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What are you trying to achieve? And more importantly why would someone want to complete "your" survey?
Without sounding flaky, I do find that things happen in threes. Whether it is self fulfilling prophesy, synchronicity or serendipity, it isn't too far from the truth. What has been reappearing for me this past month centres around questions that I have received on creating surveys. I have had clients and colleagues approach me on the issue of creating a "follow-up" survey. In some ways this is a continuation of an earlier post, "How Employee Opinion Surveys Relate to Employee Engagement" with some specific suggestions.
So it is fortuitous that this excellent blog post that came across my desktop. It covers the issues in a way far better than I could: "How To Write Great Surveys with Actionable Data Results" You will find some other excellent links on the site as well.
Ben Yoskovitz's seven points as a "lay person" are bang on and aren't the typical recommendations you might receive. Please check it out. While I take a small exception with his views that length is a key factor in completion rates, he is right on one thing.
it’s not the length that matters as much as the quality and effectiveness of the content.
I think that Ben is implying that if a questionnaire is well designed that others will complete it. This may help the process but I would add . . . What is in it for them? So I will add a forth point to the list. Keep answering this question: Why would I want to complete this survey? With opinion surveys, employees are expecting / hoping to see positive changes. I was recently involved in a survey where less than one third of the typical response rate was achieved. These particular employees did not believe that anything would come about from the survey.
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Customer surveys are a bigger challenge. You want a good response rate, meaningful data and a broad sample base. Is there something that you can offer to your customers to make it interesting for them to complete? Please keep in mind that what you offer may influence the results. Some ideas to consider if they fit for you:
- summary report
- white paper
- "gift" or bonus
- donation to a cause
I know of a case where a week after the survey, the company sent out
a coupon to everyone regardless of whether they completed the survey or
not. Now that's class and you guessed it; they already had a great
loyalty and investment from their clients..