Perform Qualitative Research with Surveys for Richer Feedback

Qualitative research, given its conversational nature, helps researchers gain insights they had not previously considered as a possibility. Surveys are great for performing qualitative research because they are able to offer speed and low-cost, while still eliciting deep and diverse feedback from respondents.

Below are some of the strategies that you can follow to perform qualitative research with surveys:

Be clear with your survey goals

Prior to building the survey, identify the purpose of the survey clearly. You should know what you want to learn and what insights you want to uncover. There may even be graphs and charts, including word clouds, that can be beneficial to your reporting on the response data.

Include the main questions at the beginning

Set the importance of the survey questions by putting the main questions at the beginning of your survey. Avoid including the least important questions when possible to avoid the risk of survey fatigue. Most respondents tend to leave the survey in the middle if they feel that it is too long. By including the important questions at the beginning, you increase the chances of getting the impactful responses even if the respondent hasn’t completed all the questions.

Avoid complex instructions

Respondents often prefer to answer simple and intuitive questions. Complex and lengthy instructions to fill out the survey can reduce the chances respondents will read the directions fully. Therefore, keep your instructions as simple as possible.

Use graphs or charts in the survey

Long blocks of text can be boring for respondents. Conversely, graphs, charts, and other imagery can make the survey looks more effective and engaging for the respondents. They are also likely to elicit the greatest qualitative feedback as they provide more basis for the respondents to comment.

Design your survey precisely

While building the survey, make sure to keep it as short as possible. One simple way you can do this is by only including questions that are relevant to your respondents. Try to add short and concise questions and clearly mention your intentions with the research. 

Make sure to test your survey before distributing

Testing your survey before sending it to your potential respondents is important to receive the most actionable response data. No matter which research type you choose, have your colleagues to run the survey at least twice or thrice to check the overall flow of the survey. Consider their feedback and try to implement as many of their suggestions as feasible to improve the survey quality.

Follow the above-mentioned tips to build a well-designed survey. Conduct the survey consistently and regularly to perform your required qualitative research.

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