How to conduct an online survey

If you want to gather information from customers, employees, or anyone else, you should consider conducting an online survey. Online surveys make it simple to collect insights and analyze data in real time. This feedback helps you learn what others think about your product, service, or business as a whole. And you can use this information to adjust your practices in the future, helping you better meet the needs of your target demographic.

Most online surveys include a series of questions with answers that funnel into a database. These tools are customizable, allowing you to design a survey that fits your needs.

The key to a successful online survey is creating questions that target specific elements of your business. Identifying your goals before drafting a survey will produce focused data you can use to improve your products and services.

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Here are some tips on how to conduct an online survey.

1. Define your research goals

Why do you want to send the survey? First, identify the desired outcome so you can come up with the right questions to meet your objectives. Not only do you need to be clear about the information you’re seeking, but it’s also important to pinpoint your demographic. In addition, it can be helpful to set a goal for the number of responses you want to review.

Maybe you’re searching for feedback on a particular product category. Or perhaps you’re interested in customer opinions about the quality of your service. Decide whether this information needs to be specific or general, then craft your online survey to meet your goals.

2. Create an online survey form

Now that you know your intentions for the survey, it’s time to create an online form. If you want to get the right answers, then it’s imperative to ask the right type of questions. Consider using different question styles, depending on the type of information you’re gathering:

  • Multiple-choice questions
  • Closed-ended questions
  • Open-ended questions
  • Ranking questions
  • Rating scales
  • Matrix questions
  • Demographic questions

Most people don’t want to spend a lot of time responding to an online survey, so prioritize the essential information. Keep the questions simple and to the point. Avoid double negatives and ambiguity.

Using a quality online survey tool simplifies the process of creating a survey. Jotform offers a user-friendly survey maker that enables you to create beautiful, customized surveys with an easy-to-use interface.

3. Decide on a timeline

Timing is everything when you’re conducting an online survey. When you send the request will affect who responds to it and how. For example, sending a survey to employees will yield different responses on a Friday than on a Monday.

The best time to send an online customer feedback survey is one to two weeks after the customer receives a product. Their experience with the product will still be fresh in their minds, and they will often have information to share.

Not only do you need to be deliberate about when you send the survey, but it’s also smart to keep the survey open for a few days to give participants time to respond.

4. Incentivize survey participants

Be proactive when inviting your target demographic to participate in an online survey. You can send an email or a text, post the survey link on social media, or ask people to participate in person. Consider offering an incentive to get as many people to respond as possible.

Here are a few ideas to increase the survey response rate:

  • Enter participants into a raffle to win something.
  • Offer a small gift for participating.
  • Make a charity donation in return for their participation.
  • Award participants with redeemable points.
  • Communicate genuine appreciation for their feedback.
  • Send a reminder or two if someone hasn’t filled out the survey yet.

5. Analyze the responses

The real work begins when you start receiving responses. Jotform includes both survey templates and tables to manage and analyze information.

As you review the survey responses, look for themes and trends. Not only can you look at current data, but you can also compare this information with survey results you gathered in the past. Tracking changes over time will give you a big picture perspective that can help with future business improvements.

Also, consider sharing the survey results with relevant audiences: customers, coworkers, management, etc. Sharing these insights can align your team with a vision to improve overall results.

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Conducting an online survey doesn’t have to be complicated. You need a tool to design the survey and gather responses as well as a clear strategy. The effort will be worth it because of the valuable insights you’ll gain.

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