Creating and launching a survey at an organization can be an overwhelming and cumbersome task. The good news is, we are here to help. By compartmentalizing the survey process down into 7 steps it becomes easier to follow. You'll bite off chunk by chunk and at the end of the day, you'll have developed a killer survey (with a little guidance from our customer survey firm).
Design your survey so it can be taken anywhere, on any device, at any time. The key is to catch someone when they have a few minutes to spare. Which is difficult.
Step 1: Define Your Objectives
Before you even get started you need to have an end goal in mind. This could be defined goals around improving your marketing, improving company strategy, or elevating customer satisfaction. Here, you need to define what questions you want answered. What would you like to learn from the market research? What do you plan on doing with the results? Start here.
Step 2: Consider In-House Versus Outsourcing
The next decision is to determine whether to conduct the survey in-house or hire an expert customer survey firm or consultant. Hiring outside of your company brings in expertise, best practices, perspective, and provides an objective point-of-view. Customers and respondents can be more honest as they may not be likely to share true responses directly back to the sponsoring company.
If you choose in house, make sure you can manage the process and the time commitment. It will appear as those you are saving on budget but at what cost? Poorly designed research? Research that takes 4 or 5 times as long? The inability to view the data objectively?
Step 3: Design an Outline
Before you start drafting the full survey, start with an outline. It will save you a lot of time on the back-end. By creating an outline and sharing it with the team it's easier to swap in and swap out new questions, change the flow, adjust the routing, etc. If the full survey is developed and you make significant changes, that's a lot more work.
Step 4: Write a Draft
Now that the outline is finalized, move on to the draft survey. Here you'll include all of the introduction language, full wording of questions, full answer choices, and all of the detail. Again, for efficiency we recommend doing this in a Word document before jumping into programming. The Word document gives you additional flexibility to make changes and share with the management team before taking next steps. This way, you'll know once the Word document is signed-off upon, programming is ready to go.
Step 5: Program It
The fun begins. This is the step where you take all of the language from your Word doc and paste it into your survey platform. Here are 6 capabilities customer survey firm survey platforms offer that your system might be lacking. Some survey platforms even allow you to upload the survey document directly into the software to save you work. These bulk additions are huge time savers. Check to see if your survey software does this.
Step 6: Test It
Before dipping your toe into the pool of test responses from live participants, first start with an internal test. Share the link with the team or your manager to have them take the survey as a real participant. You can never get enough eyes on a survey. They'll likely catch a thing or two or make a suggestion to improve the flow or wording.
Step 7: Launch It
The final step is to actually go live with your survey. Share the link. Send email invites. Whatever you choose, this is the final step to creating a survey. Here are 7 reasons you should soft-launch your survey before opening up to a full launch. This "test drive" as we like to call it is when you test the survey with a small number of real respondents before proceeding to a full launch.
Drive Research is a customer survey firm in Upstate New York. We work with clients in all types of industries located coast-to-coast. Interested in learning more? We can design a custom quote or custom proposal for your team.
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