I’ve been involved this month in surveying a group of people to gather their opinion on a regular networking event, on behalf of the organiser of that event.

Here’s a handful of insights I’ve gained from this experience (and of doing other surveys recently):

  • The Software as a Service (SaaS) offering for surveys is quite mature and the pricing model is well pitched. I use Survey Monkey where I have a choice (although there are a few to choose from); it takes very little time to setup and distribute the survey; it’s very easy and intuitive to use; and the results are automatically correlated for you. For surveying 50 people there was no cost – we merely had to have the Survey Monkey logo on the bottom of the questionnaire and the invitation email. For a reasonable price the questionnaires can be branded and Survey Monkey links can be replaced by your own if that’s important.
  • There is still an art to designing the right questions. I try to go for questions which yield a mix of quantitative answers (e.g. “rate your experience from ‘1 – very bad’ to ‘5 – excellent’”) and qualitative answers (e.g. “What do you think of the venue”). Many people don’t have the time or inclination to write anything in the boxes, but are happy to click on multiple choice boxes; these quantitative questions and their answers also have the advantage that it’s easy to aggregate the results (e.g. “83% said the experience was good or excellent”). The qualitative questions have the advantage of pulling out more detailed, nuanced information, and can often fill in the gaps that the directed, multiple-choice questions don’t ask.
  • Depending on the number of questions and number of respondents, you can end up with quite a lot of data. It’s useful to get someone to analyse this and present the key messages to the various stakeholders, rather than just chucking the raw answers at the person who commissioned the survey.
  • As a result of the tools being so good and user-friendly, getting feedback has never been easier. Organisations should do it more often.

If you’re interested in running a survey but need some assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Terzo Digital.

 

Neil Tubman, Terzo Digital, April 2014

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