• Bolt Insight

How to Build an Effective Survey

It may be an understatement to say that customer feedback is an important part of your business. This feedback helps to improve marketing, product development, operations, and so much more. Additionally, to stay competitive in the market, you have to know your customers better. This is where an effective survey comes to your aid.



Creating an effective survey will yield beneficial customer insights


Surveys are an essential tool for companies to understand the opinions of their customers and redesign their practices to match the market requirements. Carrying out online surveys is a preferred option for businesses to speed up their processes and enhance the accuracy of their market research.


An effectively written survey can provide vital customer insights. Here is what to keep in mind when creating yours.


Best Practices for Creating an Effective Survey


1. Length


Long surveys will likely be exited out of and left incomplete. Therefore, it is better to keep your surveys brief. Survey experts recommend short surveys so as to ensure you get many respondents who complete it. Ideally, surveys should not take more than a few minutes to be filled out. Thus, even though you might feel inclined towards including all your queries in the survey, optimising your questions dramatically increases the chances of your survey success.


2. Clear Direct Questions


While designing survey questions the most important thing to keep in mind is to frame the questions in a way that is easy for the respondents to answer and convenient for you to process the results. The survey results are for marketing decision-makers, but the questions are for typical customers.

  • Make sure to use a language that is intelligible to your audience and avoid the use of technical jargon or complex sentence structuring.

  • Questions should not confuse survey takers. Sometimes, long or repetitive questions confuse survey participants. For instance, if two questions in an online survey are quite similar - just with a minor difference - participants might consider it a mistake or might give a flawed response to the second question.

  • Carefully structure the questionnaire. The art of writing survey questions and responses lies in the writers’ attention to detail. Even a well-written survey can fail if the question structure is flawed. For instance, if the order of the questions confuses the participants, they might leave the survey in the middle.

  • Situational questions can help.

  • Do not bounce from topic to topic.

  • Be sure you are asking one question at a time. Asking multiple things in a single question often confuses the participants and takes away their interest from the survey process. Questions should be structured in a way to ask the participants responses about one topic or subject, to make sure the answers relate to it.

3. Be Careful Not to Lead


Beware of the leading and biased questions. It is important to check the words you are using to make sure you accidentally or deliberately not lead the participants to a particular response. Opinionated questions tend to influence the participants’ responses and impact the quality of the survey data by negating the results.


Take for example the question: “Should concerned pet owners vaccinate their pets?” Instead, you can ask: “Do you think pets should be vaccinated?” By removing the word ‘concerned’ and restructuring the above sentence, you remove the factor that might sway the participants to a particular side.


Additionally, you should make sure not to load questions with certain attributes that forces the participants to respond in a particular way. For example: “Which beach location would you pick for your next holiday destination?” What if some of the participants don’t want to spend their vacations on a beach? Instead, you can ask: “Where would you like to go this holiday season?”


4. Consider the Types of Answers You Are Looking For


The purpose of an effective survey is to find firm answers to your questions. Some questions need binary yes or no answers while others benefit from the use of scales.


While asking questions on a scale, offer options ranging from excellent to bad to avoid bias. Also, include the ‘neutral,’ ‘don’t know,’ and ‘other’ options wherever necessary. Not including these options results in people either dropping out of the survey or responding with an option that is not true.


Including a few open-ended questions in the survey is also a wise approach. Sometimes, structured answers do not provide the explicit information we need. Open-ended questions are an excellent way to collect qualitative insights from the easy online survey set-up without having to conduct separate qualitative research.

5. Share Surveys at Optimal Times


The survey response rate increases when they are shared outside of the usual work hours. It is a wise strategy to send the surveys either at the beginning or at the end of the workday, this also makes sure that your survey doesn’t get lost under the heaps of work emails.





6. Test the Survey


Ultimately, when your survey is ready, the most important thing is to share it with your friends, colleagues, or friendly clients to get their opinions about the survey. Keep this pilot testing procedure as simple as possible; share the draft version of the survey in whichever format you are working in.


Testing the survey is important to avoid mistakes and to optimise the survey before sending it to thousands of respondents. Feedbacks let you know significant details like whether your survey is confusing or easy, lengthy or short, etc. It even lets you figure out how interactive the survey is and how it looks and works on various devices.


Create an Effective Survey with Bolt Insight


Thus, a well-designed survey dramatically improves user engagement and affects your response rate positively. Bolt research platform provides online tools to design your survey in a way that appeals most to the audience. With Bolt’s user-friendly tools you can quickly create both detailed and basic surveys in just a few clicks. Bolt also provides a wide range of meticulously designed and customisable themes, layouts, and questionnaire designs to choose from. These interactive and simple tools enable you to create surveys that seamlessly fit into your company’s brand and style.


Even the most carefully structured online survey is meaningless if you don’t know how to analyse the results. Bolt quickly makes sense of the complex survey data and structures it to provide you with clear, hassle-free, and fast results.