How to Recognize & Fix Errors Only a Few Respondents Have

Computer Cookies follow you just like chocolate chip cookies doTechnology is bound to have its hiccups. The more we rely on the internet and computers, the more risk we take in ensuring the safety of our data. Therefore, when we encounter an error that threatens to undo our work or jeopardize the progress we so diligently worked to preserve, the only natural reaction is to PANIC. It must be a bug! It must be an error I made during the survey creation process!

These are familiar phrases and the proverbial panicked tone resonates with us here on the Cvent Web Surveys Client Services team. We've been there too. We've created online surveys, sent email invitations to our CEO and senior management team, and been immediately met with email inquiries asking why they were getting an error message or why they could not access the survey.

The first thing we do: Breathe. Take a deep breath and calm yourself before you jump into the survey application to see where you went wrong. Because, and this may go against everything we learn in customer service, sometimes it is a survey respondent error. If 200 people in your survey sample, or even 20, have completed the web survey questionnaire sans issues, the latter is most likely the culprit. There are a few common problems that can initiate on the respondents side:

1. Using a browser that does not support the Cvent's Web Survey software tool. AOL, for example, will allow survey respondents to begin the survey, but respondents often run into trouble trying to respond to survey questions. So when getting emails from your sample list about an error, ask what browser they are using. The most effective browser to use with our online survey software application is Internet Explorer. Other browsers, such as Mozilla or Safari, still work but that's why it's important to test your survey before launching.

2. Cookies. They are delicious, they seem to draw you to them and, once consumed, will follow you forever, hence the lucrative personal fitness industry. Computer cookies act much in the same manner. They are small tags that are placed on your computer once you visit a website. They are great because they allow the website to recognize you if, and when, you return. They will keep your information stored while browsing through the website, even if you click to another page within it. They are dangers in that, similarly to that of a chocolate chip cookie, they follow you.

A permanent cookie will be stored on your computer unless manually deleted. They are responsible for that eerie sidebar advertising that coincidentally relates 100% to the site you just visited or the email clicked. So, what is the moral of this analogy? Ask your respondent to clear those cookies; they can sometimes have a way of interfering with the survey.Here are directions to clear a cookie in Internet Explorer (other browsers have similar steps):
a. Click Tools
b. Internet Options
c. Under browsing history, click Delete then Delete Cookies

It seems hard to remember sometimes that not all the errors respondents see are your fault. Don't assume they are and panic. Instead, take a deep breath and ask some questions. You may find it's just user error.
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