7 Tips for Building an Effective Survey

7 Tips for Building an Effective Survey by Opinionmeter
No matter which industry you work in, you depend on a steady influx of cash and a loyal group of customers or clients to succeed. To maintain your customer base and improve sales, you need to meet your customers’ expectations.

But what if you don’t know what your customers or clients expect from you? How can you change your business practices to better meet their needs? One way to gather the answers you seek is through surveys.

In the blog below, we provide you with seven tips so you can build an effective survey and get the most appropriate feedback from your customers.


1. Discover Your Purpose and Audience

Before you can even create your survey, you need to know who you are trying to reach and what the purpose is behind the survey.

First, you need to know what purpose your survey will serve. Are you looking to bring in new products? You’ll want your customers’ opinions about what they’d like to see in the store. Do you want to change your business practices? You need to ask how your customers think you should improve.

Once you determine the purpose of your survey, take a moment to think of your customer base. Does your business work mostly with young parents, college students, middle-aged homeowners, or another type of individual?

When you discover the purpose of your survey and who you should appeal to, you can create a more focused survey.


2. Choose an Appealing Design

Plain surveys do little to catch a person’s attention. But something too flashy and gaudy can distract your customers from the purpose of the survey.

Choose a design that appeals to the readers’ visual senses. Keep the design simple enough that they won’t feel overwhelmed by the elements on the page. Not sure which design best suits your purpose? Hire a survey consultant to design the survey for you.


3. Keep the Questions Simple

Your customers don’t want to spend their time dissecting a question to understand its meaning. As you design your survey, keep the questions simple and easy to read. You’ll also want to discuss only one item per question to enhance a reader’s experience.

If possible, you’ll want to list answers below each question for readers to choose from. This format makes it much easier for readers to understand what they’re being asked and how they should respond.

You can include open-ended questions in your survey if you’d like, but these data results might take much longer to filter through. Listing set options for your readers provides you with the exact answers you need.


4. Ask Intriguing Questions at First

As you think of questions to ask your customers, think of a few attention-grabbing queries. Ask a couple of interesting questions at the beginning of your survey so you can hook your customers and encourage them to continue with the questionnaire.


5. Keep the Survey Short

Most people prefer to avoid surveys if they can-specifically because surveys can take more time than people are willing to give. Again, to hook your customers and move them through the survey, keep it short. Ask only as many questions as necessary to get the answers you need.

If you have a few different areas you’d like feedback on, create multiple surveys and send them out to your customers over a longer period of time. It may take longer to get answers and make the appropriate changes to your business, but your customers will appreciate the brevity of the surveys. They may even feel more inclined to take more surveys in the future.


6. Offer Incentives

If you want to ensure that your customers take your survey seriously, offer them incentives for participation. You can provide them with the following:

  • Coupons for savings on a product or service
  • Gift cards to your business
  • A free product from your business

You can also include prizes as incentives for those individuals who participate in your survey. If you can afford higher-ticket items (such as an iPad, a Chromebook, or another electronic device), use that as a prize. Just remember to tell your customers that if they take the survey, they will be entered into a drawing for the item. You’ll be surprised at how many people respond to these incentives.


7. Test Out Your Survey

Finally, you’ll want to test out your survey before you send it to your customers or clients. Talk to your employees, family members, friends, or other individuals and ask them to test drive the survey. Have them tell you if they noticed any issues with the questionnaire or if they have any recommendations for improvement. Once you adjust the survey accordingly, you can send it out to your customers.


Now that you know which features to include, you can create a survey that will let your target audience respond more effectively. Once you’ve gathered sufficient feedback from your surveys, however, you’ll have to find a way to use it. For tips on what to do with feedback once you have it, read our previous blog post.

Check our blog frequently for more information about how surveys and feedback can help you improve your business. If you need help designing a survey or reporting data, get in touch with a consultant who has experience in this industry.

To learn more about Opinionmeter’s Enterprise Survey Solution, please contact Opinionmeter at 888.676.3837 or visit www.opinionmeter.com. And please share this with any of your colleagues who might find it of interest. Thank you.