10 Top Tips for Creating a Successful Survey

There are many reasons why a business would choose to do a survey – they let you gain useful information from your customers, as well as their opinions on your company and their experience with you.

Create a successful survey

It should be the goal of any business to build strong relationships with their customers, so it’s essential to take their opinions and feedback on board.  You can use the data that you collect from surveys to ensure that you can meet your customers’ needs, and this will mean more sales for your business.  Everyone’s a winner!

Not sure where to start?  No sweat!  Using software with a survey builder can help you to create and design an effective, successful survey from scratch.

Here are some tips to ensure that your survey is going to be effective in you giving you the best data possible.

1. A successful survey needs a plan

Create a successful survey

What do you want to get from your survey?  Why should someone fill it out?  It’s best to focus on one single, well-defined objective.

Is it to get feedback on a recent purchase they made?  Is it to learn why someone hasn’t bought from you in months?  Do you want to measure your customer’s experience of your website?

Focused surveys with an obvious purpose generate a higher response rate, as well as giving you a clear idea of what it is you want to ask.

2. Keep it short and sweet

Create a successful survey

Be respectful of the respondents’ time.  The chances of them completing a long, lengthy survey are pretty low.  When you email your customers to invite them to your survey, give them an estimated completion time.  Alternatively, including a progress bar in your survey is a great way of giving your respondents an idea of how long it’s going to take them to complete it.

Don’t make it too complicated or confusing.  Try to be specific and clear and write it in their language – avoid using technical, industry-specific words.

3. Give it an order

Create a successful survey

Confused respondents leads to confused results.

The order of the survey questions matters, and ideally you want your survey to follow a logical flow.  Questions that are similar to one another should be grouped together to keep respondents’ minds on one thing at a time.  Going back and forth between different topics can confuse and frustrate respondents and cause them to lose interest – fast.

Ask one question at a time and avoid asking biased questions.  Try to put your interesting questions at the beginning and save your demographic questions until the end.

4. Ask all the right questions

Create a successful survey

Once you know how to create a survey, you might be wondering of what sort of questions you need to be asking.  Different question formats will suit different surveys, so make sure you choose the right ones for yours.

The different types of survey questions:

  • Multiple choice
  • Checkboxes
  • Dropdown
  • Text box
  • Comment box
  • Date/time
  • Net Promoter Score
  • Image
  • File upload
  • Text

If you’re stuck with wording your questions, avoiding leading questions or choosing answer options that are best for certain questions, then worry no more.  It’s now easier than ever to add questions to your survey by using tools like a ‘Question bank’.  It will have a list of pre-written questions to choose from, so it can really help you out and save you some time.

5. Measure their experience with an NPS question

Create a successful survey

NPS is the Net Promoter Score.  It’s a measurement tool to gauge the loyalty that your respondent feels towards your company.  The NPS is the answer to a question along the lines of “How likely is it that you would recommend our business to a friend or colleague?”.

To retain your current customers and create a better customer experience, you need to understand what’s good and what’s bad about the experience that you’re currently providing them with.

6. Customise the look of your survey

Create a successful survey

The content is obviously the main focus of your survey, but if the visual design of your survey is messy, then this can look unprofessional and frustrate your respondents, or worse – make them want to click off.

To design a successful survey, it’s a good idea to use similar font types, font sizes and colours throughout your survey.  Some survey builders will let you choose a pre-designed theme, so that most of the work is done for you.

7. Check your survey

Create a successful survey

Completing a checklist for your survey is essential in ensuring that you have created an effective, successful survey.  Use it to make sure that you haven’t forgotten anything and that you have included all of the questions that you wanted to ask.

The last thing you want to do is invite your customers to fill out your survey only to find mistakes in your survey later on, once it’s already been sent.  A pair of fresh eyes could spot a mistake that you didn’t.

Before making your survey active, send it to a handful of trusted friends and associates.  Ask them how long it took them to complete and if they noticed any problems or errors.

8. Share your survey

Create a successful survey

Once you have created a survey, you need to share it so people will complete it.  The more respondents you have to your survey, the more reliable your results will be.

Emailing your customers is a surefire way for the survey invitation to reach exactly who you want it to.  If you want it to be filled out by as many people as possible, then consider sharing it on social media and embedding it on your website too.

9. Offer an incentive

Create a successful survey

Offering an incentive can be a really effective way of creating a successful survey, as this will generate a higher response rate.  Your customers will like to feel like they’re getting something out of it too.

Remember, don’t make the incentive too generous as this could result in false answers, and you don’t want to sacrifice good data!  A good idea may be to enter all of your respondents into a prize draw to win something after they’ve completed the survey.

10. Examine your results

Create a successful survey

Sometimes, it can really help to have reports on your survey.  They can provide you with your survey activity including breakdowns of your survey responses such as how many responses each question received, which device and browser each respondent used, and their geographical location.

Collecting and analysing the answers from your customers isn’t just a valuable way for you to gather meaningful data, but it also shows your customers that you genuinely care about their opinions.

Want to create your own survey?

Once you’ve written an effective, successful survey with well-thought-out questions, you will be well on your way towards getting meaningful data and results you want.

You can build a survey in minutes by using our survey builder.  If you’d like to book a demo with us see how to use the feature, you can click here.

To find out more about writing a great survey for your customers then you can contact us here.

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