SMG is continuously evaluating best practices in survey design. Each survey is unique and decisions must be made based on the specific needs of a client and the goal of data collection. Some of the considerations in designing a survey include:
- Use a five-point scale - Research suggests that survey scales should have at least five points, but offering more than that may not be of any additional value. Too many alternatives may result in the inability of the rater to discriminate between intervals.
- Avoid the use of a no opinion, no answer, or don’t know survey option - Offering a no opinion option does not improve the reliability of the data and is sometimes an attractive option for respondents looking for alternatives to the work involved in processing a question and the possible responses.
- Place Overall Satisfaction at the beginning of the survey - By placing this question at the beginning of the survey, respondents’ satisfaction is based on an un-aided, top-of-mind feeling about the experience they are evaluating.
- Use open-ended questions judiciously - Use open-ended comments as a way to augment and explain the summary results from closed-end responses. Limit comments to 60 seconds for phone surveys and 500-1000 characters for web surveys to avoid respondent fatigue and to encourage reporting of only the most salient features of the customer’s experience.
These are just a few of the considerations that must be taken when designing a survey. Our recommendations
in survey design are based on proven methods and are closely monitored to ensure
that our clients have access to the best and most current practices available.