Asking the right survey questions is critical to get the answers you need. That fact will always stay the same even in automated questionnaires. The first step in creating effective automated questionnaires is defining your goals. You must first figure out what are you trying to find out. Afterward, you may start asking the right questions.
Don’t know where to start? You don’t have to be an expert to create effective automated questionnaires. Just follow the essential practices listed below.
Stick with clear, straightforward language
This tip is really important to apply. Don’t make the language of your automated questionnaires complex. Be specific and straightforward as much as possible. Furthermore, avoid using industry-specific language that might confuse your respondents. However, don’t oversimplify a question to the point its meaning changes.
Moreover, use words that people of all sorts can understand. For instance, it’s better to use ‘cell phone’ instead of ‘handheld device’. You surely don’t want to confuse or frustrate your respondents. Furthermore, have a pre-test and send out the survey to your colleagues before publicly releasing it. That way, you’ll see if your survey is easy to understand or not.
Keep it short and simple
Respondents hate long surveys – it is unlikely that they will finish completing a long one. Moreover, you may lose the respondents’ attention when your survey bounces sharply from one topic to another. Make sure that your survey follows a logical order. Furthermore, ensure that it won’t take much time from respondents.
Keep it one at a time
Indeed, it’s important to keep your survey as short as possible. However, that doesn’t mean that you should double up the questions. Your respondents might get confused if you pack too much into a single question. Hence, you’ll get inaccurate responses. It’s difficult to determine what respondents feel about each of the statements.
Check your questions and look for the word ‘and’. Avoid having that word in your questions as it implies that your questions have two parts. Respondents have different feelings toward every aspect of a product or service.
Say no to leading language
Do not use assumptive questions. Take the following example: “There are many people who complain that emergency room wait times are unreasonably long. Are you one of them?” Clearly, the question assumes what it is asking, leading respondents to answer a specific way.
The wording of your survey must focus on the respondent and their opinions instead of your point of view. One tip is to check the adverbs and adjectives you used in your questions. Take out the unnecessary ones.
Use balanced scales
An unbalanced scale might not capture the feelings of your respondents like a poorly worded question. Make sure your response scales have a neutral midpoint. Having odd numbers of possible responses is a great way to do that. Moreover, ensure that your questions cover the whole range of possible reactions to the questions.
Start it easy
Start with easy questions. Then, move on to more complex questions once they are engaged in the process. Never put sensitive questions at the start of your automated questionnaires as it might turn off the attention of your respondents.