Surveys are simple. How can it be? You go up to a person, ask them to answer your questionnaire sheet, then *BOOM* you have everything you need to call it a day. It’s as easy as pie, or so they say.
Well, not exactly.
Most people spend so much time and energy planning and developing the perfect survey questionnaire that they often forget the most important part: finding active respondents. This can be quite the challenge, especially if your respondents must belong to a specific group of individuals, whether this is broken by age, income, profession, and the like. It’s important for one to know the basic tips and tricks in data gathering to ensure the success of a survey.
The reality is, you can never shove a survey questionnaire under one’s nose for them to answer it. You’re bound to face a lot of rejections in the process but when you do find someone who has even the slightest bit of interest to participate, then you must take this opportunity into full force. Writing a good introduction to invite respondents might not be enough to entice them, so you may want to go the extra mile. Listed below are some techniques for successful data gathering:
In most cases, a 5-page surveying document filled with questions can scare away respondents. It’s not that people are too lazy to be of help, but not everyone has the time to actually go through the whole thing so easily. If you want to generate truthful and sincere responses, then you must keep your questionnaire as concise as possible. It would be best to state an estimated time for answering the survey in the introduction of your document to keep your audience informed. You may also like questionnaire examples in PDF.
Your target respondents may be composed of a diverse group of individuals with different social and economic backgrounds. With that in mind, it’s important to create a survey questionnaire that may be understood by the general majority. Avoid using deep, complex terms that the average person may find difficult to comprehend. Instead, use simple statements. This will help you relay a clear message and attain reliable answers in return.
One way to encourage your respondents is by offering incentives for their time and effort. This increases one’s willingness to participate in the said survey, giving you the data needed for your study. This is also a common marketing strategy to lure potential customers and keep the loyal ones. These incentives may come in the form of gift certificates, discount coupons, and even cash cards.
There are numerous online applications that allow researchers to conduct surveys through the internet. Online data gathering offers a long list of benefits for both researchers and respondents alike. Apart from efficient data management, it’s a lot easier for researchers to reach out to their target audience. Instructions may be stated clearly and participants would not feel pressured to complete the survey at once. Respondents may answer the questionnaire at any time, any place for their utmost convenience as well. This will also help you monitor your activities effectively. You may also like what is a questionnaire.
Whether you’re conducting your survey face-to-face or online, follow-ups are essential. You wouldn’t want to pressure your respondents, but you do need to remind them how important the study is to you. Ask them if they have any questions or concerns they would want you to address. This shows how serious you are with your study and how much one’s input matters. You may also see the importance of questionnaire.
The introduction is one of the most important parts of your survey document. If a respondent is clueless on the general purpose of your questionnaire, then they’re likely to decline your invite. But the way you construct your invitation can also be crucial, as this may influence a potential respondent’s decision on whether or not your survey is legitimate enough for one to invest their time on. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how you could create a good invitation when writing a survey questionnaire:
When requesting a response from a person, you need to be polite. Start with a formal greeting along with a short introduction of who you are. You need to make a potential respondent feel comfortable throughout the exchange. It doesn’t need to be a full getting-to-know scenario between you and the respondent, as a simple yet formal one-liner is enough to the job perfectly. A friendly approach would be the best way to go.
The reason behind such invitation would typically depend on the targeted audience of your study. For instance, a marketing research questionnaire may target customers of a specific age bracket. You could be a cosmetics company developing a new line of products specially made for teenagers between the ages of 13-17 years old. While it’s not completely necessary to disclose private business information to the public, you may need to inform a respondent why he or she has been chosen in the simplest words.
Why are you conducting the survey? How will the data gathered influence your study? Although not everyone would be completely interested to know your reasons for it, stating your objectives for the survey is enough to keep a respondent engaged. This increases their willingness to answer truthfully and wholeheartedly. But remember to keep this part brief and straightforward, as you don’t want to end up complicating one’s understanding. You may also like feedback questionnaire examples.
A common question that runs through a respondent’s head is the expected time it takes to complete a survey. A person may be running on a tight schedule yet is kind enough to take part in the survey for your sake, so you want to make sure the individual knows what he or she is getting into. You may also see student questionnaire examples.
Always be open to questions. This could be in regards to a question written on the survey or a personal question about your study. If a person is willing to help you out, it would only make sense to entertain their concerns as well. Think of it as a give-and-take scenario where you both benefit from one another. However, if the question is not something you are authorized nor comfortable with answering, learn to turn them down lightly. Most people are kind enough to let it slide. You may also like restaurant questionnaire examples.
Despite your incredible charm and bubbly personality, prospects are bound to ignore you if they aren’t interested in sparing even just a few minutes of their time to answer your survey, no matter how valuable their input is to you. That being said, make sure to choose your candidates wisely. A simple yet well-written invitation can definitely give you that extra push. While you can’t expect every attempt to be a success, it’s definitely worth a try. You may also like how to develop a questionnaire.