Surveys are a valuable tool when conducting research. Mobile market research companies use surveys to gather large amounts of data for measuring customer satisfaction, building social media strategies and campaigns, and conducting product or service feasibility studies.
Survey research can be used to make business decisions, but to ensure you obtain useful information, you want to put careful thought into your questions.
Ask clear and concise questions
Don’t leave any room for confusion by using clear and simple language in your surveys. Avoid using jargon or abbreviations, as using terms that respondents are unfamiliar with can result in them not answering the question accurately, or at all.
As well as the questions, keep the overall survey as concise as possible. Sending out long surveys with too many questions can be off-putting for respondents, especially if it looks like it will take a significant amount of time to complete the survey. This can result in people not bothering with the survey at all.
Avoid the use of non-specific questions that may result in vague responses that will not help with your research.
Avoid questions that ask two things at once
Survey questions that ask more than one thing are called ‘double-barreled’ questions.
Asking double-barreled questions can be confusing and hard for respondents to answer properly. They may not know which part of the question to answer and their answers may differ for each part of the question. This may lead to respondents only answering one part of the question, or not giving an accurate response to both questions.
Each survey question should only ask one thing. If you have a big idea, break it down into multiple questions.
To check if you’ve included any double-barreled questions, look for any questions that have ‘and’ or ‘or’.
Avoid biased questions and answers
While you may want to receive a particular answer, you should avoid leading respondents towards a certain response as this could compromise survey results.
Leading questions aren’t objective and can make the results of your survey unreliable. These types of questions force respondents to choose an answer that doesn’t reflect their opinion.
Avoid including your own opinion in your survey, as it may influence respondents to choose a certain answer or make them feel uncomfortable answering differently. You want to receive honest and accurate feedback with your surveys.
The answer options you include can also add potential bias, especially with multiple-choice questions. Giving respondents the option to select ‘other’ ensures they aren’t forced to choose a provided answer that may not be their true response.
Don’t ask the same question over and over
Try to make each of your survey questions different. Asking your questions in the same way over and over can cause respondents to become bored and they may be less engaged with the survey.
To avoid a repetitive survey, use different survey question types, vary how you ask your questions and space out any questions that do look similar.
The same goes for the answers you provide. Try to mix up the answer options, otherwise, respondents may start selecting the same answer every time, rather than carefully considering their response.
If you feel like you didn’t receive the data you need from the responses to a question, instead of asking the same question, try to break it down and reword it, or ask for further clarification.
Always allow for a neutral response
While you may want survey respondents to answer every question, you should always allow opting out of answering. Respondents may get frustrated if they are forced to answer questions that don’t apply to them, or none of the provided answers is suitable for them.
To help prevent receiving inaccurate data, or respondents not completing the survey at all, provide an ‘other’ or ‘I don’t know’ option with every question.
You may also want to consider that respondents may not feel comfortable answering some questions. Allow your respondent their privacy and do not force them to provide private information or answer anything they may feel uncomfortable with.
Respondents will not always have an answer to every question so to avoid getting skewed data, it’s important to always allow respondents to give a neutral response. Keep this in mind when deciding which questions are compulsory and which are optional. While including optional questions may result in receiving no response, this may be better than receiving a response that is not accurate.
Consider the type of question you use
There are many different types of survey questions, from multiple-choice to rating scale questions. The type you use within your survey research may depend on the information you need.
You don’t want to overuse the same type of question. If you use all multiple-choice, respondents may get tired or bored and start selecting answers at random. Using only long-form questions that require respondents to write out their answer requires a lot of effort and is time-consuming, and many people may not complete these types of surveys.
When conducting survey research, you want to gather as much information as possible. Asking a variety of question types allows you to gather a range of data.
SurveyManager provides an easy to use platform for mobile market research companies to conduct survey research.