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Too Long And Too Boring Questionnaires, What To Do With Them?

19 Jan 2017

How to write a good survey?

The main goal of your questionnaire is to provide you with relevant consumer insight on your product or service. At the same time, you do not always get enough feedback because your survey was too long, too complicated or too boring. Here are some tips how to enсourage consumers to take your survey.

1. Ask interesting questions first

These questions will help you to get the attention of respondents. Once you get their attention you can proceed to more complicated questions. Don’t try too hard though. The good survey is always about keeping the right balance between getting information from a customer and entertaining him or her. Replace mediocre questions like “How often do you buy this brand?” with a lighter and more precise one: “How many times you saw your friend buying this brand in the last 2 month?”. As soon as you made them think, their attention is yours. 

2. Be concise

The shorter the better. No one has time to read and answer long, complicated questions. Even those who dare to do it will get border fast. Keep your survey short and don't ask irrelevant questions. 

3. Limit answer options

The more answer options you provide, the more respondents get confused and the less time they spend reading and trying to understand each answer options you’ve provided. Consequently, the insights you get are compromised since respondents were answering randomly.

4. Use simple phrasing

Try not to stuff answers with terminology, facts, and other complicated things, as they make people less concentrated. Use simple phrasing and commonly used words. Try to explain difficult things in the simplest way possible so even a 7-year old kid could understand. 

5. Ask about recent events 

In our everyday life, most of the time we use our short-term memory to remember things while long-term memory is reserved for milestones and more crucial life events. Keep this in mind when drafting a survey. Don’t ask people what they did last year but better ask them what they did during the last couple of weeks. In your survey opt for a question “How many cups of coffee did you drink last week at work?” rather than “How many cups of coffee did you drink during last 6 months?”.

6. Don’t use too many open-ended questions

If you use a lot of open-ended questions, be ready that the quality of answers will gradually drop with every next open-ended question in the survey. People are too busy (or sometimes too lazy) to come up with answers. They are far more keen on answering multiple choice questions.

The next time when you get to drafting a new survey just use these simple rules and you’ll be amazed how effective your survey can be.  

Try to make your best questionnaire with a free account at CoolTool. 

Written by Juliet Bakhmut, Sr. Content Manager at CoolTool

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