Writing Good Surveys

Surveys are one of CrowdBurst's most useful features. Thanks for helping write one! Your contributions are what makes this community great.

Here are a few simple techniques for writing clear, effective surveys that can be easily shared by other CrowdBurst users:

  1. Keep it to the point.Make sure your survey has one clear purpose, and that all the questions are relevant to that purpose. If you find yourself a bit off-topic, it's probably time to create another survey.
    Title: "Style, Client Skills, and Great Places to Ski in Tahoe"
    Title: "Handshake Technique"
  2. Keep it as simple as possible, but no simpler.Most surveys should be between three and ten questions long; beyond that, and you're in danger of losing your audience. Occasionally, a survey might need to be several dozen questions long (for instance, a full-scale 360-degree review battery), but these are pretty rare.
  3. If you have multiple Scale (1-5) type questions, use the same scale for each.Multiple scales quickly get confusing. Whatever you do, don't switch the "good" and "bad" ends of the scale between questions!
  4. Find the right balance between specificity and generality.The best surveys ask specific, unambigous questions that are relevant to a wide audience. Don't make your questions so specific they apply only to you (unless you're creating a private survey for your own use only.)
    Do I wear that striped shirt I got last year at the J.C. Penney on Flatbush too often?
    Do I wear striped shirts too much?
    Do I need more variety in my wardrobe?
  5. Write your questions in the first person.A survey question is designed to get information about you. It should be written in the first person (unless it's a Open Survey, in which case you might use the second person or none — see below).
    Did you talk about yourself too much on the first date?
    Did he talk about himself too much on the first date?
    Did I talk about myself too much on the first date?
  6. Write Open Survey questions for a general audience.If you're writing an Open Survey, don't ask questions about yourself, since most people responding to it don't know you. Ask general questions that anyone might have an opinion about.
    Should I call an older customer by her first name right immediately on meeting her, or after I get to know her?
    Should you call an older customer by her first name right immediately on meeting her, or after I get to know her?
    Is it better to call an older customer by her first name immediately on meeting her, or after getting to know her?
  7. Make it fun!People will be a lot more likely to use your survey if the questions are interesting. Don't feel the need to hide your sense of humor; other people might appreciate it.