8 Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Surveys for Your Enterprise Part 1

Written by Explorance.

It is important for the development of any company to listen to their constituents and act on feedback. Surveying employees, customers or other groups gives them a voice – a direct communication line to the company. It enables constituents to have a stake in the company and also increases their engagement. In organizations that are committed to progress, feedback is the springboard for continuous improvement and development.

In previous posts, we examined how to create effective employee and customer surveys. Those posts outlined some best practices that you can implement to create successful questionnaires within your company. However, keep in mind that there are survey mistakes and pitfalls you should avoid. Today’s post will focus on the first four (of eight) common mistakes to avoid when creating enterprise surveys.

  1. Not relevant:

    One common mistake that is made is not making the survey relevant to the target audience. In the planning phase you should establish clear goals for the survey. These goals will help you determine who you want to survey and what you will ask them. Knowing your audience enables you to craft survey questions that are pertinent to them. Understanding the target audience will also enable you to avoid using any words or terms that could confuse or offend the audience.

  2. Too many questions:

    One of the most common survey pitfalls is including far too many questions in the survey. Asking too many questions will overwhelm and tire the audience resulting in increased drop-off rates. Another disadvantage of using too many questions is that the quality of the data may suffer as respondents can become careless with their answers. Also, remember that survey length is directly tied to response rates. If your survey takes too long to answer (more than 15-20 minutes) your response and completion rates will decrease.

  3. Mandatory answers:

    Another common mistake that is made by survey administrators is forcing respondents to answer every question. Where you may want to include some mandatory questions to obtain particular data, do not overuse this feature. Forcing respondents to answer every question may annoy your audience and lead to survey drop-off. Instead include some required fields and the option for respondents to skip questions that they cannot answer.

  4. Too many open-ended questions:

    Surveys are a great way to gather qualitative data, but be careful not to include too many open-ended questions. Open-ended questions allow you to gather valuable in-depth data; however, they can tire your audience. Asking too many open-ended questions can also result in incomplete data as participants may ignore the questions or provide very brief answers. It is recommended that you use only three to five open-ended questions in your survey to increase participation. Another good rule-of-thumb is to only create open-ended questions when using a multiple choice format would not suffice.

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