Creating the perfect survey can be a very challenging task. But at the same time you don’t have to be a survey scientist to create a fruitful survey! Someone prior to you has already created the perfect survey, or close to, and has shared his experience on the same. You can check your survey against the tested benchmarks and ensure you get the best data collection for your survey initiative.
You might not have the time to look across endless articles written on the perfect survey, but here we have some points that will help you create a fruitful survey.
Well Defined Objectives
Sounds pretty obvious, right? Yet a lot of mistakes happen at this stage itself. Once your objectives are clearly defined and outlined, then designing the survey becomes a relatively easier task and also ensures that your survey is more crisp and precise. This is the base for a survey to be created.
Avoid Lengthy Surveys
One common mistake every survey admin makes is keeping the surveys lengthy. This bores the participants and quite often they either don’t get complete responses, or get inaccurate responses. Always make sure to keep your survey short and simple and it has to have a flow to it.
Of course, the survey is being created to gain important insights into a particular activity. Ensure that every question is necessary and that your questions are reflecting the data you want to collect from the survey. This plays a critical role in collecting the data you need. Make sure every survey question plays a direct role in the questionnaire.
One Question At A Time Please
Get rid of the ‘and’ and the ‘or’. Keep your survey questions simple and direct. This can be a very confusing thing for the respondent. Take a look at this sample question: “Which of these survey tools are easiest to use and have reliable customer support?” A clear case would be that the respondent wants to choose two different tools, one for easy to use and other for reliable customer support.
Avoid Adjectives & Adverbs
One key thing to keep in mind while creating a survey is to make sure it’s devoid of any bias or prejudice. How the questions are asked plays an important role too in collecting accurate data. Avoid leading questions. If adverbs and adjectives aren’t needed primarily, take them out. Avoid questions like this – TV Y News’ forecasting is regarded by many as being the most accurate in the city. In your opinion, how often do you feel it is accurate?
Get in the Respondents Shoe
Speak their language! Keep the terminology simple and one that your respondents can understand. At the same time keep in mind that you don’t simplify too much to the point that you’re deviating from the objective of the question.
There should be a logic behind the flow of your survey. You cannot have a questionnaire devoid of any logic. Make sure there is a flow to the way questions are being asked and that they are not random.
Consistency in Questions
Ensure consistency in the questions that are being asked. For example: If you’re using a rating scale in your survey, then ensure the rating is consistent throughout the survey; something like (from 1-5) with one being lowest and 5 being highest. Make sure this reflects wherever this kind of question is asked in the survey.
A lot of times respondents are looking at incentives to participate in a survey. A lot of companies offer gift cards and vouchers as incentives to respondents to complete the survey. One important thing to note here is to have the incentive within the limit of the project. If you have a really high incentive and there are certain barriers for respondents to navigate through, they might end up giving false information in order to not be screened out of the survey.
You can send reminders to people who are yet to participate in your survey. This helps in reaching out to your respondents more effectively and can boost the response rates for your survey as well.
Take a Test Drive
Share the survey internally. Get feedback for the various stakeholders who are part of this initiative. Make changes if any, after receiving feedback. Do not just roll out the survey to the main respondents without doing a trial run.
When you have done a rundown of your survey with the above checklist, you will be very well placed to make sure you have a fruitful surveys that helps you collect accurate data. If you feel some points have been missed out, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.