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6 Keys to Creating Surveys People Love to Complete — 3 Comments

  1. This is really helpful advice. I love how you stress the importance of taking a step back and putting yourself in the respondent’s shoes as much as possible, realizing they don’t have the same level of understanding of the topic as you do. Also, your emphasis on being specific and making the survey easy for the respondent helps put the focus on client satisfaction. I actually hadn’t thought of the “Don’t force people to lie” piece and think this is an important element that is sometimes overlooked.

    • Even big marketing companies sometimes get it wrong.

      The last survey that I did — for a national fast food restaurant — asked a question that I couldn’t answer accurately. Under “why did you order the sandwich you chose?” the answers only included options that eluded to being influenced to make that choice (saw a sign, read the menu, or the server suggested it) but not why I choose what I did: it is what I always order (and is actually NOT on the menu anymore). As a result, my submission of their survey wasn’t a true and honest representation of my experience in their restaurant.

      When you craft survey questions, you need to think about people who fall outside of your assumptions and include options for them as well. If you don’t what those choices might be, simply offering the option to choose “other” lets everyone answer accurately. And if you allow people to fill in their answer, you may also discover a perspective on your question that you hadn’t considered. In the case of the sandwich survey, they might have learned that keeping one or two well loved sandwiches on the menu — instead of replacing them every couple of months — would serve the needs of a dedicated group of customers. Leading to higher profits with less effort.

  2. This is a great point. They were obviously limiting the possibilities for their company by neglecting to accommodate other points of view within the survey. How important it is to remember to consider other possible responses and include an “Other” category if necessary. Thank you!

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