Surveys are a quick, easy and effective way of obtaining a range of social value data. When designed properly, they allow you to gather a mix of qualitative and quantitative insight from respondents who might otherwise be difficult to receive feedback from, and in a format which can save time and expense on the side of the survey creator.
In a social value context, surveys are also a great way to understand the real, lived experiences, attitudes and behaviours of the people whose lives are affected by your CSR programmes.
To maximise the quality of the data collected, and to encourage a higher response rate, we encourage our clients to consider these six tips and tricks when creating and distributing their surveys.
1) Consider the purpose of your survey
Before you start, and throughout the design of the survey, have a clear picture of what you are looking to achieve – define what your end goal is.
Identifying the core purpose of your survey is fundamental to the success of this as a means of data capture, as it should inform all decisions made in relation to the survey. Consider how this influences length, tone, audience, sampling method, as well as the questions themselves.
2) Tailor it to your audience
One of the biggest challenges when using surveys is ensuring a high enough response rate to gather enough data to make the findings insightful and representative of the group you intend to analyse.
It sounds obvious, but it’s where we see many surveys fall down. For example, if you are designing a survey for sector professionals, limit the length of the survey and avoid open questions where possible, to take up as little of their time as possible.
In the same way that the majority of consumers expect their purchases to be personalised, survey respondents expect the survey they’re completing to speak to them as a person.
3) Try out different question types
Depending on the question being asked and the context in which it is asked, different types of questions are required to validly garner information from respondents. At its simplest, this might be choosing to use an open-ended ‘free-text’ question to prompt a qualitative response from a survey participant, or using a multiple choice question if you’d like to ensure that respondents answers are comparable and easy to categorise according to pre-set parameters.
Likewise, you might opt to be more daring. Impact includes over 15 survey question types including a specific ‘well-being scale’ or a ‘multiple choice grid (pictured).
4) Automate, where possible
Automating the delivery of your surveys in Impact is an effective way to:
- Save time – set up surveys to be triggered by an ‘event’, rather than having to manually prompt and deliver them.
- Promote engagement – time the release of your survey properly, to ensure that the participants’ opinions are as fresh as possible at the point of response.
- Keep it personalised – relevant surveys are triggered only once the user has completed a particular action.
5) Test, iterate, and test again
Be sure to review your survey from a user’s point of view.
Ask yourself: “Is it readable? Is it logical? Are the questions arranged in a digestible fashion with a clear narrative? Do the questions make sense, and will the answers provide the insight required for what I intend to do with the data?”
If possible, send a test version of the survey to a user group – ask for feedback, and consider the answers they provide. How might you further prompt for useful data or insight?
6) Learn from the data
Remind yourself why you are capturing this data.
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