An online survey is an effective and economical tool for getting valuable inputs, feedback and insights that can help shape the direction of your business. How well a survey is designed and how much participation it gets decides the quality of the information that it provides. Knowing how to successfully create an online survey is, therefore, an essential requirement. Here are some tips that will help you create effective and useful surveys.
1. Be clear about your objectives:
Every survey is designed to solve a problem or answer a question. Here are some examples:
-Why are sales declining or why are we not getting repeat orders?
-Why is the feedback about our customer support unsatisfactory?
-What is required to improve sales in a particular product range?
Having a clear objective will help you ask questions that will give you the answers or help you solve a problem. Without an objective, you are probably shooting in the dark.
2. Define the target audience:
Once the objective is defined, it becomes much easier to target the right audience. Your target, for example, could be the people who have bought a particular product or used a service recently. It could be the people meeting certain demographic criteria, who are likely to use a particular product or service. It could also be your entire customer base. The target audience is the group of people whose inputs are likely to answer the question or problem in the objective.
3. Keep it as short as possible Ask only the right questions:
Answering surveys is not something that all people love to do. The shorter the survey, the higher the chances that more people will complete it. The quality of the answers will also be better in shorter surveys.
It is important to focus on the core information that you need. If you want to include some peripheral questions, try to keep it to a minimum and towards the end. Skip questions that have been made irrelevant by previous answers. Asking irrelevant questions just makes your survey longer and irritates the respondents.
Avoid asking too many questions for which the user will have to type in answers. Questions where the users can select one or more answers are the best. Result of surveys that ask too many open-ended questions are generally more difficult to evaluate.
4. Include validator questions for long surveys:
It is unfortunate that some respondents randomly click the answers to get through the survey quickly. This is especially true for long surveys that offer an incentive to complete them. It is even more unfortunate if we allow those answers to distort our results. Validator questions help weed out such respondents. These questions have only one correct answer which anyone who has read the question will be able to answer. Example: For this question, please select option C as the answer.
5. Include the right information before the survey:
Keep things user-friendly. A short introduction and an estimate of how long the survey will take is nice to have upfront. You can also explain how the results will be used. If you are collecting some personal information, it is better if you mention how the respondent's privacy will be protected.
6. Make an attractive and persuasive invitation:
The quality of the invitation to a survey plays a great role in the response it elicits. Explain why you are conducting the survey and how it will eventually benefit the respondent. You can also include the amount of time it might take. Try to personalise the invitation by addressing the respondents by their names rather than using general terms.
It is best to reward the respondents for their time by offering an incentive like a discount coupon. This is especially important if the survey takes more than a couple of minutes to complete.
7. Give a gentle reminder:
Just a few days before the survey is going to close, give a gentle reminder so that people who put it off for later will be alerted about it once again.
If you know how to create a successful online survey, you will be able to use this valuable tool effectively. You will be able to get answers to questions or get valuable insights that will help you solve problems or give a new direction to your organization.