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  Category: Articles » Internet & Online Businesses » Article

12 Tips for Using Survey Software

By Brian Henderson

I've been on the receiving end of far too many poorly constructed surveys that required way too much time and energy simply to share my thoughts. Even my favorite local brewery failed to retain my interest during their 20 page long saga of a survey. I have come up with my top ten list of how to conduct surveys without losing contact with your customer.

1. Define the survey's purpose.
Figure out exactly what you want your customers to tell you. For instance, you may want to find out if they are satisfied with your service. Then ask them.

2. Keep it short and sweet.
It shouldn't take a respondent more than 10 minutes to complete a questionnaire. Make it 5 or even 2 minutes or less, if you can manage.

3. Keep it simple.
Make sure respondents will understand the questions. Don't use jargon and don't make the questions too complex.

4. Make demographic questions last.
Keep information that is less crucial to your surveys towards the end, as people will apt to lose interest in your survey.

5. Keep it specific.
Don't ask open-ended questions that will give you a wide range of answers. That will make it difficult to analyze the results. Questions should be either yes or no, or multiple choice.

6. Make it consistent.
If the first question asks your respondents to rate your customer service on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being highly satisfactory, make sure that in subsequent questions, 5 always corresponds to being highly satisfactory.

7. Follow logic.
Make sure that one question leads naturally into another. Usually, the first questions will be broader and the follow-up ones will be more specific.

8. Do a test.
Give the survey to a group of employees or customers. This will tell you how long it takes to complete, and also what, if any, questions they find confusing.

9. Avoid weekends.

10. Send reminders.
If you e-mail the survey, set a deadline to receive the results. A few days before, send a reminder.

11. Entice.
Give your customers a good reason to answer your survey. Offer them a discount or give them a gift certificate. You're asking them to do you a favor, so show your appreciation.

12. Share.
Last, but not least, share the results with your customers and let them know what action you will take. If you need more information, do follow-up surveys. But remember, you're asking them to take the time to help you, so be careful not to abuse that relationship.
Survey software reviews are essential for most businesses. Hopefully this will help those of you conducting surveys to make fewer mistakes the first time you conduct professional feedback for your business...
About the Author
Brian Henderson oversees internal and external marketing for Prezza Technologies. Prior to joining Prezza Technologies, Brian has held senior-level marketing positions in successful New England-based companies, including Perseus Development Corporation, Equallogic Corporation, and EMC Corporation
Learn more about Prezza Technology's Online Survey Software.

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  Some other articles by Brian Henderson
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