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6 steps how to create a survey

Online surveys

6 steps how to create a survey

This is a practical manual that will help you to create an efficient questionnaire. No matter how many experience you have with making a questionnaire, in this article you can find many useful and valuable pieces of advice on how to make a questionnaire people will want to fill in. It will bring you the answers to your questions and will also help you to sell more.

  • Jan Spáčil
  • Author

  • Jan Spáčil

I. How to make a survey

Write down what exactly you want to find out, and how you wish to use the gathered information.

Before creating a questionnaire, write down what exactly you need to find out and how you will use the gathered information. It will help you to ask right questions and to avoid asking inconvenient ones.

Practical example:

Write down:

  • "I need to find out how my costumers are satisfied with a product XY and what I can do to make them buy it more. The gathered information can help me to create a content of an e-mail campaign for sales promotion, “ or
  • “ I need to find out what I should enhance on our product AB to increase the sales. I can utilize the gathered information for creating a campaign about new functions of my product AB“ or
  • "I need to find out why my costumers stopped buying my product XY so that I can prepare certain changes helping the product to start selling again.“ or
  • " I need to find out how to introduce my new book so that people are interested in buying it. I will use the gathered information for creating an advertising leaflet.“

...and what to do if you don´t know exactly what you need to find out?

Answer the questions:

  • What problem do I need to figure out?
  • In which area do I miss the information?
  • What don´t I know?

The survey should help you better understand your current customers, as well as the potential ones. It will bring you the answers and information that will give you a hand with increasing sales of your products and services. It can help you to support your ideas or whatever you want to achieve.

How difficult would it be to prepare a sales promotion campaign of your products or services if you knew exactly:

  • Why do people buy your products?
  • What main problem does your product help them solve?
  • What main benefit does the product bring to them?
  • According to what do they decide to buy the product?
  • Who or what influences this decision?
  • What do they find necessary on your product and what unnecessary?
  • According to what do they decide where and from who they buy the products?
  • Are there any emotional reasons encouraging them to buy the products?
  • How do they logically clarify the purchase?

..and if you also ascertain:

  • Where do they seek these products at the moment when they want to buy them?
  • Where do they look for the information about the product?
  • Do they have an e-mail?
  • Do they have a Facebook?
  • Do they search on Seznam or Google?
  • Who do they ask about the attitude to these products?
  • How are they influenced while choosing the product by their friends and relatives?
  • What newspapers and magazines do they buy and  read?

After all, how big would be the problem with searching a proper place for publicity and advertising?

Probably not so big one. The reason, why we find out difficult to write good texts and headlines of campaigns, right subjects of e-mails or to find the convenient place for advertising, is the fact we just pretend we know the answers to these questions.

We often make the most common mistake – we think what the costumers think and we let affect our opinion by,, the wises“ who claim doing survey is a complete waste of time and money. Read an article The online questionnaires or the online survey - YES or NO?

However, if you have read this far, you are maybe starting to realize that if you knew the answers to the questions above, your marketing would be more efficient and your selling more successful.

To gain the answers for these and any other issues is pretty easy. Nowadays in the world of the Internet and online questionnaires, it is also very fast and cheap. You just need to decide and go for it.

This material will show you how to start and create a questionnaire.

 

II. How to make a survey

Prepare the questions.

Before making any questions, go through a few tips below:

  1. Be brief and do not create too complicated questions.
  2. Do not use the words your respondents won´t understand.
  3. Do not use too many open questions – these are the ones in which respondents express their opinions
  4. Less is more – ask just as many questions as you really have a use for your survey.
  5. If it´s necessary, use a branching logic of a questionnaire (see below), according to how the respondents have answered so far. This allows you to ask only proper questions and to find out what you are looking for.
  6. Do not ask the questions that foist the answers of the respondents – e.g. „While riding the bike in the evening, would you rather go to the forest or the lake?“ The thing is that if a respondent doesn´t ride the bike, he is unable to answer that kind of question, and he will close the questionnaire.

If any questions don´t come to your mind, try to use and rephrase the ones I have mentioned above. Choose the ones you think will bring you the answers most efficient for you.

If you are just about to start and you don´t know how to begin, write to us on support@onquanda.com

 

III. How to make a survey

Test the questions, test 1.

Firstly, write down the questions on the paper and read it to your colleague – if you stammer during reading any of these questions and it is difficult for you to read them comfortably, you need to rephrase or simplify them and try it all again from the beginning.

If everything is OK, start creating the questionnaire. Continue with the point no. 4: How to create a questionnaire „Form a questionnaire“.

 

IV. How to make a survey

Form a questionnaire.

