Tip #6: Do not lead respondents toward survey answers
When developing survey questions, be sure not to inadvertently lead respondents to answer questions in a particular way or in a particular favor. It is important to give respondents all available response options.
Example of leading respondents:
Given the state of the economy, how likely are you to purchase a house in the next 12 months?
- Definitely will
- Probably will
- Probably will not
- Definitely will not
The economy may be on the minds of many consumers; however, not all respondents are affected the same by the economy and their decision to purchase real estate may not have any bearing on the state of the economy. It would be best to leave out the subject of the economy all together and simply ask, how likely are you to purchase a house in the next 12 months?
Additionally, use neutral or non-judgmental wording in questions and response options; and whenever possible, do not ask questions that are sensitive in nature. If responses to sensitive questions are necessary to achieve your survey objectives, consider asking them later in the survey. Asking sensitive questions too soon may cause respondents to abandon the survey all together. If you plan to ask many sensitive questions, such as in an employee survey, it may be wise to hire a third-party survey vendor to assist you with your research. Respondents feel more comfortable answering sensitive questions when conducted by a company that is impartial and responses are kept in complete confidentiality.
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