5 Tips for Constructing an Effective Survey

Your customer can provide a wealth of insight on areas that need improvement, as well as inform and heighten lucrative strategies. With an effective survey, this insight and important perspective can become your competitive advantage, elevating your brand awareness through customer satisfaction. We consider the following 5 tips to be of the utmost importance when considering the construction of a customer survey.

1. Have a Clear Purpose

Without a clear end goal and purpose for the creation of a survey, you will ultimately be wasting both your customer’s and your own time. Make sure that you know exactly what you are hoping to accomplish with the survey, and how you will utilize the information collected. You only want to be asking the questions that will lead to useful results, ultimately transporting you to your end goal. Ask yourself, “What are you trying to learn with this survey?”

2. Be Brief

In order to avoid intimidating and over-burdening your respondent and maintain high quality results, it is very important to consider the length of your survey. Keeping the questions as brief and direct as possible will lead to more responses of a superior quality, that help you reach your end goal. You don’t want to risk losing your customer’s interest, because they may start to provide less accurate responses or abandon the survey completely.

According to research done by survey experts, SurveyMonkey, “The survey should take 5 minutes or less to complete. 6 – 10 minutes is acceptable but we see significant abandonment rates occurring after 11 minutes.”

3. Choose Your Words Wisely

Despite the importance of brevity, it is also essential to choose your wording and phrasing carefully. When constructing your survey, you should leave as little interpretation up to the respondent as possible. Crafting easily understood and precise phrases will always lead to more accurate results than using abstract concepts. Don’t ask more than one question at a time, and know when to ask open ended questions vs. closed ended questions.

4. Set a Consistent Survey Rating Scale

Rating scale consistency is crucial when constructing a survey, because if overly complicated, it will most likely lead to the confusion of a handful of your respondents. Often, surveys will employ the use of a 1-5 rating scale, 1 being “hated it” and 5 being “loved it”. No matter the scale that is being used, once the guidelines are set, they should not be altered at all throughout the survey as to not confuse the respondent, and in order to ensure more precise data overall.

5. Incorporate Free-Form Text Fields

After developing your rating scale, it can be very useful to find places on your survey for respondents to fill in their own thoughts and experiences. These types of responses can often lead to insightful information that you may not have previously considered, and generate completely new customer service initiatives. Don’t underestimate the value of letting your customer express their thoughts, unrestrained by YES or NO questions.

The implementation of an effective survey will lead to more informed decision making and to increased customer satisfaction. Although the concept seems simple enough, there are many tactics to consider when constructing a survey in order to ensure that you are collecting the most reliable and useful data possible.

Interested in developing and incorporating a successful survey into your process? Contact one of our many experienced team members, and let us be your competitive edge in the marketplace. At Touch Support we align diverse people, processes and knowledge to create customized, world-class user experiences for our clients and their customers. We turn IT headaches into opportunities through our relentless drive to do things better.