Survey is a good way of reaching your customers and making future improvements in accordance to their needs. Many companies run surveys on different basis. Some want to better understand the characteristics of people who visit the website, know the level of their satisfaction, others want to clarify some business-related problems, like what customers think about their product, company, why not implement some suggestions and make customers happy.
Some people complete a survey to share their information. But to increase response rates many companies offer incentives, like prizes, gifts and the bigger the prize, the more people will participate in the survey.
“Keep it simple!” became a widely used expression for many activities. It refers to surveys too. I used to complete surveys many times, but the moment I realized the questions are complicated, I quitted it. I believe, I’m not an exception.
The first thing you should do while planning a survey is to write down the whole survey process. Here are some valuable steps you’ll need to consider before creating and running a survey:
- Define your goals and target audience
- Pick the tools/service you are going to use
- Write down some valuable questions
- Test the survey before sending it
- Collect responses and monitor progress
- Measure the results and inform participants about them
All the above points are important in their own way. But more efforts should be applied to the questionnaire. Here are some types of questions:
- Dichotomous Questions - offer a "yes/no" answer
- Demographic Question - used to identify characteristics such as age, gender, income, race, geographic place of residence
- Multiple Choice Questions - offer a limited range of possible answers, either one or multiple responses per question
- Matrix questions - allow the customer to rate a range of products or services by a single set of possible responses
- Rating Scale Questions - used to measure the direction and intensity of attitudes
- Open ended questions - the customer should type the response. It gives a person the chance to respond in detail. Although open-ended questions are important, they are time-consuming and should not be over-used.
Don’t forget that everyone has different understanding of the facts or different basis of knowledge, so "assure a common understanding". Write questions that everyone will understand in the same way.
And remember: surveys provide information for decision-making; they don't make decisions on their own!