Tips on How to Create Effective Survey Questionnaires

June 29, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Creating effective survey questionnaires is always a crucial aspect in the data gathering process. Whether it’s a thesis, research paper, customer survey, or employee satisfaction survey, questionnaires can make or break the whole study. If not done properly and accurately by a researcher, time, effort, and possible costs are wasted. It’s easy if you can find online survey software, but you can always make your survey from scratch and create one effectively on your own. Here are some tips to help you make your questionnaires as fool-proof as possible.

Brief Introduction
Respondents are not always accommodating when it comes to surveys, especially the long and detailed ones. Try to make it a short 1-page questionnaire or 2-3 pages if necessary. To encourage honest answers and properly inform your respondents of your objectives, include a brief introduction at the beginning of the questionnaire. Make it short and direct to the point but engaging and friendly as well. At the end of the questionnaire, always include a one-liner thank-you statement to appreciate the participation of your respondent. Give tokens if you have the budget for it. Respondents are more willing if you will be giving out freebies for participation.

Specific Audience Profile
One of the most important aspects of a survey is defining your audience. Here’s where you first ask your respondents their name, age, profession, status, location, etc. Some questionnaires are better if respondents are asked about their annual gross income because this is something relevant to the study. Always analyze what information you need from respondents to specify what demographics they fall under. This will help you measure and analyze your data based on demographics.

No Double-Barrel Questions
It’s been said time and time again that questionnaires shouldn’t have double-barrel questions. This type of question is asking about two varying information. In an employee satisfaction survey, this is one example: “Are you satisfied with your salary and job conditions?” The problem here is an employee might be satisfied with his/her salary but not with the job conditions or vice versa. This type of question may confuse a respondent and answers will lead to inaccurate results.

Avoid Open-Ended Questions
In any study, data is good if it’s measurable and quantifiable. In this way, you will easily know how many people go to a specific restaurant, what usual food they order, when do they usually visit, and how often. When you have questions starting with why or how, information is less measurable and create uncertainties that may affect your overall results. Always provide options that respondents can simply check or select rather than have them explain their answers. This will also help respondents accomplish the survey easily and accurately in less time. You can always add an optional “comments and suggestions” section at the latter part of the questionnaire to gather insight from respondents.

Find Sample Formats
Creating your survey from scratch can take you longer. It is recommended that you find online survey software or browse for free sample surveys online, so you can easily have an idea what type of questionnaire would be relevant and beneficial to your research.

Making surveys shouldn’t be a troublesome task. Find online survey software or get free sample surveys online.

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