Using survey tools to test before launching
You’ve finalized your customer survey goals and wrote your questions. Now you’re ready to send it, right? Wait! Don’t send it out blind. First, preview and test your survey to make sure it’s user-friendly and free of errors.
Here are some questions to ask when you’re testing your survey:
Did I include an intro?
If so, make sure it’s short and sweet so potential respondents don’t get overwhelmed by too much text. If you don’t already have an intro, take a few minutes to write one. This doesn’t need to be too wordy—a simple sentence is all you need. Introduce your survey topic and purpose, and don’t forget to say thanks.
Is my survey mobile-friendly?
Always preview your survey on a mobile device. The device respondents use can affect the appearance of the survey and the completion time. If you think many of your respondents will use a smartphone to take the survey, consider reformatting your questions to make sure they look right on both iOS and Android phones.
Is the survey copy accessible and relatable?
Try to look at your survey from the perspective of your respondents. If your questions use industry jargon respondents may not know, adjust the copy to make it more accessible. Also, keep an eye out for questions that respondents might not understand or be qualified to answer.
Are there typos?
Proofreading is your friend. Carefully reading the questions aloud to yourself or a friend is a great way to spot spelling or grammatical errors.
Are my answer options thorough enough?
Check your answer choices to make sure there’s always an option that will apply to every respondent. If not, you might want to add a “not applicable” option. You don’t want to force respondents to pick a random answer when none apply; that will negatively affect the quality of your data.
Does randomization make sense for my survey?
Worried about order bias? Randomizing the order of your questions or answer choices might be a good option for your survey. Just make sure to anchor “not applicable” or “none of the above” answer choices, if you’re using those, so they always appear at the bottom.
How long does the survey take to complete?
Take the survey and time yourself. If it feels excessively long to you, it will feel even longer to your respondents. Pare down the questions or add skip logic to direct respondents through different survey paths, sending them to a future point in the survey based on their answers.
Are there too many questions on each page?
Figuring out the right number of questions to display on each page can be a fine line. If you have too many questions per page, respondents might experience survey fatigue or become frustrated by how the survey appears on mobile devices. But unless you’re using skip logic, one question per page isn’t ideal, either. Too many pages can increase load time and frustrate users.
Did I test all potential skip logic paths?
This is an area where you really don’t want to make mistakes. Programming errors can push respondents to the wrong page, and logic errors can send respondents into a never-ending, inescapable survey loop. But skip logic done right can be beneficial both to you and to your respondents. Don’t gather data you don’t really need and don’t bog respondents down with questions they don’t need to answer.
If I’m sending the survey by email, am I making the right impression?
Email is a great way to distribute your survey, but be sure you’re using the right email content and making a good first impression. Keep your email concise; give a quick overview of the survey topic and tell recipients when you need it completed. Send a few test emails to make sure you don’t end up in someone’s spam folder.