Have you ever created a survey with what you thought were great survey questions, only to get your data back with numerous unanswered questions?
This is an all too common issue, but one you can overcome if you know what questions to avoid.
In this article, we look at five survey questions customers will skip every time.
#1: They Skip What They Don’t Understand
You may have a question on your survey that is unclear to respondents. For example, you might not have explained the context thoroughly enough. Or, you might be asking the wrong question in the wrong audience setting.
You’ll find that your respondents will skip questions that don’t fit the context of your survey.
The best rule of thumb is to stay on topic, so all of your questions are in context and appropriate for your chosen audience.
#2: They Skip It When It Takes Too Much Energy
People commonly don’t want to spend too much time on a survey. So, if your questions are overly long or complicated to understand, your respondents won’t expend the effort to answer them.
For example, if you want someone to tell you all the reasons why they like the product they recently purchase from you, the best way is to give them choices to check off.
If you ask them to come up with the answers, they will generally skip over the question because it takes too much effort.
#3: They Skip Questions That are Too Sensitive
Your respondents will usually skip over questions that are too intimate or seem too sensitive.
They will even do this if you tell them the survey is anonymous. Why? No one really believes their survey answers are anonymous.
Respondents won’t usually answer questions that dive into their personal lives, threaten their self-image, or may make them feel embarrassed or uncomfortable.
And, often times if they do answer those questions, you’ll find the answers aren’t always truthful.
Sensitive, intimate questions may involve age, religion, family life, sexual orientation, money, and criminal activities.
#4: They Skip Questions That Don’t Seem Genuine
Are your questions all legitimate? If not, you’ll find that your customers will skip over these questions.
For example, if you sell women’s clothing, why would you ask a survey about the ages of your customer’s children?
If you do ask for information that seems out of bounds, you can help encourage answers by telling people why the data is important to you.
For the above example, you might tell respondents you’re asking for this information because you are considering selling children’s clothing as well.
#5: They Skip Because of Survey Fatigue
Many customers will skip questions due to survey fatigue. Perhaps your survey is too long, or your questions are unclear, or wordy.
You might find they’re simply tired of taking surveys.
Before you send your survey, take it yourself. Have your friends and family take it. Time it so you know how long it is.
If you think it’s too long, then it certainly is for your customers. If anything trips you up, it will your customers.
Short and simple is the best way to get the most responses.
There are many reasons people skip over survey questions. Perhaps they can’t answer it, or they are just unwilling to answer it.
Whatever the cause, you can help your respondents along by tailoring your questions appropriately so that they want to answer them.
If you must ask a sensitive question, put it at the end of the survey so you can reduce bounce rates. They might just skip that question at the end instead of the whole survey. (tweet this)
Or, you might have engendered so much trust throughout the survey, they’ll feel compelled to answer your last question no matter how sensitive it is.
Always give your customers a reason for completing the survey. Tell them why you want their data and what you’ll do with it. Then, after the survey, share their results with them.
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