Step 3: Create list of questions
Once you have set your goals and objectives for the survey that you are planning, it’s time to prepare the content. We recommend beginning by deciding how your survey should be set up: do you want to have one question per page, or do you want to categorise questions into different blocks (such as Background information, Leadership and Work environment)? In most cases, it’s preferred to have your survey sorted into different blocks for the sake of clarity. It will also make navigating the survey easier for your respondents.
When deciding on what questions to include in your survey, you should frequently refer back to the goals and objectives you have set for your project. This will help you to remain focused.
There are a couple of rules of thumb when creating your survey questions:
- Keep a common thread
- Use the same answer scale across the entire survey (excluding the NPS-question). This will help to avoid confusion and unreliable results.
- Avoid inverted questions. All response options should follow the same format i.e. from low to high or vice versa.
- Give opportunities to complete answers with a comment.
- Keep it simple
- Stick to the subject matter.
- Avoid technical terms and words with emotional associations.
- Keep language and phrasing consistent throughout.
- Short is sweet
- Only ask questions that you can take action on.
- Use pre-defined information about your respondents in order to enable comparisons (Background data)
- Don’t use phrasings that could lead to different interpretations from respondents.
- Do not use the word “and” in questions. For example: “What do you think about the price and delivery time of the product?”
- Do not ask leading or suggestive questions. For example: “Do you have any problems with your boss?”
What questions do I need to include?
The exact nature of your questions will change depending on the project, but there are three common threads you can take into account to ensure reliable and useable results.
To begin with, you will need to think about what background information you need to gather from your respondents in order to properly analyse the results. For example, is it important for understanding your data that you know the age or gender of your respondents? Or is knowing what department they work in important for any comparisons you intend to make? Getting this right when designing your survey is crucial.
It’s also important that you decide which Key Performance Indicator (KPI) values you will be measuring. Will you measure NPS (Net Promoter Score)? Or are you more interested in measuring CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index) or ESI (Employee Satisfaction Index), for example? Remember that KPI data is a useful way of viewing and comparing results and scores over time, so it’s wise to think carefully about your future intentions when planning.
The questions relating to necessary background information and KPI values are core aspects of your survey. If you have any additional question areas/sections that you would like to include, you should think carefully about how you can do this without disrupting the overall flow of the survey, i.e. they should not become an obstacle to obtaining important data and they should be easy for the respondent to complete.
We recommend that you organise your survey in the order displayed in the screenshot above:
- First, you will have the background questions. They will serve to ease the respondent into the survey while giving you the necessary data you need to analyse your results on group or department levels (for example).
- Next, you should include the questions that will give you your KPI values, e.g. an NPS question. KPI questions typically generate quantifiable data (i.e. numbers) that allows you to measure and compare performance over time. The inherent value of KPI questions means that they should be included very early on in a survey.
- Finally, you should include any other question areas that are pertinent to obtaining the data you need. These additional questions tend to be larger and more time-consuming for respondents, which is why we recommend including them after the background and KPI questions (which are very simple and quick to complete). We also recommend including a “Don’t know / Not applicable” option for these questions, meaning they can be skipped by respondents that they don’t apply to or who do not have the knowledge required to give an assessment of the question.
TIP: We highly recommend involving your colleagues and any other key stakeholders in planning the questionnaire before you begin building it. That way, you can make sure that everyone is satisfied and happy to sign off before you create it in Netigate.
How do I create my survey?
Follow these steps to create your survey:
- Press Create a survey, then Create a new survey. Or select Copy a survey if you have an existing template that you wish to use.
- Fill out the survey name, survey description (optional) and the survey start and end dates. To continue, press Create.
- You will be directed to the Create and Edit survey overview. You can read more about this here.
- Create questions by selecting your desired question type in the menu to the left-hand side of the window. You can read more about the different question types here.
- Enter the survey settings to set your desired settings. You can read more about survey settings here.
- Test your survey. You can do this by pressing or by using the option Testlink on the distribution page. You can read more about testing your survey here.
- Go on to Distribution to initiate the publication of your survey. You can read more about Distribution here.
- Select your desired distribution channel in the menu on the left-hand side of the window. You can read more about how to create the different channels here.
- Make sure your survey is activated. If it is not activated, there will be no answers submitted to the survey. Read more about Activation here.