The future of online surveys

Online surveys have only grown in importance since business became embedded in the Internet in the late 1990’s.  Such surveys are a vital part of market research, but nothing stays the same, and the future of online surveys is important to consider as it will greatly affect the way surveys are written and administered in the future.  

Here are few of the important trends that will affect the way online surveys are conducted as the Internet continues to evolve.

Future Trends of Online Surveys

writing a customer surveyTime considerations

Speed of workflow has greatly increased in the last 20 years.  Nowadays, there are more demands than ever on the public’s time.  This means that the consumer doesn’t have the option of casually filling out a survey.  This has two important effects.  The first is that survey questions must be simplified to a considerable degree in order to enable respondents to move quickly through the survey.  This must be balanced with the need to lead the consumer through a series of questions in order to gather information on certain metrics.  It also means that surveys must be shortened, or incentives to complete longer surveys must increase.

 

future of online surveys mobile devicesMobile devices

The advent of mobile devices means that surveys must now be mobile friendly.  Mobile devices generally have smaller screens which require greater concentration and so can increase fatigue levels.  Fatigue can cause respondents to abandon surveys or to rush through the questions without thinking.  The idea being to simply get it over with and collect the incentive.  This increases the risk of poor quality responses that can either skew the metrics or cause survey abandonment.  For example, the respondents may abandon the survey rather than take the trouble of typing out a detailed answer on a tiny keyboard.

 

future of online surveys cost benefitIncreased cost

The increased cost of data evaluation can lead to cutting corners in compilation and analysis.  This can lower sample quality no matter how well targeted a survey may be. The importance of strong reporting within online survey tools is therefore increasingly important, as is the ability to easily and quickly identify truly actionable insights from survey results. The cost versus benefit can therefore be both rationalised and economised.

 

future of online surveys mobile preciseSurveys must be more precise

Writing long detailed surveys will not be the way of the future, especially when such surveys insult respondents with meager compensation.  The reality is that future surveys will need to be precisely planned and laid out to gather specific information.  There simply won’t be enough time or finance to create and administer detailed surveys, and collate wide ranging information.  The future survey must be more of a hunt than a fishing expedition.

 

All in all, the future of online surveys will require both the survey companies and their clients to think in a less mechanistic fashion.  In the future, the quality of respondents and how those respondents are addressed, will determine how surveys are written and how effective surveys will be.