Online surveys are a popular way of gathering information from people. Whether you're measuring customer satisfaction and feedback, taking employee feedback, capturing a lead at an event or doing market research, online surveys are useful in gathering any information from the market.
The key to a successful survey lies in its effectiveness. In order to create an effective online survey, you don't need to spend days learning to create surveys and become a survey specialist. You can simply start by following some simple tips and best practices that help you gather the information you want to obtain.
Online surveys are effectively used to gather information using feedback survey questions.
One can use these surveys in different situations, including market research, customer feedback collection, customer satisfaction, and more.
- The key to a successful online survey lies in its effectiveness. In order to create an effective online survey, you don't need to spend days learning to create a survey and become a survey specialist. You can simply start by following some simple tips and best practices that help you gather the information you want to obtain.
- These could include creating concise surveys, choosing question types, survey testing, and more.
- Zonka Feedback is one of the most powerful online survey tools that allows businesses to create and send online surveys via different channels like on the website, in-product or in-app, through emails, survey links, and more. You can sign up for a free 14-day trial or schedule a demo to explore the various features of this online survey software.
Getting Started with Creating Online Surveys
When you start creating a survey using your iPad or Android survey app, the first thing is to focus on the survey questions as the response rate depends on the questions you ask from your customers. The best way to do this is to think of the answers, which means to be clear about the information you want to obtain from those questions.
You must be clear about your survey goals and ask questions in a way that motivates people to respond without taking much of their time. For instance, if you are taking surveys online to report bugs in your product, the users are already hampered with their product experience. You do not want them to spend a lot of time filling out unnecessary details like their name, email, mobile number, etc.
Since they're already using your product, they must've signed up and filled all those details. All you need to ask is a 1 to 5 rating question about their experience or any other question followed by a bug-reporting question that also comprises an open-ended question for them to add their comment.
Similarly, post a home delivery, you want to ask questions like 'How was the delivery time?' or 'How was your experience of the home delivery service?' or 'Please rate the quality of the food just delivered at your doorstep'.
Online Survey Strategies and Best Practices
Here are some simple tips and tricks that help you create effective online surveys and receive a high response rate with accurate information.
Tip #1. Keeping Surveys Short and Simple
Let's be honest, nobody, including you and me, has the time to respond to long and time-consuming surveys. So when you create an online survey, always make it as short as possible. Research suggests that around 70% of people leave the survey in between due to the surveys being lengthy.
The questions should be clear and simple so that the customers can give to-the-point answers. Creating crisp online survey questions and keeping them short would not only help your customers save their time but will also save your own time by giving you more clear and meaningful data. Some important things you should ensure:
- Keep the survey questions to the minimum possible number
- Add only required number of survey pages
- Avoid repetitive questions
- Ensure that the online survey link doesn't take a lot of time to load
It is a common tendency of the respondents to leave a survey in between if it is consuming more of their time. This decreases the response rate of the survey. So, try to create short and simple surveys so that people complete the full survey and you get a good response rate.
Tip #2. Using a Combination of the Right Type of Questions
Questions are the core part of a survey. It is justified to say that the success of a survey mainly depends on the questions asked in that survey. To make an online survey effective, you need to put together a variety of questions so that you can obtain a clear picture of the perception of the respondents regarding different aspects of your business.
- Use a combination of both open-ended questions and closed-ended questions in your survey so that where you need clear choices among a few options, you can have the exact answers and where you cannot cover all possible alternatives in the options, the respondents can freely share their views and opinions.
- Use a good survey structure in putting the questions. You can use Funnel Technique, in which you can structure your questionnaire in such a way that you start your survey with simple questions of general interest that are easy for the customers to answer. These questions help to create an environment for the customers so that they get involved in the survey.
- In the middle, the most difficult questions are placed which are of less general interest and need time to think while answering. At the end, again questions of broad interest are put so that the customers answer them easily and complete the survey. This strategy helps in making the survey more effective.
- End the survey with gratitude and thank the respondent for their time.
Tip #3. Using Easy Language - the Language of your Customer
When you are creating an online survey, always keep in mind that the language you use in your questions is reader-friendly and your customers can easily understand it. Avoid using difficult and complex words which your customers may misinterpret. This can lead to totally wrong results of the survey which will certainly not help you obtain a good data to be used to make business decisions.
- Use simple and easy language in your survey questions.
- Make sure your questions are easy to understand.
- Create survey questions in different languages for different customers.
A multilingual survey is likely to get more responses if you have an audience that communicates in multiple languages.
Tip #4. Giving a Clear Estimation of Time to complete the Survey
Imagine visit a shopping mall and a salesman approaches you and requests you to fill a small form, but as you start filling it, you notice that the form contains long questions. As soon as you fill it, the salesman gives you two more form sheets to fill. You are in a in a situation when you are already busy and have a lot of stuff in your list to shop. How would you feel? Would you continue to fill the feedback form? Most probably, no!