If you decide to create a questionnaire on the Internet, try out our application Quanda. Developing a questionnaire using this tool is very fast and easy. If you don´t have an account yet, sign up for free on www.quanda.cz. On the homepage, there is an overview where you click the button „Add a new survey“. Fill up and save the page with the setting of a questionnaire and move on the page to creating a questionnaire.

Write a short introduction in which you welcome a respondent. Secondly, you need to assure him that the questionnaire is short, and its completing won´t take too much of his time. In addition, you may remind the importance of the respondent´s opinion and what he can gain by filling up the questionnaire. It might be any valuable motivation or just the fact he will subsequently get the products or services with better conditions.

Now, when you have an introduction, click on a green button: „Add a new question“. Now it is the time to take your notes – the paper with the questions and add one at a time.

Before starting creating questions, think about how you want the respondents to go through the questionnaire.

If you are creating a simple questionnaire with a few questions, you can skip this step. However, if you have more questions and you want to ask genuinely according to respondent´s answers, pay attention to this part.

A modern system for online questionnaires will enable you to set up the branching logic of questionnaire or skipping of questions according to how your respondent is answering so that you can ask them only that kind of questions which relate to the previous ones. For example if you ask your respondent which means of transport he prefers on his way to the work or whether he understands an offer on your websites, you can ask the following question according to what the respondent answers. If he comprehends the offer, you can continue with your questions. If he doesn´t understand that, in the next question you ask him for a comment what you should change or add so that he can understand the offer.

After answering this complementary question, you send the respondent back to the standard way of the questionnaire – to the next question. If you decided to use the branching logic of questionnaire, do not forget that every branch must be on the separate page of questionnaire so that it is possible to refer the respondent to this page according to his answers.

What kind of questions and answers can you choose and how do they differentiate?

Individual sorts of questions are distinguished not only by the way of editing and visual look but also by the way of calculation.  We are going to introduce all of these types step by step.

A short text

The answer to that type of question is a text. In the questionnaire, a brief text field will show up. This kind of question you may use if you want to know the respondent´s opinion that he can write to the text field. Within the evaluation use the tool for evaluation of text fields and classify individual answers.

An example of utilization

A longer text

A longer text is placed the same way as a short text above. However, a respondent has got more space for his answer. The evaluation works similarly as the assessment of a short text.

An example of utilization


A short text – 1 or more lines

It concerns a text answer that will enable you extra answers to one question.

An example of utilization

Jak vytvořit dotazník - Otázka č.3

A number

This question looks similarly as “a short text” but with the difference that a field controls whether the answer is a number. In the settings, you may select how many decimal places you request.

An example of utilization

Jak vytvořit dotazník - Otázka č.4

A number – 1 or more lines

It works the same way as “a short text – 1 or more lines” and it appraises again whether the answer is a number.

An example of utilization


A date

This type works for putting the answer as a date. A respondent chooses a date using a calendar. Evaluation of this question works similarly to a text question. The same answers are united; the others obtain categories that can be identical to particular dates, or they can include certain time period and contain the answers which fall into this period.

An example of utilization


A date and/or a time

This type of question can combine or broaden an answer that should have a form of date or time or only ask the question whose answer is an indication of the time.

An example of utilization


Unwrap menu

This type of answer works the same way as a list of radio buttons (see below). The only difference is the answers are displayed to respondents as an unwrap menu and respondents choose their responses from this offer. The question is automatically evaluated, so you see immediately  the results of survey without a need for evaluating or calculating anything.

An example of utilization



A list of radio buttons

This type of question is one of the most utilized one in questionnaires. A respondent chooses one of the options you arrange for him. Using this type you make him choose only one answer. The answers are immediately evaluated, and you promptly see the results, even during the survey. You just have to update them at Analysis of responses and select a relevant type of chart.

An example of utilization


A list of check boxes

A list of check boxes enables respondents to choose one or more answers at the same time. This type is also automatically evaluated and so you don´t have any extra work with calculation of results. Just select a type of chart and it´s done.

An example of utilization:


A stepped scale

This special type of question works similarly to radio buttons. Anyway, the difference is that the system can automatically calculate an average of all answers. At the final results, not only you see how the respondents answered according to particular options, but also you see calculated average. This type of question is used typically for “evaluating as at school” or on the scale from 1 to 10 when a respondent assesses a website of product or service by a stepped scale.

An example of utilization


A table of radio buttons

This special type of question can combine more simple questions together. This method of questioning saves place, and it reduces a number of questions putting to a respondent that contributes to a higher number of completed questionnaires. This type of question is appropriate to use if you want to put the same kind of questions to several different groups of people or products. The respondent is “forced” to choose only one answer per line. In the settings of question, you can also set a control of one answer per column, which will enable you to gain even more precise result because the respondent can evaluate only one item per column. He cannot mark that the best product is A, B and C, but he can choose only one of them.

