How To Write A Survey – 7 Key Elements To A Successful Survey
Surveys are extremely powerful tools for evaluating products, customer opinions, researching trends in the market and measuring the effectiveness of your service. The key element when constructing a successful survey is planning. This article will assist you in planning an effective survey for you and your customers.
The first step is to clearly define your surveys goals. Ask yourself what is the purpose of the survey, what do you want to achieve and what would you like to learn. As an example you many want to find out if you are providing your readers with topics they are interested in. You may want to know if your services are meeting your customers needs. You may want to evaluate your website and what your customers think of the advertisements you present on the site.
The purpose of your survey needs to be very clear and specific. Once you know what your objectives are, you will be able to write questions for the survey that will lead you to the answers you are seeking. If your survey goals are not clear from the beginning, you may not get the results you are looking for.
The second step is to decide who is going to participate in the survey. You could be looking for information from existing customers, subscribers to your newsletters, employees, visitors to your site.
The third step is about developing the questionnaire. Each question should relate specifically to the goals you have outlined. Do not diverse from these goals as the more focused the survey, the better the results will be. Do not be tempted to ask questions that are unrelated to your goals.
Ensure that your surveys are easy for your prospects to participate in. Use software that allows the participants to click on a button. Have mostly multi-choice questions, rating scales and ask one or two open-ended questions. If you keep your survey relatively short, you will find that more people will participate.
Here are some tips that will assist you in preparing your survey. 1. Each question should be clear and to the point. 2. Use simple language that is easy to understand. Remember, not everyone will know the jargon of your business. 3. Start your survey by explaining the purpose of the survey. Explain any instructions you may have. Give an estimation of how long the survey should take. Tell your prospects what will happen with the results. Offer them a reward, gift or bonus for participating. 4. Your most important questions should be at the beginning of the survey. This is when the prospect is the most motivated in answering your questions. 4. If you need to know the demographics of your prospects, then ask these questions at the end of the survey particularly. 5. Try not to lead your prospect to an answer. 6. Ensure you have a couple of open-ended questions. These are questions that do not have a yes or no answer. Start your open-ended questions with “Please explain…..” or “Please tell us about…..” or “What has been your experience of…..”. 7. At the end of your survey, ensure you thank your prospect and have a special gift organized for them.
Step four is looking at the format of your survey. Be sure that all related questions are grouped together and in logical order. Think of the answers to your multi-choice questions and ensure all response options are available.
Do not use any graphics on the survey except for your company’s logo. Use easy to read font such as Arial or Vendana with a white background. Pay particular attention to the way your design your survey. Track the results so you can determine how effective your design is.
Step five. Think about how you are going to distribute the survey. Online surveys are very cost effective as you can send an invitation via email. The people you want to participate can then click on a link to where you have the survey hosted. Ensure that you use the BCC if you are sending out the invitation in bulk. You do not want to be accused of spam.
Step six. It is extremely important that you pre-test the survey. Send the survey out to a small group of people first and analyse their feedback. This group should include friends, famiy, colleagues and a very small random number of customers. Are their answers assisting you in achieving your surveys goals or not? If they aren’t, then you many want to consider changing the questions. Did you get a high response rate to your survey? If not, then re-assess your survey design.
Step seven. When you are ready, launch your survey. Choose the day of your launch carefully. Often early in the week or the weekends are the best times. Avoid public holiday, mothers day or Xmas etc. Analyze the results. The responses should relate directly to your goals. Now you need to decide what you are going to do with this information.
Plan out a course of action based on the feedback you receive.
By following the above steps, you can be sure to find out exactly what your customers needs are, where they shop, what they are passionate about, their income and any other demographics relating to your business.