Choosing and Using Online Survey Software Effectively

June 30, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

An online survey software program makes your market research easier with a questionnaire template, instant generation of graphs and charts, and other significant tools. Using this type of program, you don’t have to create from scratch your research instrument and even the summary of your results. You can also easily analyze your survey results since it will automatically produce the necessary graphs and charts for you.

But there are some things you need to keep in mind to make these programs really work for you. Here are some ideas to help you maximize the benefits of this type of software.

First of all, you need to be clear with the objective of your research. You need to determine what you want to know from your respondents and what you’ll do with the results afterwards. This will help you know what kind of survey you need to do and what inclusions you should look for in your online survey software.

You can then search for the program that will work best for you. There are survey programs offered completely free of charge, and there are those that are available for free for a certain period only. Almost every site that offers these programs provide advanced features for a price. Choose one that will deliver the functions that you need. Since most of them offer a free trial period, go ahead and sample the features of at least a couple of these products. Compare to see which product would be work best for you. This will also help you see if your objectives can be satisfied with the free version or if you do need to upgrade.

While the software will already provide you with a template, make sure that your questions are clear, concise, and neutral, whatever the format you wish to use – multiple choice, ranking, open-ended, etc. And you need to be sure, too, that you don’t force your respondent to choose answers that aren’t true to them, only because their real answers aren’t offered in your questionnaire.

Always test your survey before you distribute it to your full list of respondents. You can first try sending it to your colleagues or friends who would fit the respondents that you are targeting. You can also consider sending them to people who use different browsers. If you’ll be sending the survey to various media like PCs and mobile phones, make sure you also test them on these media. In this way, you can both check the phrasing of your questions and the technical aspect of your survey. How the respondents understand your questions and how the questionnaire loads on the respondents’ screens are among the most critical factors that can make or break your survey.

If necessary, make the changes according to the feedback from and analysis of your testing. Once your survey is completely clean, send it to your target respondents. Online survey software programs usually provide distribution options including sending through e-mail or by posting on a website. It is best to send out an update to your respondents regarding the results of the survey. It doesn’t mean that you’ll divulge every detail of the study. A general summary and a simple announcement of what you plan to do after getting the results would be enough. This will make the respondents feel that what they did was important. And you’ll also get a good chance of them willingly answering your other surveys in the future.

Online survey software programs make your research easier, but more accurate. Visit the Web Survey Creator website to get free survey templates for various industries and purposes.

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Candy_Carr

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