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Survey Basics

Introduction to survey fundamentals

Updated over a week ago

Whether you're collecting user feedback, setting up a customer satisfaction program, or running an employee engagement survey, the basics of effective surveying remain the same.

Define your goal

The first thing you should do when designing a survey is to decide what your goal is. This will often be a question that you are trying to get an answer to.

Example goals

  • Why are visitors of our homepage not signing up? 

  • Are customers happy with our support team

  • How effective have our recent marketing efforts been?

Once you know your goal you can then begin writing the questions designed to achieve your goal.

Write effective questions

Writing effective survey questions is the key to a successful survey. Below are common things to look out for the ensure your questions will get you accurate response.

See our guide to writing effective questions for more examples.

Avoid leading questions
Try to write questions that are neutral and don't imply anything. For example asking "How helpful or unhelpful did you find our support website?" is a better question than "How helpful or unhelpful did you find our fantastic support website?"

Be mindful of time

When writing your survey, be mindful of the amount of time it will take for people to fill it out., the shorter it takes the more responses you'll get. You can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your survey by:

  • Reducing the number of questions

  • Keeping your questions concise

  • Using closed-ended questions (e.g. single select) since freeform questions take longer to answer

Identify your audience

Once you have your survey written it's time to distribute your survey and collect responses.

To get the best results you'll want to target your survey to people best suited to answer it. If you're looking for feedback on your support site it's best to only send that survey to people you know have visited your support site rather than everyone who uses your app (but may not have used the support site).

If you find different questions are best suited to different groups of people, consider creating multiple surveys and targeting them to each group individually.

Ask for feedback

Before sending out your survey, ask a colleague or friend to review it. While your questions may be clear, concise, and unbiased to you, having them reviewed by others will help you be confident in the survey before it's sent out.

There's nothing better than feedback!

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