So what are you waiting for? Ask away in an online survey!
But before you hit Send, let us ask you a question: Is your survey set up to get the most responses possible?
Here are a few tips to make sure your survey is well received, gets your audience excited, and gives you the data you’re looking for.
1. Know the objective of your survey
Why have you decided to conduct a survey? Is it to get some feedback? Is it to gather information? Is it to get an opinion on something? And is a survey the best way to get this information? Perhaps you can get the same answers by asking a question or two on your Facebook Page.
2. Choose your recipients
Once you’ve answered the question of why you’re conducting a survey, you need to make sure you’re sending to the right people. You may not want to send your survey to your entire mailing list, or post it for all of your Facebook fans to weigh in.
Select recipients who can give you the best information possible. People are not likely to spend their time taking a survey for something they are not interested in or do not have the experience in, or if they’ve already completed a survey for you in the recent past.
You may think that it won’t hurt sending it to a lot of people, but if everyone receives every survey that you do, they may be less likely to take the one that they are interested in. One way to solve this problem may be to split your mailing list in four parts, then send your survey to one quarter of the list every three months.
3. Create logical questions
When writing questions, consider the logic of how they’ll be answered.
For one thing, your questions need to be relative to the objective of the survey. Don’t ask extraneous questions that you don’t really need the responses to and that will distract from the goal at hand. Unnecessary questions may bore or confuse your recipients. They will also add extra length to your survey, making it less attractive for someone to complete.
In addition, you should create a good logic for how the questions are placed in your survey. The flow of the questions should be organized, and they should make sense to the survey taker. For example, “What motivated you to shop in our store?” followed by “Did your experience live up to your expectations?” You can also implement skip logic to create a customized experience for your participants, and eliminate irrelevant questions.
4. Send your survey at the right time
Sending out a survey at just the right time is key. For example, if you’re looking for feedback based on a shopping experience or after an event, don’t wait too long to follow up. Otherwise, the memory of that experience will be lost and the feedback you receive will be less valuable.
If your survey is less timely, be sure to send it at a time when people will be more likely to answer it. If it’s something professionally related, sending during the workday will be good because the person is in that frame of mind. But if it’s relating to an out of work or leisure activity (such as a travel experience), sending earlier in the day may cause the survey to be put aside and possibly forgotten. Better to send at night or on a weekend when the person will have more time to answer your questions.
5. Send out a reminder to people who have not responded yet
No matter how clear your welcome message is that your survey won’t take very long to answer, there will be people who put your survey aside and simply forget about taking it. Follow up only with these people. Give them just a gentle nudge.
6. Review your results
The purpose of you sending a survey is to get information you can use, so perhaps the most important thing you can do is act on what you learn. Take the time to really look at what your audience is telling you. Make changes to your business and create future surveys based on what you learn. This shows your audience that you are paying attention to what they are saying.
By all means, send a thank-you email to everyone who responded, informing them of the actions you’re taking. If you need to, create an additional targeted message for people who responded in a certain way. This is a nice way of acknowledging their input, and ensuring goodwill the next time you send out a survey.
The bottom line
If you want your survey to have a good response rate, it’s important to follow some best practices. Keep these in mind the next time you seek customer feedback and you may find you’re getting higher marks than ever before!
What feedback do you have about these tips? Any other advice you can share? Let us know in the comments section below.