We all get online-surveys from time to time. Depending on the subject they take from two minutes to almost an hour.
If I like a brand, a product or a company I am always willing to support them and to give honest and fair feedback. But sometimes the survey is so annoying that I cannot be bothered completing it. Probably I am not alone with this symptom.
I guess there is a large percentage of people that start the survey but abort it after a very short time. From my point of view there are three key elements that should be taken into account if companies want their surveys to be completed.
What Is the Purpose of this Survey?
Typically, companies give you a more or less believable reason why they need your answer. If it is missing I will delete the e-mail straight away.
Only Ask Relevant Questions
If you are – like me – almost constantly online you cannot avoid feeding Google with a lot of records about your activities and also develop a sense of how much you want to reveal about yourself and your life. So you are careful with your answers.
I expect the questions to be relevant for purpose stated on the invitation e-mail. Recently I received a request form an e-learning platform which wanted to make sure that their suggestions are accurate to their audience’s preference.
Of course they want to know if I knew their competitors, if I studied at a University etc.
But why did they ask about my income? Of course there are many reasons this information might be of interest but not for the indicated purpose. Moreover, I thought that this is none of their business and closed the browser window.
“Take 3 minutes for our survey”. That’s fine and I open it. Just formulate the questions as clearly that 3 minutes will suffice to answer them. I observe quite frequently that you open the survey and find yourself confronted with 20 questions, each with 10 possible answers plus an “other reasons” field. Clearly, it will take more than three minutes with tests the users’ tolerance.
No doubt there are studies that require 45 minutes from you. If you signed up for them because after some weeks the company will share the results with you your time might be a very good investment.
If you have other aspects to be taken into account I am curious to learn about them.