You may be the best survey writer in your field with years of experience. But usually, there are chances that your surveys are not at all full proof. Thanks to the online assessment platforms that have made taking surveys so easy and fast, but even there sometimes we find mistakes as far as the effectiveness and efficiency of the survey are concerned. This flaw continues in the survey process right from the designs, to the audience, and finally to the analysis.
This post outlines the top seven most common mistakes we often make when writing user surveys. Check these out and be alert so that you can get the most out of your surveys.
1. Introductions are often Skipped
It has been found that quite an often, a respondent opens up a survey and is unsure of what to do or how to proceed. It should be explicitly mentioned that what the survey is all about, and why they should complete it. However, the title of the survey does help a little, but a properly detailed guide is very much needed for an online survey.
Also, don’t forget the courtesy and politeness quotient. Make sure a “Thank You” note or a gratitude note expressing how valuable their feedback is, is given at the end of the survey. Courtesy and etiquette are the two essential elements that go a long way on online channels.
2. Too many Questions – A strict No-No
As the time gets longer, bad things start happening. The more questions you put in your survey making it longer, the more it drives the respondents crazy. They get annoyed and either leave midway keeping the survey incomplete, or they randomly fill the survey without reading the questions properly. Once their attention span gets deteriorated, the purpose of your survey also declines.
By this, not only the response rates suffer, but also the quality of the data gathered are mostly below par. The quality of the data assembled through a survey is very much needed for the success of it.
So, what could be done?
- Keep it short. The survey must not take the participants more than a couple of minutes to complete it.
- Keep it to the point. Only include relevant and necessary questions. Don’t put a similar type of questions.
- If you are using a star rating system, then use this for all the questions so that the respondents don’t need to reach additional instructions before completing each question.
3. Forcing respondents to answer everything
Being the organizer of the survey, it is very natural that you would expect the respondents to answer every single question asked in the survey. But having too many questions backfires sometimes and often lead to abandonment.
Though it is understandable that you would want all your questions to be answered to get authentic data, still keep the survey to an absolute minimum so that it’s easier for people to complete it. Definitely, you would want most of the answers to be given by them, rather than none.
Think whether a question in mandatory or just nice to keep. If it happens to be the latter then better you don’t make it required to answer. Also, consider an ‘Other’ option that your respondents can choose and give a customized answer. This is absolutely necessary for a multiple choice pattern where people may expect an option outside the options you’ve provided. This allows them to give a more authentic answer.
4. Sloppy Questions
Sloppy questions could be of various types. Below are a few examples –
- No ‘N/A’ or ‘other’ options
- Important questions that are not required
- No validations
- Ambiguous and vague questions
Questions such as, “Will you relocate for a better option?” – Though this might seem otherwise clear, the respondent might get confused as to what the “relocation” implies? Live somewhere else or work somewhere else? A different city, state or a country?
Ranking one’s satisfaction on a scale of 1-5 might confuse a survey taker whether 1 indicates most satisfied or 5?
Providing single select text boxes instead of multiple select text boxes makes it difficult for a respondent if he has more than one option to choose.
5. Not thinking about the analysis before starting the survey
The secret to a successful survey is in the bona fide analyzation of its results. And that is the reason a good survey starts with precise questions, just what the survey organizer wants to know. Don’t just do a customer survey for the sake of it. Do it to find out what perception your customers have towards your brand. This data would eventually, help you to chalk out your next marketing strategy.
If you want a breakdown of a particular age group in your existing customers, then give options like in which age group they belong to; under 25, 25-35, 36-45, 46-55 and so on. Don’t ask an open question such as “What is your age?”. This will help you skim through the data faster and easier.
6. Possesing little or no understanding of the Target Audience
How can you ask questions to a specific target group if you have absolutely no knowledge about them? How would you write up the questions if you don’t understand much about who will be completing it? So, it is imperative that you need to make a connection with your respondent.
The survey creator must possess a thorough understanding of the target group whom the survey is intended to. Wrong word choice can offend and drive them away. Do not put so much focus on what answer you want from them, rather focus on what information the respondents can give you.
7. Lack of company Branding
Your survey is an extension of your brand. In each question, you must impress your audience. Make sure your audience gets to know that the survey has been sent from you and not somebody else. This could be achieved when you have proper branding of your company in the survey. Put your logo and align the color scheme of the survey layout similar to your brand colors and brand identity.
Sometimes people tend to forget this simple addition, which eventually makes them pay. The respondents don’t understand where the survey came from and leave it unfinished. One easy hack to prevent this is to add your logo at the beginning of the survey. This is a great way to make the respondents connect with your brand.
To arrange for a customer survey or any kind of other surveys, it’s always better to reach out to a professional online assessment agency than doing it all by yourself. In a survey that a professional agency will create for you, there’s no worry of lack of branding or absence of a call to action.
By avoiding these seven common survey-writing mistakes, If you try and avoid committing these very common survey-writing mistakes, then be sure that your survey is going to be a hit. Your data will be accurate, your respondents will feel great after completing the survey and finally you can take a judicious decision based on the authetic feedback you have received.
Contact us today to organize any survey, any assessment, or any feedback collection session.
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