4 Online Survey Mistakes – and How to Avoid Them
An online survey is a great way to understand your customers so you can target your products to their exact needs. But if you’re not careful about how you create your survey, then you risk alienating consumers and generating data that could lead you astray and cost you thousands of dollars.
If you’ve ever taken an online survey for another business, then you’ve probably seen how awful they can be. Some of the biggest brands in the world use highly ineffective market research tactics, or simply aren’t putting enough thought into their survey systems.
Using a good online survey can do wonders for your business – and your bottom line, IF you avoid the common mistakes that can doom your online survey to failure and prevent you from getting the valuable information you need.
Let’s take a look at some of biggest mistakes and how you can avoid them:
1) Your online survey is too long.
This is a very common mistake! We’ve seen some online surveys take up to 90 minutes to complete. When was the last time you took a survey that long? You might convince a few people to complete it, but most people will give up after the first few questions—which means you’ll hear from only a tiny fraction of your customers, instead of the representative group you need. Keep your survey as concise as possible: A good rule of thumb is to keep it to 6-10 questions. Include only the questions that are most crucial to your market research goals.
2) Your got too personal, too fast.
Far too many online surveys begin with demographics, asking for such personal information as age, gender, and even income. This is a quick way to doom your online survey to failure! These questions are not only personal and intrusive but they can also be boring. Think about it: If I met you at an event and began the conversation by asking how old you are and how much money you made last year, our conversation would probably end quickly. Your online survey IS a conversation and needs to be treated as such. Beginning your online survey with demographics is not the way to build the bond, connection, and trust that your online survey should engender. Ask for demographic information at the end; assure them that the information will be confidential and be open about why you’re asking for it.
3) Your questions are difficult to read or understand.
The data you generate from your surveys is only as good as the questions themselves. If your questions aren’t clear, then different respondents will interpret the questions differently—which means your data will be misleading. Make sure that every question is easy to read and easy to understand. That means writing your questions clearly, not using any jargon or technical terms, and never using abbreviations without clarifying their meaning.
Many companies make the mistake of asking too many questions about the company itself. “What do you like about this product? How to you rate it compared to our competitors? How do you feel about our brand?” However, the more your survey focuses on YOU, the less you’ll learn about your customers’ real needs. By asking customers more about their individual wishes and opinions, they’ll be happier to respond, and you’ll generate more valuable data too. You can STILL get the information you need about your company—but if you begin the survey with questions about the customer that engage them, your online survey will be much more successful. Remember, in an online survey—as in marketing—you have to tell the customer “what’s in it for me.”
Need helping writing your online survey questions? Let MySurveyExpert be your guide. We offer high-quality survey systems for small businesses who want to increase their profits with effective market research.
No matter what your business or industry, our proven strategies and online survey templates can help you connect with customers, understand their true needs, and generate useful data to market your business for maximum profitability.