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6 Steps To Conducting An Online Survey

The anonymity that the Internet provides makes it the ideal environment for asking your customers what they really think about your business, product, or service. An online survey can reveal customers' true opinions, as well as enabling them to share ideas with you in a safe and comfortable environment. Setting up the best online survey is easy when you use these six steps to guide you in the process.

1. Decide on your research goals

Before you can start your research, you will need to form a clear picture in your mind of the expected outcome. Do you need feedback on a product or your service? Is the information you are looking for of a general nature or very specific? Do you have a particular audience in mind, or will you be sending out online surveys to the general public? The answers to these questions will help you to decide how to target your survey.

2. Create a list of questions

There are many different types of questions that can be used on a survey, like open questions, closed questions, matrix table questions, and single- or multi-response questions. Most people who take part in surveys prefer short multiple-choice questions. When writing the questions, keep the language very simple and avoid ambiguity or double negations. One of the benefits of designing an online survey is that participants don't have to fill in questions that are not relevant to them. Based on their answers certain questions can be skipped.

3. Invite the participants

There are many ways to invite people to take part in your online survey. Who you want to take part in your survey will help you to decide on the best contact method. You can send an email to your subscriber list, post your survey on Facebook, or design a banner that can be displayed on other websites if you wish to cast a wider net.

4. Gather your responses

It is important to assign a unique code to each participant to make sure that they only take part in your survey once. This is easy to do when you use an online survey tool to design your survey. In some cases you can increase the response rate by offering an incentive to the participant, for example, you can offer a gift, the chance of winning something in a lottery, a donation to charity, or a points accumulation system where participant can save up points that can be exchanged for gifts. Another way of increasing the response rate of your survey is by promising to share the results with your participants.

5. Analyse the results

With online surveys the gathered data is stored automatically, so you can start analysing the results straight away. In most cases, you can already see preliminary results when the survey is still open. Using online survey tools enables you to make visual representations of the data by presenting the results in tables and graphs. You can also print out the data in the form of a spreadsheet, which can then be used for further analysis.

6. Write a report

The final step in conducting online surveys is to write a report explaining your findings. A successful survey will provide the answers to the questions you had about your business, product or service. Online surveys can be used to measure customer satisfaction, get feedback on products or services, and to reveal key influences.

The process for conducting an online survey is easy and inexpensive. SmartSurvey's questionnaire software can provide you with all the tools needed to help you in designing your survey. Most businesses' needs can be met with simple and short online surveys that target a specific group of customers. The results, on the other hand, are priceless because they will help you make the important decisions you need to about your business.

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