An example of utilization:


A table of check boxes

A table of boxes works similarly to a previous type of questions. The difference is that the respondent can choose more than one answer while in the previous one he can choose only one answer per line.

An example of utilization:


An e-mail

This is the same type of question as a short text. The only difference is that the system controls that the respondent enters a real email address.

 

Other advanced settings of questionnaire and questions          

You can find these advanced settings in the window for adding and editing questions of survey in the menu on the right side under the bookmarks: general, the settings, the logic, and the image.

Conclusion according to quotas

This setting is very useful in the case that you need to achieve the accurate layout of respondents within the implemented survey. Imagine the situation that you are doing the survey in which you would like to have all the age groups of respondents covered equally. You do not want to gain the results only from the retired people or from teenagers. In this case, you select the question of the type ,,A list of radio buttons” and as the options you choose the age range e.g.15-20 years, 21-30 years, 31-45 years, 45 years and more. Using the quotas, you can place the certain number for example 20 to every single answer. It means that as soon as the system saves 20 questionnaires from particular target group, other questionnaires will not be saved anymore and it will keep only the questionnaires from the target groups where the quotas have not been achieved yet.

Arranging and displaying of questions

Mandatory question

This option will enable you to choose whether the question should be answered compulsory or not. If the given question is not filled in, the system will point it out to the warning sign, and it will roll it back to the unanswered question.

Displaying of answers

  • display the answers according to order of insertion
  • display the answers in an alphabetic order
  • display the answers in random order

These settings will enable you to choose how the answers to the question will be displayed. Each respondent will then see the answers in the same or random order according to how you adjusted it. 

Others

These settings will add an option ,,others” to your list of answers together with a box  for fulfilling different answer, which is not presented in the list of possible answers (adding of the option ,,Others” is enabled to use the question of the check box type or at the question of a list of radio buttons.

Arrangement of the columns

In the case, that you have a lot of answers e.g. 15, you can select their displaying in one, two or three columns to make the options easy and clear for the respondent. If you use more columns, the whole question, and all answers take less place and the questionnaire will optically shorten.

Personification of introductory text

This is a great function I do really like. Imagine that you get a questionnaire and in its Introductory text is your name. Thanks to the system Quanda and its possibility to connect e-mail campaigns with the questionnaires you gain the unique option to personification an introductory and closing text of your questionnaire and so to gain more fulfilled questionnaires.

The closing text and redirecting to www page 

This is the classic closing text of the questionnaire, in which you thank your respondent for his time devoted to completing the questionnaire. The system Quanda allows you to set up your  text on the button, which displays on this site and also to set a web address to which a respondent is redirected after filling up your questionnaire. We recommend choosing a website related to a survey or a website with an offer of your products and services.

 

 

V. How to make a survey

Test your questionnaire and all its functions.

Before you send your questionnaire to the respondents to fill it in, verify if everything works. It is very unpleasant if your respondents decide to fill in your questionnaire and then find out that it doesn´t work or is not available.

If you have a questionnaire prepared and tested, it is ready for distribution or sharing. Our system allows you to send the questionnaire directly from the system and to keep track of who your invitation opened or clicked on a link pointing to the questionnaire. You can also take advantage of the automatic reminders for all who did not fill in the questionnaire. In this way, you can get more completed questionnaires and better results of the entire survey.

Avoid the most common mistakes when creating a questionnaire. Read the next article: 10 most common mistakes in implementation of the online survey that can be avoided.

 

VI. How to make a survey

Test the questions, test 2.

As soon as you are satisfied with the questions, they are readable, and your colleagues know what you are asking them, start with a creation of "a real" questionnaire. Then repeat the testing on the actual respondents. Firstly, send the questionnaire to a smaller sample of respondents. According to their answers, you will find out how they understood the questions and how they answered. If their answers are too general or unusable for your further communication, rephrase the questions and repeat the whole procedure again.

In these situations, it can help to add few words to the question such as: ,,....the most important..." or "...as the first...", "....the two most important.." etc.

Example:

"What do you think of as first when they say..." or "What do you think is the most important attribute...", "what do you think are the most common reasons..."

Sometimes by using a question you can also exclude some answers, which don´t have a significant importance for further use.

Example:

"What, apart from a price, is the most important for you when selecting a supplier?" or "According to which other criteria than a price and a quality do you select..?"

At this point, you have a questionnaire prepared, and you can launch into its distribution. The advanced systems offer you to send a link to the questionnaire by e-mail directly from the system. This is the fastest way to get your questionnaire among the respondents. The link can also be shared on the social networks or placed on your website.

See also the article The ten most common mistakes in the implementation of the online survey, which you can avoid.

 

I´ll keep my fingers crossed for you, and I wish you a lot of fun when creating a questionnaire.

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