With the start of the 21st century, the era of information came to life, which put the main emphasis on data gathering, its clarification, and usage. In such conditions, a survey is seen as one of the main research methods.

Within the last decades, the efficiency of survey conduction rose significantly. Multiple types of surveys were developed and improved and you can use most of them as they are relatively easy to conduct. Among the most productive you can find face-to-face interviews, paper questionnaires, phone polls, online and mobile surveys.

How Important Is It to Develop Surveys in Your Research?

The cost of survey conduction is among the top benefits. Compared to traditional market research a survey can bring fruitful results at a relatively humble cost. For example, if you are developing a survey on your own and aren’t intended to pay respondents, you can run a survey for free.

Another benefit of survey research is the high representativeness of the gathered data. Usually, a survey sample represents the general population pretty well, therefore you can obtain precise data with only a few respondents from your target audience. 

Properly arranged surveys may provide you with data that has good statistical significance. Survey data is robust, precise, and distinct. If your respondents are willing to make specific choices or have formed tastes you’ll know about it. Now, without unnecessary hesitation, let’s go down to the practical aspects related to the survey and questionnaire preparation.

10 Best Practices To Build A Successful Survey

#1 Set Explicit, Achievable Goals for Your Survey

Your first step will be to set the goals for your survey. They should be clear, transparent, well defined, and achievable. Remember that your goals are directly related to the survey results.

#2 Leave the Personal Questions to the End

Within the questionnaire preparation, you should define its macrostructure, and assign places for large topics and types of questions. Usually, a questionnaire starts with demographic questions, followed by quantitative questions, and concludes with qualitative and personal questions. 

#3 Make Sure Your Survey Isn’t Too Long

Set the length of a questionnaire and the survey itself. It shouldn’t be too long, because respondents do not have much time to answer. Though you shouldn’t compromise the process, therefore include an introduction, explain the survey to your respondents, and appreciate their participation in the end.

#4 Use Closed-Ended Questions

Try to use closed-ended questions, as it would be easier and more comfortable for respondents to choose from a predefined set of answer options. Besides, it will save your time and make an impact on the whole timeline of a survey.

#5 You May Want to Include a Survey Incentive

A small sum of money for each respondent will be a good incentive, so if you have a small budget such micro-fees can attract more people to your survey.

#6 Be Careful Not to Ask Leading Questions

Don’t try to push your respondents and manipulate them by proposing poorly-developed answer options. You should keep in mind that if you are inclined to gather “responses that you already have in mind” the data will be distorted and incorrect.

#7 Balance Your Answer Choices

A questionnaire ought to contain several types of questions, and the answer options should reflect the full range of possible things. Pick up different types of scale questions as they measure tastes, opinions, and even market behaviour.

#8 Absolutes Can Ruin Your Response Quality

Absolutes and exaggerations can ruin your survey, so don’t use them. Your respondents need a good understanding of what you’re asking them. The words like “all” and “always” will be hard to comprehend.

#9 Avoid Posing Double-Barrelled Questions

One question should contain one main theme. In other words, you should ask one main thing, because multiple topics within one question may puzzle your respondents. For example, the question “Please rate the company’s products, advertise, and merchandising” is a bad choice.

#10 Before Submitting Your Survey, Review It

All of the things suggested above can be used in your survey, no matter if you are a beginner or a skilled researcher. There always will be things to improve. When you’re done with these suggestions, do one more thing – make a review before you start to question your target audience.