Do This, Not That When Survey Writing
Surveys might seem like an easy-breezy part of the marketing exhibit process. It’s a great way to get feedback on how you can improve and what about your product most interests participants in trade shows.
But it’s one thing to craft a survey, and it’s quite another thing to craft a survey that will get you the honest responses that you’re looking for. There’s plenty of mistakes the average person can make as they craft a survey, so be sure to follow these guidelines to make sure you’re getting the best results.
Clearly Define Your Goals
The first thing you need to know, before even writing the first question of your survey, is what you hope to discover from it. Survey questions should not be vague. They aren’t a way to take the general pulse or vibe. They should be sharp and concise, to the point, and it will be even harder for them to be like that if you aren’t sure what you want to learn from your participants in the first place.
If you have a clear sense of the kind of information you’re seeking, you can craft better and more focused questions, giving you stronger insight into whatever it is you’re looking at.
Don’t Make It Long
A survey shouldn’t take time. Long surveys waste both your time and those of the participant. In fact, the longer it takes for a participant to complete a survey, the less likely they are to want to complete it in the first place.
Remember that honesty comes from brevity. The shorter your survey is, the more likely your participant will be to both complete it and to give the honest kind of feedback you’re looking for.
Don’t Forget to Include the Middle Ground
It can be easy to view the reactions of your participants in black and white terms. They loved something, or they didn’t. They want to learn more about your product, or they don’t. However, rarely are things so clean cut as we want them to be. By providing neutral or null options, you will allow your participants to tell you exactly how they felt about something. Perhaps they felt that your exhibit was just okay.
Maybe they didn’t feel strongly about your booth one way or another. Remember that the entire goal of surveys is to give your participants options that match exactly how they feel, so that you can get honest feedback. Neutral options and middle ground are part of that full spectrum of choices.
Do Provide Unique Options
A survey should contain a multitude of options to capture the whole range of ways that participants might feel, but each answer should also be unique enough that they can’t possibly give more than one response. If you craft questions where the answers overlap, your respondents could conceivably answer in more than one way, which will only lead to confusion in the results that you receive.
Don’t Forget Incentives
Surveys are often a drag. So, make them as fun and as exciting as possible for your participants by offering perks for completing them. This can come in really any form you imagine. Maybe it’s a discount on a product you’re selling, or a particular piece of merchandise that can be handed out at your booth.
The point is that anything you can give to your participants is another reason for them to take the time to fill out the survey—and if they know there’s something in it for them, they’ll be even more likely to provide you with honest feedback.
Last Tip: Make Surveys as Painless as Possible
This isn’t really a bonus tip as much as it is what all the other tips are pointing towards. The survey process can be a little annoying for participants. The best way to ensure accurate, wide-ranging responses? Make the process as simple to complete and easy to understand as possible. Write your surveys with that in your mind. Your participants will thank you!