Online Surveys: Ten Little Tips To Build A Questionnaire

Online Surveys

You’re building an online survey for your users and you’re looking for some advice? In this article, I give you some suggestions to improve the performance of the questionnaires, both in terms of response rate and quality of data for analysis.

There is no better thing than to ask directly to users information about your business, to get qualified and deep data that can help you collect strategic information about your company and, therefore, make any improvements that allow you to increase sales and revenue.

Online Surveys: Quality data at no cost

I’m talking about online surveys, the medium that allows you very easily and at no cost to support qualitative data to other sources of information in your possession, the “cold” and numeric (an example is Google Analytics, data monitoring platform that collects numbers from your website).

Online Surveys
Image Source: Google Image

To construct a questionnaire on the internet, you will be managed by two technological elements …

  • A construction platform of the questionnaire: there are many, but the most common are Google Forms and SurveyMonkey, both free and very efficient.
  • A contacts database to send the questionnaire: You can also use e-mail you’ve collected for sending commercial communications (newsletters and promotional e-mails), or administering the survey to users browsing your web site in real time using paid tools like Hotjar.

For this, you must clearly add strategic competence in the construction of the online survey, which must begin with a more specific and articulated goals into a series of questions designed to meet these initial objectives.

You may also like to read another article on BSOinvest: Web analytic tools: How much you trust the data?

Two key targets: Response rate and data quality

Clearly, users who receive the questionnaire must answer … ! Most important in this sense, is the response rate you’ll get the total of items. Beyond the tangible or intangible incentives that you can use to stimulate the response (for example, a discount code or a gadget), to have a well-structured questionnaire and engaging for the user can shoot up the response rate.

At the same time, the data you get from the survey on the Internet should be useful for further analysis: even and especially in this sense, building a good questionnaire is essential.

In this article, I give you some advice to achieve precisely these two fundamental objectives, increasing the performance of your online surveys. The elements that you propose cover both the strategic phase, the operational phase of construction of the questionnaire.

Online Surveys
Image Source: Google Image

Ten tips to increase performance

1 – Define (very good) goals

An online survey will not give you great satisfaction if not fixed clearly the goal or goals you want to achieve. So, fix them well on paper and the questionnaire structure based on what you want to achieve. If, for example, you want to understand why new product that you have launched is not selling, focused solely on that goal, embracing the subject in the round.

2 – Introducing the topic discreetly

Especially when it comes to delicate or unfamiliar topics, introduce the subject with simplicity and clarity. Starting a bomb with “Have you ever considered an investment in photovoltaic?” Is not the correct move: some might not know the subject one hundred percent. Enter a brief description, with the purpose of the online survey, and ask a few questions getting to put at ease your customer.

3 – Open questions against closed questions

There is no standard answer: open questions and closed questions are used in different situations. An open question, i.e. telling the user’s discretion, allows for more diverse data and deep and is therefore useful for topics that you want to deepen or on which you have a few ideas. A closed question, with predetermined answers, it is instead the best choice to analyze the data with speed and get confirmations on an idea already analyzed.

4 – Use the stairs

Between black and white, there are many shades of gray. For this, a “yes” or “no” is often not the most apt to analyze the data. In this sense, you can use the stairs Likert, or the answers you provide for gradations from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”, through five or seven intermediate degrees.

5 – The vocabulary to be used in applications

Simple, fast and intuitive. You should not feel confused or ignorant. The risk of the closure of the questionnaire is very high and you cannot afford to lose a potential answer. Therefore, you have to be accommodating and use a language of the family.

6 – Avoid bias

The bias are the psychological mistakes we make due to internal or external stimuli that affect our brains. If I say “the population of New York, roughly 20 million?”, You will be taken – in most cases – to believe that they have between 15 and 30 million. Am I wrong? Instead, it has only 8.5 million. This is a typical phenomenon of anchoring, which if given in the questions can lead to erroneous data analysis.

7 – Addressing too personal questions

The questions are too personal, if unavoidable, (your goal is precisely that), have to be treated very carefully. Needless to say, face them with lightness can lead the user to leave the questionnaire, or worse to write a “desirable” response just to look good to the interviewer’s eyes. Although the survey is anonymous. For this, use of accommodative formulas as: “Some people use drugs to improve performance at work. Have you ever thought of using the drugs for this purpose?” And then, the next question, “Have you ever done?”

8 – Segmenting the user

Often, it can be useful to segment users who respond to your questionnaire, for example, by gender, age or other demographic or interest. Ask for this information in the first section of the online questionnaire, however, you can scare you or bore, decreasing the response rate. It is therefore good practice to include this type of questions in the concluding section.

9 – Quantitative and qualitative analysis

Depending on the size and complexity of the online questionnaire, you can analyze the data that you get the results with quantitative processes or qualitative. In the first case, we start from closed questions to study the number and unstructured data. The qualitative data are those that allow you to get into greater depth on the answers, but clearly require a considerably larger time for analysis.

10 – From the results the action

Do not let the questionnaires and the results remain empty and unheard. Work on the elements that emerge and facts transported to concrete and effective actions. If you listen to your users, your users will be able to transform your business for the better.

Optimize online surveys: Some conclusions

In this article, I described the importance of online surveys and some opportunities to improve the yield in terms of response rate and quality of results.

The performances can be obtained starting from the targets, until the drafting of operational structure and the questions in the questionnaire (introduction, middle section, conclusion), then get to the action, one that actually moves online surveys and that it is necessary to complete the process.

Still have questions about building online questionnaires?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.