of digital content piece – the choice is yours!
Be aware, though, that you should only send the survey out to your target audience as there are individuals out there that will just rush through a survey in order to receive the incentive that is offered with its completion.
By only sending it out to your target audience, you may be able to avoid the complication associated with this issue.
Testing is a Must
Now that you know the steps that are associated with designing a great survey, remember to test the survey before broadcasting it to a large audience.
You may simply send it out to a few people that you know. Inquire as to whether or not they understand it, if it is easy to complete, and ask them to provide you with general feedback associated with the survey.
If they have an issue with it – any issue at all – get the kinks worked out BEFORE broadcasting it to your target audience.
If you fail to test, you may find that you go through the entire process and receive very little – if any – productive data from the survey.
Additionally, if you attempt to send a new survey in the future, you may find less people are willing to take it.
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