A couple of weeks ago I provided tips (1-3) on how best to design an online survey (link). In this blog post, I conclude the advice.
- Offer an incentive! A prize draw for respondents is a good way to attract people to complete your online survey. Whether the survey is with your customers or people you have no relationship with, all potential respondents will appreciate the fact that you value the time they take to complete the survey. A small investment in a prize (but don’t be cheap!) will almost certainly be rewarded with a higher survey completion rate. Don’t forget to request the respondent’s email address so you can contact the winner. You can also use pictures of the presentation of the prize in your marketing activities!
- Send a summary of the findings to respondents. It is often a good idea to send a summary of the research findings to respondents. This is particularly true for customer satisfaction research but also if you’re a public body that has requested input from citizens. At the end of the survey ask respondents to provide their email address if they’d like a summary of the findings. Alternatively, you can include a summary of the findings on your website. This will provide respondents with recognition of their input, show that you value it and increase their sense of connection with your organisation.
- Include at least one open-ended question. Online surveys are a great way to obtain valuable information from respondents for just a small investment of time on their part. While structured, closed questions are easy to analyse I have found from experience that it is beneficial to include at least one open-ended question in this type of survey. Often placed at the end, this type of question can be a great source of valuable commentary from respondents that will add depth and colour to the research findings. They can often shine a light on things, both positive and negative, that you may not have been aware of. They can also be used as anonymous quotations to support your marketing activities.
Examples of open-ended questions –
- ‘Have you any comments to make on the [subject of survey] in addition to the information you have provided already?’
- ‘How would you describe your feelings towards our organisation/business in your own words?’ [customer satisfaction survey]
- ‘Please suggest three things that our organisation could do to improve things for [citizens/customers] like you?’
Best of luck with your online surveys. If you’re doing a survey in-house and want to ensure its well-designed get in touch. We’ll be happy to check it out on a consultancy basis.