10 simple tips to great surveys

A good survey is a great source of data. If you're new to the game there are a few important things to keep in mind before you jump in. Data collection is crucial to a healthy business, and you want to get it right for the maximum results. Follow these simple tips, and you’ll be on the road to collecting accurate data and maintaining a trusting relationship with your customer. 

Here's your starter's tips to collecting quality data that makes a difference:

1. Keep your survey short
Don’t use more than 20 questions if you want to maximize the response rate of your survey. If a survey is longer than that, it’s quite hard to get busy people to take the time out of their day to finish the survey.

2. Keep the questions short
Questions should be short and concise. Make sure that the respondent can understand your questions easily, and avoid anything that could potentially be misunderstood.

3. Use statements instead of questions 
It's easy to answer by agreeing or disagreeing with a statement. It also makes the questions feel more personal to the respondent.

4. Ask yourself "why" upon adding each question
Only add questions that truly matter. Make sure your survey only includes questions that deliver the data that you need. And not just "nice to know" – data, but instead data that actually makes a difference when you make the decisions on what to improve in the future.

5. Avoid using ”and” in your questions
Only ask one thing per question. Here's a bad example: ”The customer service representative was kind AND professional.” What would you reply if she was kind but not professional?

6. Use different kinds of question types
Keep your respondents alert with different kinds of question types. Use sliders and 2D questions to keep the survey interesting.

7. Ask about importance
If you know what your respondents consider to be the most important, it helps you make much better decisions and sharpen your focus. If you ask about the importance, your survey will actually become a prioritization tool.

8. Don't ask leading questions
Questions should never be worded in a way that’ll sway the reader to one side of the argument. For example, a question: How short was Napoleon? leads the respondent to think Napoleon is short. Instead, ask: How would you describe Napoleon’s height?

8. Use the description field to add meaning
Keep the questions short but use the description field to help respondents understand the meaning of each question. This means that you can add descriptions to questions, explaining what you are after. This will help you get better data.

9. Group your questions
You can easily make the survey clearer by grouping questions. Smart grouping also decreases drop out rates.

10. Use free text questions
Even though free text questions should only provide back up data for the survey, they stand their ground in a survey. You might get good written points with free text that help you understand the main data better. The respondent might also have something they want to say, give them the opportunity to do so. Our pro tip: only use one free text question per survey.



Want to learn more? Sign up for our free online trainings here!