9 top tips to creating online surveys that work

Online surveys are a great way of gathering useful information from your customers about their preferences, needs, behaviours and level of satisfaction with the products and services you provide.

If you are planning to set up an online survey, here’s a quick refresher on what you can do to maximise the effectiveness.


1. Set Expectations

In your invitation to complete the survey, make sure you clearly state the survey’s goals, what you are planning to do as a result of feedback, and how long it will take. Be honest about length – otherwise people will simply end up disgruntled and abandon part way through.


2. Maximise survey responses with incentives

Offer relevant incentives to customers to take your survey. They are taking their valuable time to give you feedback. Consider communicating back to them what you have changed as a result of conducting the survey - this will make them feel listened to and strengthen their relationship with your brand.


3. Know your audience

If you have an existing relationship with your survey recipients, don’t ask questions about their name, email address or customer type if you already have these details. Instead link the survey directly to your database for enhanced reporting functionality.


4. Simplicity is key

Structure your survey questions into logical sections and include a heading on each page. Avoid having too many questions on one page to make the survey easier to understand and get through.


5. Ask only relevant questions

Apply conditional branching to your survey so that recipients only see the questions that are relevant to them based on how they answer previous questions.


6. Avoid ambiguity

Avoid ambiguity in your survey questions and ensure your questions are easy to understand. Get someone else (ideally someone who is not as close to your business as you) to review the questions.


7. Choose your questions carefully

Select the most appropriate question type. To allow multiple answers to a question, set up the answers as checkbox options. For just one answer, choose a radio button or a drop down menu.


8. Set-up instant notifications

Set up email alerts so that you are notified when a respondent answers a key question in a particular way. For example if a customer gives you a poor satisfaction rating, you can instantly notified to resolve this issue.


9. Test your survey thoroughly

Test your survey carefully and check that your results are being captured accurately. Make sure that the layout is browser-tested and correctly represents your brand’s look and feel.


Whether you have been using a survey tool for years, or looking for a new one, check what functionality it has available would help you achieve a better customer experience, and allow you to gather more useful and valuable feedback.

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