Online Survey and a Change at Winning…!

Looking to evaluate a new business service?  Ever wonder how well received your annual business dinner event is?  Need to collect data for a big business research project?  Online surveys can be a huge help in understanding what your customers or website visitors think and how successful your business is – without breaking your budget.

Developing a useful, well-written online survey that extracts the information you need from your users can be a challenge, because there is a good and a bad way to conduct a survey! Below you can find 15 tips for creating a useful and successful online survey.

1. What is Essential to know?
You start by writing down what you want to achieve with the survey. Make sure that it is possible to achieve the goals with just one or two questions.

2. Only ask what you need
Ask questions only if the answers will give you the data you need and can use. If a question is not important enough to include in your report on the survey’s findings, then remove the question.

3. Interesting Questions
Try to start the survey with the most interesting questions you can think of. Interesting questions will inspire the respondent to complete the survey.

4. Multiple Choices
Multiple choice questions are better than open questions. You get better answers, because you’ve written down the multiple choice answers. It is also easier for the respondent, because they normally only have to click a bullet-point in the form.

5. Yes or No
If you can ask the question in a yes or no way then it is even better than multiple choices. (You can also add a bullet-point “Don’t know.”)

6. Easier
Multiple choices or Yes/No answers are easier, because the results gathering are so much easier than with open questions. Especially if you use a web-form with a PHP script under the save button, that add the results to previous results.

7. Use simple language
Use the simplest language possible. You also need to respect the respondent’s dignity when you construct the questions. Your survey respondents will undoubtedly come from many different groups, and more often than not, are less expert in the field than you are.

8. Use neutral language
The online survey that you are developing is made to find out what others think and not a forum for you to air your opinions.

9. Formal or Not
Don’t use to formal language, so relax your grammar a bit. An example: the word “whom” is technically correct, but in a survey the word “who” is better.

10. Test Run
Do a test run before you add the survey to your website. For instance you could let your co-workers or friends/family take the survey.

11. Only one at a time
Make sure that the questions sentences only contain one question. Multiple questions in one sentence are hard to answer and also to interpret.

12. Multiple choice answers
Make sure that the multiple answers make sense.

Good example:

“How many times a month you go to the movies?”

  1. Zero times a month
  2. One to three times a month
  3. Three to five times a month
  4. More then five time a month

A bad example:

“How often do you go to movies?”

  1. Almost never
  2. Once in a while
  3. I go there regularly
  4. Almost everyday

The results of the first “good” example are easier to interpret and are more precise.

13. Name and Introduction
Write a brief introduction for your survey. You also give the survey a compelling title.

14. Email
If you send out the survey in an email then you have to make sure that the title is very compelling, otherwise people won’t even open the email.

15. Offer an incentive
A good way to ensure that people will complete your business survey is by offering them something for free or with a discount. People love free things and almost always free the time to complete the survey.

In Conclusion
While not exhaustive, the points listed above are enough to get you started in the right direction. A well written online survey is an effective method to gather information. The better the questions, the higher the completion rate of the survey.

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