Common Mistakes That Can Surge Your Survey Abandonment

By ,

Photo Credit:'s AndreyPopov

Social media and the internet have ebbed human interactions; meetings have become Skype conferences, PR has become dependent on LinkedIn and staying in touch is now solely resting on Facebook. Even shopping is gradually shifting from physical stores to e-commerce sites. All this has led businesses to lose their human touch.

According to e-Marketer, ‘88% of firms were using Social Media for Marketing’ in 2015, and the figure was set to rise further in 2016. With all business activities on the verge of transference, market research is also veering towards digital alternatives. One such market research tool is surveys; or in relevance to this article, online surveys, which are our primary focus.

While creating a survey, you should always remember, that only create a survey which you yourself would like to take. Take notice of what you like in a survey and what you don’t. The response rates of your prior surveys will also be telling, as to what kind of surveys, are the best received. But before all fails, perhaps the easiest way to identify and eliminate mistakes, is by checking if your survey has the errors which we have mentioned below.

Haphazard Flow

The questions present in your survey, should be in a systemized order, instead of being randomly thrown together. Take it like a conversation, so you don’t jump from topic to topic in an abrupt manner. This will make the survey less confusing for the taker, enabling them to give more accurate answers.

Haphazard flow
Image Source

Generalized Questions

Individualize your survey to befit each respondent with advanced functions; such as skip logic, piping, response validations, randomization, linking to external data bases, etc. If a survey is tailored to suit the takers, then not only will you ask more valid questions, but you will also draw a more effective conclusion from the results.

Generalized questions
Image Source

Demanding Effort

The survey shouldn’t feature too many questions, nor should it demand lengthy answers. Respondents generally abandon such tediously long surveys. So while making a survey, you should only ask for answers that are imperative for your research and try to convey your questions in a concise but clear manner.

Demanding effort
Image Source

Sensitive Topics

Try to abstain from making any inquiries that are too personal. If it is intrinsic to ask such questions, then add them near the end of the survey. Such questions sometimes discourage the customers from completing the survey.

Sensitive topics
Image Source

Distracting Factors

A few page breaks and interruptions here and there can be good to give the users a breather. Add too many to the mix and the result is catastrophic; the survey becomes distracting and annoying.

Distracting factors
Image Source

Addressing Tone

According to Customer Service Investigator (CSI), ‘65% of customers, prefer surveys that have a casual tone’, rather than a formal one. Yet you have to be sure that the syntax you use is casual, and not too casual.

Addressing tone
Image Source

What is too casual you ask; too casual is using some colloquial words like ‘cool’, and Emoticons in an official survey. Nonetheless, you can’t be a 100% sure, because the preference of each person varies, so you should just find a middle path and wing it.

Elements Customers
Image Source

Complex Captchas

Captchas are important for the site and users’ protection, yet some people go a little overboard. They create almost illegible captchas that take arduous effort to decipher.

Complex captchas
Image Source

Confidential Information

Businesses should take sufficient pains in insuring and assuring anonymity of the answers and identity of the survey takers. Oscar Wilde once said, “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth”.

Confidential information
Image Source

These factors are what can make or break a survey. Nonetheless, there is one thing that is all conclusive of these factors and as yet is unmentioned – treating respondents like humans.

While making online surveys, day in and day out, we sometimes forget our target audience, and frequently enough, the fact that they are humans. Without face to face interactions, it is easy to overlook this fact.

It is imperative that we see them as humans and our surveys should reflect this. Otherwise, the takers will feel disconnected, and thereby leave the survey without completing it. If you nail this issue, then a notable improvement will be seen in you surveys’ abandonment rate and response. This point is where we will sign off, with the surety that all the mistakes present in most survey, have been covered.

About The Author

Kelvin Stiles is a tech enthusiast and works as a marketing consultant at SurveyCrest – FREE online survey software and publishing tools for academic and business use. He is also an avid blogger and a comic book fanatic.