5 Tips for Creating Successful Market Research Surveys

survey-iconWriting survey questions can be tricky. You may know what data you want to collect, but if the questions aren’t written well, your respondents will end up confused. They may submit invalid responses or abandon the survey altogether.

Here are five tips for creating effective surveys to get you started.

Tip #1: Phrase questions objectively

Never lead respondents to a specific side of an issue. Doing so can end up swaying them to giving an inaccurate response. Take a look at the following example of a parent survey about vaccinations.

Question: Should concerned parents give permission for their children to receive the brand new vaccination?

The words “concerned” and “brand new” can affect the way parents answer the question. A better way to word the question would be:

Do you think children receive the (BLANK) vaccine?

Tip #2: Avoid making assumptions

Loaded questions can confuse respondents and affect the survey’s results. The following example is from a travel survey:

Which European country do you visit the most often?

What if the respondent doesn’t take vacations to Europe?

A more effective way to phrase the question would be:

How many times have you traveled to Europe?

Respondents who answer “1-2 times” or more can be promoted to answer the original question and those who answered “never” can skip it.

#3: Don’t provide too few (or too many) possible responses

Offering only two possible answers (such as “yes” or “no”) creates bias. The key is to make sure there are enough possible answers without going overboard. In most cases, four to five possible answers is an appropriate amount.

#4: Be careful with multiple choice questions

Because you want the responses to be valid, there should only be one right answer to a multiple-choice question. If there are too many “right” answers, your respondent won’t know how to respond. Check out the example below:

How many times a day do you check your work email?

1-2 times a day, 2-3 times a day, 3-4 times a day, 4-5 times a day

It would be impossible to get accurate data because there are too many “right” answers.

These options work better:

1 time a day, 2 times a day, 3 times a day, 4 or more times a day

#5: Use clear language

The goal is for all respondents to be able to understand each question. Stick to questions that make sense to the average person and don’t use jargon or abbreviations unless it is an industry-specific survey.

Follow these tips, and your respondents will feel empowered to answer all of the questions. In return, you will receive more accurate data. If you’d rather work with a marketing research expert who specializes in surveys, Zintro can help. Zintro is a fast and affordable way to find a highly-qualified Consultant. Post your project here!