Do you remember the big DIY TV boom of the late 90s and early 2000s? All it took was a few clicks of your remote control and you could surround yourself with professional contractors and painters showing you how to “do it yourself” on all things remodeling or refinishing.
It all seemed so easy, right? Simply note their instructions and head on down to your local home improvement center. You’ve got the tutorial, you’ve got the supplies, and your project is sure to turn out just like it did on TV.
I think we all know that those perfect results aren’t a guarantee — or even much of an actual possibility. Why? Because, while you may have the basic structure, you’re still missing out on years of experience and insider industry tricks.
This is very similar to a another boom of the early 2000s — the boom of the online survey.
Survey Technology Is Fantastic!
Long, long ago, when I began deploying online surveys in the year 2000, it was a job limited to trained researchers and marketing experts. Because so many people love new technology, interest for both the organization deploying the survey and the respondent for taking the survey was very high.
If we fast-forward to now, we know that the tools needed to do online surveys have exploded in number and ability, and anyone with basic computer skills can design a simple survey, deploy, and see results without spending much time on education.
Whether you use Survey Monkey, SurveyGizmo, Qualtrics, or something else, the platform is ultimately irrelevant — the point is that online surveys are easy to set up nowadays. The problem is that successful surveys are a different story. Much like those DIY TV shows, you’ll be missing the benefit of industry knowledge and survey expertise, which can ultimately lead to unactionable results and bad or incorrect data.
For example, a common mistake I see is the lack of realistic options provided in DIY surveys. When someone is required to answer all questions, but can’t find a relevant option, they’re forced to either answer incorrectly or back out of the survey altogether. This means that you’ve spent a lot of time (and not just your own) gathering inaccurate data.
Don’t waste your time gathering bad data – get some help to get it right the first time.
My husband and I are big DIYers, but we have learned that we have limits. Sure, we could choose to DIY a lot of things, but whether they’re yard maintenance and pest control or accounting and web design, it’s going to take a lot of time, tutorials, time, and follow-through. Did I mention time?
If you’re comfortable and believe you have the skill set and knowledge to write and deploy your own surveys – go for it! I ask you to keep these things in mind, however, before you get started:
- Are you capable of writing unbiased questions?
- Can you write actionable questions that allow action-based results?
- Do you know how to determine the correct scale for your questions?
- Do you know how to test your survey for comprehension, length, fatigue, and format?
- Do you have the skills needed to design the correct graph to display the data?
- Can you design the report?
- Are you prepared to examine and analyze the survey results?
If any of these pieces of the survey puzzle seem daunting or unfamiliar to you, please don’t hesitate to contact me here at Peak Surveys. We have the skills and expertise to help with as little or as much as you need to perfect your research tool and get valid, actionable data.
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