Same is with your customers. If a survey is taking a longer time than expected, most of the respondents will leave the survey in between which will eventually decrease the response rate of your survey. Therefore, always give a clear estimation of time taken to complete the survey at the beginning of the survey itself. It is one of the best practices to be followed that conveys a message that you value the time of your respondents.
Tip #5. Motivating the Respondents to Complete the Survey
When you create a survey, you should motivate the respondents to take the survey. The ideal time to do it is in the beginning of the online survey itself.
- Tell the purpose of your survey - Use introduction messages in your online surveys like "We're conducting this survey to understand your requirements better"
- Establish the importance of filling out the survey - Let your respondents know the importance of them filling out the survey, for instance, "Your feedback helps us to serve you better."
This will motivate the respondents and the users to provide their feedback through surveys. Moreover, this will showcase that you value the relationship with your customers and their feedback matters.
Tip 6. Avoiding Biased and Leading Questions
When you are creating an online survey, avoid using any leading words or sentences in your question which can affect the answer from the customers. When you put your opinion in the question, it can make the survey biased and you don't get the accurate response from them.
For instance, instead of asking "How satisfied are you with your meal today?", you can ask "Please rate your level of satisfaction with the meal today". The former is a leading question as it assumes that the diner was satisfied with the meal.
Tip #7. Previewing and Testing your Surveys before Sending
Imagine you just distributed a survey and you realize that you forgot adding some important questions or the answer options. In order to avoid such situations, it is always better to preview your online survey before distributing it to anyone.
Moreover, make sure that you test your survey before the final distribution to your respondents. Before sending, share it with some of your friends or workmates to do a practice run. In this way, you can ensure that your questions are well structured, skip logics are working fine and your survey is up to the mark.
Tip #8. Avoiding double-barreled Questions
When you ask feedback about two different things within a single question, that question becomes a double-barreled question. These type of questions not only create confusion for the respondents while answering but also can lead to the respondents leaving the survey in between.
Imagine you stay in a hotel and you like the quality and facilities of the room and the room service is also great. But the food offered to you is not at all fresh and delicious. At the time of checkout, you are requested to give feedback and you are asked a question like this - "How would you rate our food and room service at the hotel?"
What will you reply? I think you will think it better not to give feedback, won't it? Your customers feel the same if you ask them a double-barreled question. How can a customer provide the same feedback for them if he is happy with one service and unhappy with the other?
Because of these types of questions, many people tend to leave the survey in between which affects the response rate to a large extent. And even if they don't leave, you're likely to be left with data that doesn't give you a clear view of your customers' feedback.
Tip #9. Keeping Balanced Answer Choices
Always take care to keep the answer choices balanced. Balanced answer choices mean that the number of answer choices for positive should be the same as for negative. Let's understand this with the help of this example.
Here, we can clearly see that the unbalanced answer choices cover only the good and average feedback options and do not actually allow the customers to give bad feedback. In such cases, if the customers are not satisfied with the experience, they will definitely leave the survey in between.
Whereas, the balanced answer choices range from Excellent to Pathetic and the customer is free to give good as well as bad feedback.
Tip #10. Ensuring the Safety of the Data to the Customers
A survey is aimed to gather more and more relevant information about the customers and their views. But is everyone comfortable sharing all the information with you? Of course, not! You have to build trust and make them comfortable to do so. In the surveys where you are asking questions like name, phone number, address, email ID, age group, income group, locality, etc., it is really important to reassure them that their data is safe and secured.
The right way to ensure the safety of customer data while taking online surveys is to convey in the initial part of the survey that all the information shared by them would be kept confidential and assure them that you follow the right continuous compliance practices to ensure the safety and security of data. This will make them comfortable to share any feedback with you regarding your service, employees or delivery persons, etc., and also share their own information like phone number, email ID, etc. with which you can reach them for future purposes like marketing and sales.
Consider providing guidelines on using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to participants, especially when accessing the survey from public or unsecured networks, to enhance the security of their data.
Tip #11. Send Anonymous Surveys Wherever Required
You can also choose to send anonymous surveys where you don't ask any such questions that lead to personal or identifiable data. These surveys are really helpful in situations where the respondents are not comfortable enough to share their personal details or identifiable information.
This not only helps you collect the most reliable and honest feedback but also increases the response rate because the other way, there are people who don't respond to a survey as they neither want to provide false feedback nor do they want to share their personal information.
Create Free Online Surveys with Zonka Feedback
Whether you're a small-scale business or an enterprise, you can create free surveys online using Zonka Feedback. Below are the steps you can follow to ensure your customers are taking online surveys:
Step 1: Create a Survey
You can access Zonka Feedback’s free online survey builder to create survey forms without any coding or technical knowledge.
