Too many surveys are poorly thought out and structured, and are often far too long – this leads to high drop-offs. Here are some tips on how to make them better:
Set you objectives first. Before creating your survey, set out your research objectives and then compare your survey against these. Be ruthless about eliminating unnecessary questions. Don’t ask questions you can research using other means.
Make it flow. Survey flow is incredibly important. Start with easy, quick questions which help engage your respondent and gets them into the right frame of mind. However, bearing in mind that survey drop-offs tend to happen towards the end of the survey, you need to balance this with getting your most important questions in early.
Think “user friendly”. Structure your questions in such a way that the answer can be given by multiple choice, ratings, etc. Only use free response forms if you really have to. This makes it quicker and easier for the user. It also makes it easier for you to analyze and segment the data when you get the results.
Pre-test your survey. Ask several people to fill in the questionnaire and watch them complete it. Ask them for commentary. It’s so easy to ignore a potential response (e.g. how many surveys have you completed – or dropped off! – where you want to select N/A but the surveyor has not included this as a possible response).