Online surveys, such as those offered by Surveymonkey and Zoomerang, are excellent tools for collecting targeted opinions from employees and consumers. Their ease of use and user-convenient accessibility allows you to reach large groups of individuals across the globe with minimal financial and time commitments.
Advertising and marketing firms utilize these tools to gather valuable brand and industry insights, and businesses of all sizes can increase efficiency and productivity if the surveys are used efficiently. Here are some tips on how to do just that:
10 Tips for Creating Effective Online Surveys
1. Keep it simple - Avoid causing respondent fatigue by using simple, uncomplicated language.
2. The shorter, the better - Effective surveys should take no longer than 10 minutes for the survey taker to complete.
3. Use the hourglass approach - Start off with interesting, easy-to-answer questions to get the survey taker warmed-up. Then get to the poignant, specific ones. Finally, finish the survey with more broad, general questions. Make sure that the questions are asked in flow that is logical and consistent.
4. Randomize - The order in which responses are listed can affect choice selection, so wherever possible, be sure to choose the randomize option for your surveys.
5. Use open-ended questions sparingly - Although sometimes important and necessary, open-ended questions are time-consuming and nearly impossible to quantify or chart.
6. Avoid difficult-to-recall questions - Ask yourself how simple or difficult it is for your respondents to remember the data you are asking for. If it's challenging, you may want to try a different approach or scrap the question all together.
7. Avoid biased or leading questions - Be sure that the respondents are able to provide their opinions in a way that accurately conveys their viewpoint. Include a "Don't know/Prefer not to say" option where appropriate so survey takers are not forced to choose an inaccurate answer in order to proceed.
8. Protect privacy - Both your privacy and that of the respondents. Anonymity should be offered to respondents in order to get the most out of the surveys. This is especially true with employee surveys. Personal data collected should be relevant and not overly intrusive. Survey makers should also be weary of disclosing the purpose of their study in order to avoid bias.
9. Be clear - Don't ask ambiguous questions or ask 2 questions disguised as one. Think about the type of data you are seeking and be clear in going after it.
10. Do a practice run - Pretest the survey with as many people as possible. Get detailed feedback on what worked for them and what was unclear. Also review their responses to ensure you are gathering the data you are seeking and that your questions were not interpreted in a way that strayed from your initial intent.