It’s a new year and it’s a great time to find out what your users need and think! Using survey software is an easy and effective way to gather a large amount of feedback in a short amount of time.
No matter what software you choose, a survey will only give you the information you need, if you create effective questions.
- Have a narrow focus. One survey can not answer every question about your users. Do you want to know what they use? When they come in? Are they happy with your services? Try and keep the overall number of questions to a minimum and avoid question creep. One of the best ways to do this is to ask yourself “Do I NEED to know this?” or “Do I WANT to know this?”
- Remember to keep the survey as short as possible. The longer the survey, the fewer people will complete it.
- Keep open-ended questions to a minimum. They are hard for users and they are hard to quantitate.
- Think about how, when, and where to distribute and promote your survey. If you want to hear from more than your core users, it will take planning.
- Don’t lead them to an answer. For example – “How much do you love the library” is starting from a point that everyone loves you. This might be true but you need to leave room for differing opinions.
- Consider what is required and what is an optional field. If a user doesn’t know what to put in a required field, or wants to leave it blank, they will abandon the survey.
- Have a neutral party take your survey, they can help you with ensuring the questions make sense and get the information you need.
Current Survey Software Options
- Google Forms A free option has limited templates but the software is robust.
- SurveyMonkey Paid and free limited plan. It has templates, helps with creating effective surveys, and much more.
- TypeForm Another free or paid software platform. This makes really modern looking surveys. (A sample survey is here)
- Qualtrics A paid survey software but really robust. This is useful if you survey often and/or have in-depth surveying or reporting needs.
Are you using different software? Let me know about it, I am always looking for new and better software.