Surveys in business projects are excellent ways to create benchmarks in order to measure success, define end goals, and discover challenges early on. However, sometimes they can be misused or misinterpreted. This can make the results unreliable and therefore actions are taken which should not have been.
To avoid this, there are several tricks you can use in your surveys to build reliable data. What are these tricks for your business projects? Here are our top ten.
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1. Measure Only What You Can Improve
One of the biggest mistakes that businesses do, is that they ask questions about aspects of the business they can’t affect. This is useless information that wastes time for your respondents and you. If you can’t influence an aspect of the customer/employee/respondent experience, then leave it alone. For instance, you can’t ask them about their journey to you, even though it is part of their experience, there is just no way to change this aspect.
2. Use Quantitative And Qualitative Questions
You should always use a mixture of quantitative and qualitative questions throughout your survey. The former should be used to take the pulse of certain aspects (i.e. customer satisfaction) while the qualitative questions can be used to collect the reasons behind the general consensus. Using these two together also breaks up the monotony of the survey for respondents making it more interesting and improving completion rates.
3. Avoid Sampling Bias
Ensure that all samples taken for your surveys are done randomly. This ensure that there isn’t any bias in your answers, and therefore, that you have a great set of data. In addition, you don’t have to have thousands of respondents. As long as you have a couple of hundred, you should have enough data. In fact, with just 200 surveys you can be sure that you have 7% accuracy, statistically.
4. Avoid Jargon
Many organizations put together surveys without realizing that they’ve included lots of jargon within questions and answers. This can be confusing to those outside of the industry. Always ask two or three people inside the organization to identify and remove jargon from questions so everyone can complete the survey without issue.
5. Give People The Other Option
When you give people a group of answers, then you must be expecting all respondents to give one of those answers. However, this isn’t always the case and you should instead ensure that all respondents can answer without giving an answer they don’t believe in. To cover this, you need to add an option that says ‘other’. After this you should add in some space where they can elaborate on their answer. The more space you give them, the more detail they can give you.
6. Be Careful Of Peer Pressure From Respondents
While focus groups can often be the main way that peer pressure is seen in research, it can also happen within surveys. This is done when responses are collected in groups where those taking part in the study are allowed to communicate. Often one will say a question out loud and then state their answer. If they have enough influence, then that answer becomes the answer for the group at large. Where possible, you should ensure that all respondents aren’t influenced during the survey.
7. Don’t Lead The Respondent
Questions have to be written in such a way that they don’t lead the audience. Leading the respondent will cause significant issues with your final data. An example of a leading question is: “did you like the customer service you received?”. Instead, you should be asking questions like “How satisfied were you with the customer service you received?”. By asking neutral questions you can be sure the responses are realistic of the opinions of the audience.
8. Offer Incentives For Taking Part
Another important part of the survey process is to offer incentives for partaking in the process. This can be as simple as offering a free cup of coffee and biscuit, or a discount on their next purchase. These incentives are a way of thanking people for taking part in your business project and for improving completion rates.
9. Ensure You’re Talking To The Right People
Sometimes businesses get it wrong on the population they’re engaging with. For instance, there is little point in going to a shopping center to ask people about online shopping. Some might do both, but you’ll also pick up people who aren’t shopping online. Instead, look at the audience that matters most and seek them out.
10. Use Two Surveys
You should always use two surveys. One at the beginning of the business project and then one at the end. This way you can benchmark and assess progress during the business project. If you’re successful, this can be really motivating for your staff.
When you’re starting a business project, it can be very useful to survey your audience. This can help you identify key goals and set benchmarks. Unfortunately, not all surveys created are fit for this purpose. That is why you need to look at the ten tips and tricks listed above to ensure that you have a strong survey that can help you find all the important information you need.
More about surveys:
The Role Of Surveys In Creating Benchmarks, click here
The Science Behind The Survey, click here
It’s Easy To Engage Your Target Market With Quizzes, click here
How To Make Your Marketing Research So Much Easier, click here
Surveys – It’s All About The Real Time Analysis, click here
Read the french version
7 astuces pour optimiser les enquêtes de votre entreprise, click here