Tipps & Tricks
Why you should use open questions in your survey more often!
A good survey is characterized by the fact that it feels like a conversation to the respondent. Obviously, there is no interviewer present for online surveys. Nevertheless, the impression of a conversation can be created via the meaningful grouping and skillful ordering of questions.
But why is this important?
The process of completing an online survey does not differ from the indights that arise from answering in a personal conversation situation. As in personal dialogue, respondents expect follow-up questions in an online survey after submitting their answers. It is therefore important to structure your survey in such a way that the follow-up questions correspond to respondents’ expectations of the course of the interview. If you do not compose a meaningful sequence of questions when creating the survey, this could confuse respondents and, in the worst case, lead to frustrated early terminations of the online survey.
So how do I do that?
Simply by observing the following points:
- Use open questions in your survey. This gives respondents the opportunity to contribute any thoughts that arise over the course of the “conversation” (your online survey). A survey consisting exclusively of closed questions can frustrate participants (and result in incomplete responses) as they did not have the opportunity to express their thoughts as completely as they hoped. If you are covering several blocks of topics, include transition or intermediate pages to ensure a smoothly flowing conversation. Implement an adaptive survey structure, i.e. use specific filters or dynamic hide conditions, so that respondents are not overburdened with unnecessary questions.
With these tips in mind, your survey should be ready to go!
- Put a thank you text on the last page of the survey to politely end the “conversation”. If you wish, you can also find out whether there have been any discrepancies or misunderstandings by asking “How did you like this survey”, which you should then take into account both in the analysis and interpretation of the results.
Source: Gräf, Lorenz. 2010: Online-Befragung. Eine praktische Einführung für Anfänger. Lit Verlag. Berlin