How to Create a Perfect Online Research Survey 29 Aug 2013

How to Create a Perfect Online Research Survey

Online surveys offer a huge help in understanding what our customers think and how successful our marketing programs are, without affecting our budget. A good online survey provides companies with clear, reliable, actionable insight which significantly helps in decision-making.

In order to get the best results, there are a few methods to follow when creating an online survey.

Define the purpose of the survey

Good surveys have focused objectives that are easily understood. Companies need to spend some time to identify areas such as:

  • What is the goal of this survey?
  • Who will take the survey?
  • How will you use the data you are collecting?
  • How it will help in decision-making?

Identifying the right objective of the survey enable companies understand their customer perceptions and areas of improvement. Advance planning of the right questions helps in generating useful data thereby meeting the objective of the survey.

Keep it short and simple

Short and focused surveys receive quality and higher response rates. Use clear and concise language when writing questions beginning with who, what, where, when, why or how. Companies should avoid loaded, leading, double barrel, ambiguous, jargons and double negatives questions in the survey. The questions should be articulated in such a way that they focus on meeting the desired objective. Moreover, the surveys should not take more than ten minutes as it may deter respondents from completing the survey.

Use closed-ended questions

Closed end questions (yes/no, multiple choice or rating scale) make it easier to analyze results. On the contrary, open ended survey questions allow respondents to answer a question in their own words. Open–ended questions are used in gathering qualitative information and should be avoided for collating and analysis purposes.

Include a logical flow

Make sure that the survey questions flow in a logical manner. Companies should begin with broader–based questions and then move to those narrower in scope with the most important topics first. Also, the questions should not bias the results of the next questions.

Test it before release

Pre–testing the survey with a few members or colleagues provides an idea about what others think about it. This makes sure all the questions and instructions are easy to understand. Moreover, it helps in finding glitches and unexpected question interpretations.

Incentivize the surveys

Offering incentives to the survey audience will significantly increase response rate. However, large incentives can lead to unethical behavior such as respondent lying about demographics to cash in on the survey amount.

Remind the audience

Sending out reminders to those who have not responded will increase the response rate and help us get most out of the survey.

Analyze it

Online survey applications offer good analytical functions that help in correctly analyzing the data. Most survey tools provide cross tabulation analysis to create contingency tables. This significantly helps in making correct decisions.

Survey design may appear easy, but to achieve good results, you need good research, questions and strategy. If concluded properly, the results of the survey can be used to address important questions about your business and customers.

– Research Optimus

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