One of the core components of market research firms is creating and analyzing surveys. No two surveys are alike. They can range from simple data-collection forms to comprehensive multi-page forms.
While there is software that can help with survey creation and distribution, you’ll get more reliable data by partnering with a market research company. As with any market research project, designing the study is but one step in a many-layered process. Market research recruitment and transcription services are equally as important,
We’ll share with you three tips from market research consultants about designing surveys that will boost completion rates.
Tip #1: Consider your Audience
Remember that people are busy and have multiple demands on their time. Don’t expect surveys to be immediately filled out and returned.
Market researchers always consider the audience and design surveys that reflect who is filling out the survey and what types of information is being solicited. The type of survey being created will determine how much time you give responders to engage. For short surveys with simple yes/no or multiple-choice answers, you can expect a quick-turnaround. Longer surveys, or ones that require written out answers need a longer timeline. Every survey has a sweet spot for engagement. Think of a bell curve. The flat tail on one side of the curve represents too little time allotted to complete a survey, while the flat tail on the other side of the curve represents too much time allotted. You’re aiming for the peak of the curve with regards to engagement.
For survey results to be meaningful in any way, you need a large enough sample size.
Tip #2: Easy to Understand
There is an art to writing survey questions that are concise and clear. Responders need to be able to fully comprehend the questions so they can provide reliable answers. Questions that are too wordy, or ask multiple questions will confuse respondents and muddle the responses.
For more in-depth or complex surveys, it is sometimes helpful to provide examples or suggestions. A word of caution: you never want to influence the answers given, but instead provide a road map for answering questions. Examples or suggestions should only be included as a prompt rather than answers themselves.
Tip #3: Longer surveys should be broken into sections
When users are recruited to participate in long-form surveys you might be thinking, ‘they knew what they were signing up for.’ While it’s true that recruiters are forthcoming with participants about what to expect by taking part in a quantitative market research study, there are design tips that can improve engagement.
Long surveys can sometimes appear intimidating or overwhelming. An easy way to make a long survey more user friendly is to break it up into sections. The eye can quickly scan the sections and make it easier for the brain to categorize than if it was a singular looking survey with lots and lots of questions.
Having a long survey broken up into sections doesn’t mean that it is more manageable. Designers still work hard to distill surveys down to their essential questions so they take no longer than 20 minutes to complete. When surveys take more than 20 minutes, the quality and accuracy of answers diminishes.
As with any market research study, you’re looking for patterns between respondents. When trends can be identified, better-informed decisions can be made.