“It’s about the results”. We all know that the survey analysis is often the most time consuming process of the whole project. Follow some of the tips below while creating your survey, and you will save time afterwards. A little preperation ahead of time will save lots of time later.
Write down goals
When you first sit down to write your survey questions, stop and first take the time to write down exactly what you hope to learn from your survey. Be as specific as possible. Now write your questions so that they directly answer the specific points you wrote down.
Not too many questions
Don’t get carried away with too many questions. Our experience indicates that respondents won’t spend much more than ten minutes on a consumer survey, HRM surveys may be a little longer. After that, respondents typically are not as concentrated or will just stop.
Good stuff upfront
Put the most important questions at the front. This is when the respondents are the most concentrated. If you wait too long, the respondents who don’t finish your survey, will never see them.
Other, please specify
Make sure you include all possible options. There is nothing more frustrating for respondents than coming to a question that does not include an answer option for them. They will either stop there, or answer something at random, not exactly a good thing for the accuracy of your results. Options such as ‘Other, please specify’, ‘Don’t know’ or ‘Not applicable’ give these respondents a way out.
Avoid open question types
Once you are done with your first draft, consider how you will analyse the results. For instance, do you have an open question asking the age of your respondents? Think about it, do you really need to know the individual ages of all your respondents or are you going to group them into age categories like 18-35, 36-55, 55+, etc. when you actually do the analysis. If you are, then you can save yourself a lot of time by just presenting the respondents with a drop down of the age categories to begin with.
Key questions required
Make the key questions ‘required’. Look back at your survey goals and be certain that the questions that are critical to your survey analysis are compulsory. For instance, if you are testing an ad to see how men and women respond to it, then the gender question should be up front and mandatory.