12 Steps to Create a Survey

A Survey is defined is a research method used for collecting data from a pre-defined group of respondents to gain information and insights on various topics of interest.

A good survey is defined as a survey that is easy to use, intuitive and collects the highest number of completed responses from a sample or population that aids towards the market research study. The basis for a good survey is that it has a good survey design and that the survey generates a good survey response rate.

A lot of factors define the success of a survey; some of the major factors are cost, size, and accuracy of the sample, time to collect responses, methods of survey distribution and the actual quality of the survey. A good survey needs to incorporate multiple factors to be considered relevant. In this piece, we will focus on the steps and the important points to remember for creating a good survey.

Top 12 Tips to Create a Good Survey

  1. Define Survey Purpose
    An important element to conducting a good survey is the introduction because it sets the tone for the survey and portrays to your respondent that you do care about their time and value their effort. It is also important to define the objective and purpose of the survey so that the respondent has buy-in into the survey and the end objective of the research. Respondents tend to drop out if they fear their personal information being misused. If this is clearly mentioned at the start of the survey that the information will be kept confidential, it aids to the success of the survey.
  2. Use Survey Questions Judiciously
    The number and types of survey questions used in a market research study can be different in each case depending on the research objective. Short surveys and close-ended questions are used when some existing data is already known about the survey respondent. However, in the case of in-depth research, long-form questions and survey, as well as multiple open-ended questions have to be used as they contribute to in-depth data collection and aid towards the end objective of the research study.
  3. Add Survey Progress Bar
    One important factor that people miss on having in a survey is the progress bar. This helps the data collection process because the respondent is aware of how far they’ve come in the survey and how much time is left. Since they are aware of how much is left in the survey, they tend to continue with the survey and not drop out.
  4. Speak the Respondent’s Language
    Using complicated words or technical jargon in the survey may give the respondent a feeling that the survey is not for him/her and then drop out. Using words that are easily recognized amongst the potential respondent population are imperative to the success of the survey.
  5. Don’t use Complex Questions
    There are multiple question types that can be used in a survey that aid in data collection. It is important to not use a complex question or question types in the survey because that adds to the survey dropout rate. Using simple questions like multiple-choice questions or Net Promoter Score (NPS) Questions help in increasing the number of survey responses.
  6. Use Consistent Rating Scale Questions
    If you use rating scale questions, make sure that the scales are consistent throughout the survey. Using scales from -5 to +5 in one question and -3 to +3 in another question may confuse a respondent. If in one question a -5 signifies “Very Disappointed” and in another question, a -3 denotes the same variable, it confuses the respondent to the point that he/she may lose interest in the survey.
  7. Order the Survey Logically
    Respondents like to answer the survey questions in a logical flow. If the questions are jumbled, the respondent may lose interest. Also, if irrelevant questions are displayed, that causes the respondent to drop out of the survey immediately. For example, if a question asks if the respondent has visited a restaurant and on selecting no, the survey flow still displays the question about the experience at the restaurant, it will irritate the respondent. Hence it is important to use skip logic and branching in the survey.
  8. Avoid Biased or Misleading Questions
    To ensure the quality of data, it is important to avoid asking any biased or misleading questions in a survey. For example, if Starbucks is collecting feedback about the quality of coffee, the question cannot be asked as such – “Is the coffee at Starbucks better than the coffee at Panera?” That creates a bias in the mind of the survey respondent and he/she either only has a choice of only a yes or no option, rendering the survey, pointless.
  9. Test Survey
    Before the survey is sent out to the sample of potential respondents, it has to be tested thoroughly to check if all the questions are rendering correctly and the survey logic is working fine.
  10. Survey Distribution
    No matter how robust or good the survey is, it requires respondents to be considered a good survey. It is appropriate to know the audience for the survey and the best way to reach them. For example, distribute the survey via email or use a web-intercept survey.
  11. Send Reminders
    Sending reminders can increase the survey response rate exponentially. While it is important to not spam the respondent that they ultimately want to disassociate from your brand, timely periodic reminders help towards the survey completion rate and ultimately being considered a good survey.
  12. Offer Incentives
    No one likes to do anything for free. Offering incentives may increase the chances of the survey being considered a good survey since a higher amount of people would take the survey. The incentive could be in the form of a monetary incentive, a commodity or plain access to the research report after the completion of the study.

How to Create a Survey Online – With Steps

Creating a survey online is extremely easy and effective if done using the right online survey tool. Creating an online survey with an online survey platform like QuestionPro is very easy. These steps are enlisted, below.

Creating a Survey

The QuestionPro platform allows you to create a survey in 3 ways. They are:

  • New Survey from Scratch: You can create a new survey from scratch by using the readily available question types within QuestionPro. It can be customized as per your need from the very beginning.
  • Import a Word Document: You can design your survey in a word document and then upload it to our system. You will need to follow a specific syntax for this to render correctly.
  • Use an Existing Survey Template: QuestionPro provides readily available templates with predefined questions. You can select the category based on your use case.

QuestionPro makes it easy to create a survey from scratch. To create a survey from scratch:

  1. Click on the ‘Create Survey’ button.

    Create a Survey with QuestionPro

  2. Click on Start from Scratch. 

    Create Survey From Scratch QuestionPro

  3. Enter the survey name.
  4. Click on the Create button.

    Name Survey QuestionPro

  5. The survey will be created and you can proceed to add questions.

    Add Question QuestionPro

In the same fashion, you can also import a survey from Word using the below and then continue with the subsequent steps.

Create Survey from Word QuestionPro

The other way to create a survey is by using the readymade templates of QuestionPro.

Create Survey from Template QuestionPro

An example of how this survey would look after completion is the Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Survey Template that you are free to use to create a good survey.

USE THIS FREE TEMPLATE