Customer surveys are a powerful tool that can help you learn about your industry and your target audience. When designed well, they allow you to collect a large volume of data quickly and gain valuable insight about your market.
Unfortunately, creating an effective customer survey isn’t always a simple task. It requires careful planning and a clear understanding of your goals. Trying to create a survey without a clear game plan can be waste of time and resources.
Today we’ll share a six tips that you can use to make sure your survey provides reliable data and insightful customer information.
1. KISS (Keep It Short and Simple)
The traditional KISS principle is a staple in business, sport, and even day to day life. The above variation is a great way to ensure your survey accomplishes your goals.
When it comes to individual questions focus on asking your question in the shortest way possible. It might take a bit of practice but clear and simple questions will drastically improve completion rates. As for the overall survey, the same concept applies, shorter is almost always better so try to cut out any questions that aren’t critical.
Think about it, would you take the time to complete a 50 question survey?
2. Ask one question at a time
We’ve all seen surveys that try to chain together multiple questions: “How did you find our website?”, “Do you like the layout? Why or why not?” This is a common mistake and it can really impact your survey results.
If you want meaningful responses, you need give people time to think about each question individually and avoid confusion. Make things easy for your participants by sticking to one core idea at a time.
3. Make rating scales consistent
Even the most common rating scales can become confusing if it’s not used consistently. For example, if you initially use a 1 – 5 rating scale where 1 = Disagree and 5 = Agree, don’t switch to a scale later in the survey where 1 becomes the “most important” and 5 becomes the “least important”.
Changing 5 from “positive” to the “negative” half way through the survey is incredibly confusing and can lead to inaccurate answers from participants completely by accident.
4. Make use of Yes/No questions
If you are asking a question that will have a simple answer, do your best to phrase it in a Yes/No format. A study by Survey Monkey showed that this close-ended style of question are a perfect way to start your survey as they are easy to understand and quick to complete.
5. Avoid assumptions
Unless you are surveying a very targeted audience, avoid questions that assume the participant is knowledgeable about something.
One way assumptions can creep into your survey is through industry specific language and terminology. As a rule, cut out acronyms, jargon, and subtle industry references.
6. Incentivise survey participants
If you are struggling to get participants, it might be necessary to offer some type of incentive to push them towards completion. A simple offer such as a discount, a giveaway, or an account credit can boost completion rates by as much as 20%.
Before you launch your incentive program, make sure that incentive is something your business can support financially. You don’t want a simple survey costing more than the data you collect is worth.
Do you use customer surveys in your business? Are there any tips that you’d recommend to the PAYFORT audience? Let us know in the comments below or reach out via Twitter. And if you’re looking for more great content be sure to check out our Best of 2016 post here!