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Best Practices

Best Practices for Planning Expert Surveys

| Last updated on Mar 03, 2020

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Planning is an essential part of every important thing you do. It is the process of thinking about the activities required to achieve a desired goal. And when it comes to creating surveys, it is equally important to effectively plan it first before creating and distributing the survey to your customers.

When we talk about planning expert surveys, you must keep in mind the objectives of conducting the survey. You need to brainstorm about your goals, the questions for creating your survey and your target audience be it your customers, employees, guests or patients. Your survey must be designed in a way that it is able to capture their real insights so that it can help you improve their Experience.

For planning effectively for creating a great survey, you need to follow certain steps. These steps are crucial for planning a survey to make it a success.

Steps to Plan Expert Surveys

  1. Define the Purpose of your Survey
  2. Decide on your target group
  3. Breakdown the purpose & limit the survey scope
  4. How to reach your target group
  5. Decide on the questions
  6. Design your survey

Let's review how you can follow these steps to effectively plan your expert surveys.

1. Define the purpose of your Survey

First and the foremost step to plan a survey is to define the purpose of the survey. It is the basic step of any survey planning. You need to concentrate on the reason why you are creating the survey.

It may be a variety of reasons like understanding customer behavior, achieving a target of increased sales, in order to start a new product in the market, to find a reason for reducing customer base, or a regular market research to capture Customer Feedback about your products and services.

Once you decide your purpose of the survey, you can note it down and need to consider it while creating your survey throughout. This will help you in every step of creating the survey whether it is designing of the survey or taking decision on the questions to be asked.

2. Decide on your Target Group

When you have decided your purpose, the next step is to make decision on the target group. Although, it is a critical aspect of the survey to target the right group of people, yet, when you have decided the purpose of your survey, you will be knowing your target audience group easily.

For instance, you want to obtain feedback about your product, the target audience would be obviously your customers who have used the product. Similarly, if you want to launch a new product and you want to do a market survey, you need to target some particular demographic groups which would be interested in your product.

3. Breakdown the Purpose & Limit the Survey Scope

When you are conducting a survey, it is very difficult to stop yourself to ask too many questions in order to obtain as much as information as possible related to every aspect of Customer Experience. But remember, it can affect your response rate adversely.

Customers usually leave a survey in between if it is taking a very long time to complete the survey.

To avoid a reduction in the response rate, you should breakdown the survey purpose and try to limit the survey scope. You can breakdown the purpose of the survey into small blocks of questions. This is a very good way to simplify your survey by dividing it into small groups of questions.

For instance, you want to ask questions related to product performance as well as customers' experience with services of your brand. You can put a heading like "Product Experience" and ask 3-4 simple questions under this. Similarly, you can create another heading like "Service Experience" and add questions under it regarding the Customer Experience with the services you are providing.

Also, you should limit the scope of the survey and ask limited and simple questions in the survey otherwise it can have a negative impact on the survey results if the customers feel that the survey is asking for too many unnecessary details consuming a lot of precious time of the customers.

4. How to Reach Your Target Group

Reaching your target group is another crucial step of creating an expert survey. You should plan it well in advance as to which channel you would be using to seek your customers for a survey.

There are various Customer Survey Tools available in the market nowadays which help you to create surveys. But you need to plan well and choose wisely a powerful survey software which helps you to create customized surveys in different languages and can capture survey responses via different channels.

With an effective survey software, you can reach your target group via email survey, SMS survey, android survey, online and offline survey. You can also reach your customers via social media websites. Try to choose that mode which you feel can yield you a higher response rate depending upon the nature of your survey and your target group.

  1. Email Survey - You can reach your target group with the help of email surveys. An effective survey software enables you not only to create powerful surveys, but also send them in bulk to a large number of customers in a few clicks.
  2. SMS Survey - Having a very good response rate and a read rate greater than even emails, SMS is also an effective means of reaching your target group. You can send bulk SMS to your target groups along with a survey link in the SMS.
  3. Android Tablets - You can also collect survey responses from your target group with the help of your Android tablets. You can hand it over or set up as a touchscreen kiosk and get real-time survey responses.
  4. Online Survey - You can also capture survey responses through online surveys on your website. You can simply provide easily accessible links to the survey on your website which open quickly with a single click.
  5. Offline Surveys - You can reach your target group via offline surveys in areas with low internet connectivity with the help of an Offline Survey App. The survey apps help you capture survey data on iPad and Android tablets even without internet and the data is synced automatically when connected to the internet.
  6. Social Media - You can also reach your target group on social media website pages of your organization by providing survey links there. The audience should be able to view the link and access it easily.

Whichever way you use to reach your target groups and invite them for a survey, it is important that it is visible to the audience and it should open quickly by a single click in seconds.

If the survey page takes much time to open and load the page, customers tend to get irritated and leave it in between.

5. Decide on the Questions

Making a decision regarding the survey questions is the most important decision of a survey plan, and probably the toughest too. To make this task a bit simpler, you need to think here in a different way.

Instead of concentrating on what questions to ask, you should focus on what responses you want from the survey. Think about whether the questions you are asking will yield you valuable responses or not and how will it help you in business decision making.

Focus on the goal of the survey, and then decide which type of Survey questions you should include in the survey. If you want to obtain quantitative data, you should include closed-ended questions and you can obtain metrics like NPS, CSAT and CES.

Whereas, if you want to obtain rich qualitative data which conveys you the true feelings of the customers about you and your products and services in their own words, you can use open-ended questions too but try to limit open-ended questions for 1 or 2 only. You should:

  • Avoid asking leading questions which take the respondents towards a certain answer.
  • Avoid double-barreled questions to be included in your survey.
  • Use simple and easily understandable language in your surveys.
  • Allow for neutral responses and provide NA (Not Applicable) options wherever required.

6. Design the Survey

When you have planned all about the purpose, goals and questions to be asked in the survey, you should focus on designing of the survey. The survey design should be well planned based on the purpose of the survey and the objectives to achieve through survey.

The design of the survey should be simple and in line with the target group you have decided for the survey and the ways to reach them. You should decide which questions to be asked first and which ones at the last so your survey design is well structured and you get maximum responses of the survey.

In this way, you can plan your survey effectively and make it an expert survey giving you maximum response rate.