Surveying is one of the most ancient jobs that still exist. Consequently, surveys have evolved a lot since the past, from Greek registers to newspapers, and official government census to online surveys.
So let's talk about the history and evolution of surveys and how they can benefit your business. Get acquainted with how to conduct online survey?
History of Surveys
Looking at the history, first surveys date back to 3000 BC, as old as some of the oldest civilizations (Source: ICSM). Modern surveys also date back to 1790 conducted by the United States (Source: Pollfish)
This means that rulers, executives, governments and now businesses are very aware of the fact that surveying is not something you can miss out on.
Evolution of Surveys
Back in the day surveys were done by sending questionnaires to people through mediums like mails, newspapers and letters. But the actual revolution came after the invention of the telephone when researchers started using it to conduct surveys. And then came the internet. Now platforms like Google Forms and Surveymonkey have made surveying a breeze for businesses and researchers.
But are online surveys actually effective? Let's find out.
Why Are Online Surveys So Important?
There are endless benefits of online surveying as a business activity.
Surveying software have never been more affordable, where you can start as cheap as just $2 per month. (Source: Google Forms)
Though an effective and standard business plan may cost about $20 per month, (Source: Surveymonkey) online surveys are comparatively way more affordable than offline methods.
If you know your business objectives and what you’re trying to find out, it can take as less as 30 minutes to create an effective survey. It's also pretty quick for your participants to answer the questions you're asking them, because all it takes is a few clicks and their work is done.
A good design is what catches the eyes of a reader online. Online surveys usually have a wide range of options for design and customization, making them more likely to engage the audience.
The data that you get through online surveys is first observed and sorted by the AI of the software you're using. Which means, you get a more effective and efficient data management system than offline methods, where people have to manage all the data (And hence, the higher likelihood of mistakes).
Convenience In Participation
A user can simply click on the link they've been provided, land on the survey page, answer the questions and go on their way. That's not all, most online surveys are flexible, so participants answer the questions they want and skip the ones they don't want to answer. This makes it way more convenient for users to participate in an online survey.
But that doesn't mean online surveys are perfect. There are a lot of problems that come with online surveys. Let's talk about them.
The Problems With Online Surveys
Bad Completion Rate
Studies shows that online surveys which have about 30 questions have a completion rate of 85% (Source: Surveymonkey)
Simply put, this means that about 10-15% of your participants will drop off from your survey for some reason. And this is just an average.
One simple way to make this less of a problem is to reduce the number of questions in the survey and make those questions super simple to answer.
No Personal Connection
During online surveys, no one is directly going to connect with the participant. This makes it easy for them to leave the survey midway.
And the reason is: They don't get any feedback. It’s harder to imagine that they are actually helping someone, so why would they fill out a long survey for nothing?
One simple way to make this less of a problem is to have multiple touchpoints where you thank your participants and provide feedback on how their input is going to create an impact. This gives them a sense of achievement and more motivation to actually complete the survey.
Chances of Inaccurate Information
Since there's no one actively monitoring the participants, and as they are mostly anonymous, they can simply fill out wrong or intentionally inaccurate answers without any possibility of getting called out. There's no exact method to resolve this problem, and all you can do is ask your participants to be honest and hope they do that.
However, a lot of the above problems can be solved by a simple but effective method - Engagement Time Tracking.
There are many Engagement Time Tracking Softwares (Cloudfiles is one of them) that help in making surveys more effective and meaningful.
Benefits Of Using An Engagement Time Tracking Software
Rooting Out Problems
Where are participants getting stuck? On which questions do they spend the most time on? Which questions are they skipping? At what point do they tend to leave the survey? All of these questions and more can be answered by an Engagement Time Tracking Software, because they tell you the time spent on each question.
Reducing Poor Quality Responses
If someone has answered all the questions without logically thinking or reading the whole question, you can find out. You can also find out if someone has submitted the survey multiple times or simply disable multiple logins so no one can fill the form more than one time.
If one or two participants take too long to answer a question, that may be one-off incidents. But if all the participants are taking more than the standard time to answer a question, then it might mean that you should remove that question. This makes the survey way more convenient to fill out and participate in, hence it will also increase the completion rate of the survey.