Here’s how you can create a website survey:
- Choose the survey question type based on what would be easiest for your customers to reply to. You can create various types of voice of customer surveys including metric surveys like a Customer Satisfaction Survey, Net Promoter Score Survey, and Customer Effort Score Survey with different question types, such as a rating scale, Likert Scale, Comments, Dropdown, smiley face surveys, etc.
- Explore 500+ ready-to-use customer survey templates that you can customize in a jiffy. You can edit the questions to get the most specific feedback, for example, feedback on a blog post on your website.
- Customize the look and feel of your surveys, so they look native to your website. Not only can you add more questions, but you can also customize the background, add graphics, change the font, etc.
- Preview your surveys as you create them to know how they would appear on your website.
Step 2: Select the Free Online Survey Type
Once you have the survey ready, click on Distribute in the top menu and then select Web. Inside Web, you can either select Widget or Embed.
Website Feedback Widget
A website feedback widget is a small piece of code or snippet that you can use to embed or add a survey to your website. It allows you to create different types of free surveys online for all your web pages targeting different audiences or customer journeys.
Types of Feedback Widget
Zonka Feedback allows adding different types of a website feedback widget to your web pages for free, such as:
1. Feedback Button
A feedback button can be added to any number of web pages and is primarily used to collect unsolicited feedback. You can add a feedback button to web pages where you wish to collect generic feedback and encourage your customers for completing surveys in real time.
A feedback button is ideal when you want continuous yet relevant feedback since it appears constantly on the web page. Moreover, it doesn't take up a lot of space, so it is the way to go when you want a more clutter-free website. Your website visitors can simply click the feedback button every time they come across a challenge and start sharing website feedback or reporting issues.
2. Pop Up
You can create free surveys online in the form of a pop-up. A Pop Up survey works like a slight nudge for specific audiences to share the most relevant feedback. For example, to collect feedback on website design, you can trigger the Pop Up survey only when the visitor has scrolled more than 70% of the page to be able to share genuinely helpful feedback. Similarly, you can set a cart abandonment Pop Up survey or Exit Intent survey to be triggered when the visitor is about to leave the website without completing their purchase.
Now, once you select the feedback widget type, you can set its:
Appearance: Configure when you want your free online surveys to appear to your target audience.
Targeting: Configure who you want your free surveys online to show to.
Behavior: Configure how many times you want your surveys to appear.
Also Read: How to use Free Website Feedback Widget
Website Embedded Survey
A website embedded survey is embedded directly into the UI and looks native to the website. You can embed free surveys online to collect page-specific feedback. For example, you can collect customer feedback right on the order confirmation page so customers can share feedback from the most recent purchase experience while completing surveys.
With website embedded surveys, you can increase the survey participation rate since your visitors can see the first survey question right on the web page. And this is a huge motivator in taking an online survey.
Here’s an example of a website embedded survey:
Step 3: Add Survey to Your Website
Once you have selected your choice of free surveys online, you will see a preview and a readymade code that
you can copy and add to your website code or script. You don’t have to type lengthy codes. Therefore, anybody can deploy a survey online.
Most Popular Online Surveys
Let's discuss the popular ways website surveys are used.
1. Website Usability Feedback Survey
You can create free surveys online using Zonka Feedback to capture insightful website usability feedback in terms of navigation, website content, availability of products, ease of use, overall satisfaction, etc. You can use our website visitor online survey form template to get started right away.
2. Online Shopping Attitudes Survey
You can create free surveys online to understand the shopping attitude of your customers and be able to market and sell your products better. You can use our online shopping attitudes survey template that consists of several closed and open-ended questions to collect both quantitative and qualitative feedback to help you do better market research.
3. General Website Feedback Survey
A general website survey allows collecting feedback on different aspects of your website like appeal, navigation, ease of use, the likeliness of recommending the website, etc. You can check out our General website feedback survey template and also use website survey templates for free.
Zonka Feedback is an intuitive survey builder that offers free surveys online, which can be the most important business tool for you since you get a direct insight into your customers’ minds. If used strategically, the feedback can build the brand up as a whole.
Zonka Feedback is designed to enhance brands’ feedback collection and customers’ feedback experience. It enables you to capture valuable feedback and analyze it using advanced reports so you can stay on top of everything.
Here are the primary free online survey features that you can enjoy:
- No-code survey builder
- 30+ question types
- 500+ ready-to-use survey templates
- Mobile-responsive surveys
- Feedback across global CX metrics – CSAT, NPS, and CES
- Advanced reports, trend tracking, and sentiment analysis
- All ways to use website surveys – feedback button, Pop Up survey, slideout surveys, microsurveys, exit intent surveys, abandonment surveys
- Customization of surveys – insert images, select theme, etc
An effective customer survey software will help you fully customize your surveys, choose from multiple survey questions, create your surveys in different languages, preview and test your surveys, and send them out using various channels. With good online survey software, you can easily track survey responses and get a complete survey data analysis without having to do it yourself manually.