Tips for Creating a Good Survey

Image courtesy of Paul Inkles' photostream

Image courtesy of Paul Inkles’ photostream

Let me tell you a secret – I always fill out those satisfaction surveys that companies email me after I call customer service. Having obtained my undergraduate degree in advertising, I feel that it is my duty to fill them out every single time and to do so truthfully. Filling out surveys not only could get you in a drawing to win a prize (like $5, although I wonder if anyone ever wins these things) but it also helps the company receive much-needed feedback on how they can improve and better serve you.

I’m willing to bet that if you’re creating a survey for your company, you may want to collect as much data as possible, however I’d advise against making the survey too cumbersome, as your audience may fatigue quickly. The world we live in is very fast-pace, and making a very tedious survey isn’t going to get you feedback from your audience anytime soon.

So without further ado, here are four tips for crafting a great survey:

1.    Offer an incentive: Let’s face it, people like free stuff. I’m more likely to fill out your survey if I could win something no matter how small or large the prize may be.

2.    Forget the required fields: Some information may be vital to collect; however making all of your fields required will only discourage people from filling out your survey. I may not want to give you my email address, or my physical address, and I may be hitting the back button and leaving. Besides, you can make a field required, but that may not stop me from submitting a fictitious email address.

3.    Keep it Short: I recall one time attempting to complete a survey, however it was impossibly long. There were a ton of questions, drop-downs, and way too much information that they wanted from me. You’re deterring people from giving you feedback if you have a super-long survey, and I’d bet less people will take the time to fill out your behemoth of a survey.

4.    Timing is Everything: I had two companies send me surveys recently, however they forgot one important detail. They were asking me to rate their service when the transaction wasn’t even complete. I can’t tell you how you did when you didn’t do anything yet, and quite frankly, when you send a survey this way, you’re hoping the consumer saves the email and fills it out later. It’s probably not going to happen.

Are you looking for a good platform to create your survey? I recommend either using Google Forms or Survey Monkey. They are both free and easy to use!

Until next time,

Tom Zobel

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