You’ve probably completed your fair share of surveys, and you’ve most likely ignored an equal amount.
Ask yourself why you completed some and ignored others. Perhaps some interested you while others didn’t. Or, maybe a company offered you a perk for taking the survey.
To help you get your surveys returned and not ignored, we look at five ways to design a survey that users will love to complete.
Let’s look at how to encourage users to complete your survey and not walk away frustrated.
#1: Keep It Short
The best way to design a survey that users will love to complete is to make it short and to the point. (tweet this)
Limit your survey questions, and you reduce your drop off rates.
When it comes to crafting your survey, focus on what you really want to know.
For example, do you want to know how they liked your product, what they thought of your event or how they like your customer service?
While it would be nice to know the answers to all of these questions, and more, you don’t need to know it all at once. Only ask the few questions you are prepared to take action on immediately.
Your survey respondents are doing you a favor, so do them a favor and make your survey easy to finish quickly.
Studies show that the ideal number of questions is less than 12 to prevent customers from abandoning your survey. Try and stick to 3-5 questions for the best results.
It’s also a good idea to test your survey so you know how long it takes to complete. Spell this out for your respondents so they know what to expect.
#2: Don’t Ask Leading Questions
Your customers aren’t naïve. They know when you’re trying to push your agenda, and if they encounter this, they just might abandon your survey.
Craft your questions so that they are neutral. You don’t want to lead respondents to an answer. Consider these three scenarios:
- Please rate product X on a scale of one to five.
- Tell us what you think about product X. (This asks them to type out why.)
- Tell us the reasons why product X is the best on the market. (You provide check boxes of items that show why you think it’s great.)
Scenario number one and two are neutral. Scenario number three obviously leads the customer and just might irritate those who don’t think your product is great.
#3: Limit Your Use of Matrix Questions
Matrix questions are the ones that require respondents to fill in little circles.
Why do these questions make people crazy? Respondents can get confused with these as overdone matrices are complicated and hard to follow.
This also hurts you as your customers may abandon the survey altogether or just choose to make a pretty pattern as they mark your circles.
If you must use a matrix, limit your header options to five so it isn’t so complicated.
Now that you know how to design a survey that users will love to complete, let’s look at some final tips for maximizing your responses:
- Let your customers know the survey is coming. Tell them why you’re sending it and how you’ll use their results. Tell them the survey is confidential.
- Give your respondents time to complete the survey. If sending online, one week’s time is generally sufficient.
- Design your survey so it’s easy to read. Make your sections clear and pay attention to the flow from one section or question to another.
- Send a reminder during the week-long survey period. Thank those who competed the survey and remind others of the deadline. Consider offering respondents an incentive for participating. It could be an outright perk, or you could enter them in a drawing after they complete your survey.
Finally, if you plan to send more surveys in the future, you want to let your customers know their opinions matter.
Shortly after the survey, send them an email outlining the responses and the actions you are going to take. Thank the participants again.
Follow these steps, and you can bet they’ll be there for you the next time you want to survey them.
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Images: Brooke Cagle
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