ANONYMOUS SURVEY

SHARE THE ARTICLE ON

Anonymous survey template Single source
Table of Contents

When we want to recruit potential survey participants, we must create a survey that makes them feel at ease and confident while providing open and honest feedback. An anonymous poll should be part of this plan.

When we inform individuals that we are conducting an anonymous online survey, they understand that their identity will be kept private. They will feel more at ease responding from the comfort of their own home. It is especially important when we need to get input from employees or consumers on sensitive topics such as misbehavior, safety protocols, and personnel changes. Having said that, providing anonymity is typically a good best practice for any survey design.

WHAT IS AN ANONYMOUS SURVEY?

An anonymous survey is a set of questions administered to participants in such a way that we and other parties are unable to determine who submits whose replies. Names, birthdates, locations, and other data elements that might easily link us to specific survey respondents are examples of identifying information.

We need to be mindful of other identifying elements, such as IP address or contact information, while conducting an anonymous online survey for follow-up research. Make certain that such products cannot be traced in order for our results to be unbiased and our participants to stay really anonymous.

Get started with Descriptive Research today. Request a free 15 min product consultation call.

WHY SHOULD A SURVEY BE ANONYMOUS?

When we have the opportunity, we should conduct an anonymous poll. It will improve our performance in the following ways:

  • We and our strategy team can examine replies without being biased toward known participants.
  • Respondents will most likely feel more at ease offering their candid thoughts.
  • Employees and repeat customers in our business can engage without fear of reprisal from management or senior leadership.

There may be times when an anonymous poll isn’t the best option. Among these are the following scenarios:

  • When we conduct a follow-up survey to further investigate an issue or collect input on changes made since the previous survey.
  • When we are conducting an inquiry that may result in legal action and we need to follow up with individuals.

If following up with particular participants on their input is critical to our study, consider designating one party to keep respondents’ names discreet and unknown to all others participating in the survey’s administration. An HR manager or an outside business may be the best fit for this position. For our circumstances, an anonymous survey is most certainly the best solution.

Explore all the survey question types
possible on Voxco

EXAMPLES

Three very diverse instances are provided below to demonstrate how universally useful doing an anonymous poll is. Regardless of business or research area, we may use many of the same principles to our strategy.

Example 1: customer satisfaction

In this case, an independent drugstore wishes to better serve their neighborhood. They determine that a survey will assist them achieve three goals:

1) Determine overall client happiness.

2) Enhance the consumer experience

3) Organize their inventory

Consider the stock goods that a business like this may have. Medication, menstruation products, and home cleansers are examples of extremely intimate information. Local customers are eager to join and assist the shopkeepers in optimizing their store, but they are reasonably concerned about secrecy.

To keep the findings, secret while yet allowing for follow-up with locals, the business prepares an anonymous online survey, which they distribute through their newsletter. They disable all conversion trackers, which would show which newsletter subscribers opened or finished the form. After completing the initial anonymous survey, they develop and implement an action plan. The shop sends a follow-up survey to the same email list to collect feedback on their proposed enhancements.

Example 2: employee workplace culture

In the following example, around 100 workers begin to receive anonymous allegations of workplace bullying on public web forums. Because no one is mentioned by name, the HR department is unsure who to approach with follow-up inquiries. Their technique to combat workplace bullying begins with the creation of an anonymous survey to obtain a comprehensive picture of how workers perceive the present business culture. They ask employees questions on how secure they feel, if they are aware of correct reporting processes, and whether they or someone they know has been bullied at this firm. Finally, they ask respondents to identify someone they know who has engaged in bullying conduct.

Because the answers to these questions may result in reprisal from the individual or persons who are bullying others, this poll must be kept anonymous. Employees may keep their colleagues and higher-ranking persons responsible without jeopardizing their employment or security.

Following the collection and assessment of the initial corporate culture survey findings, HR may develop an action plan that includes a more focused but still careful study based on the trends in their comments. They decide not to require responders to identify themselves in order to protect and trust their staff as much as possible. HR, on the other hand, had to address the accused bully with concrete cases.

Example 3: a sociology course assignment

In our third example, a college student conducts a brief poll of their peers’ spending patterns and socioeconomic origins. This poll contains identifiable information such as shopping patterns and preferred brands, as well as normally confidential information such as parents’ income levels, respondents’ income levels, and cultural opinions on finances.

The student conducting the study does not want her knowledge of her peers to impact the outcomes. With this in mind, she builds an anonymous survey and carefully chooses survey question types to ensure anonymity. She does this by including multiple-choice, constant sum, and other questions with fixed response ranges. This survey is distributed through email to the student’s classmates and other university students. She also forwards it to their connections.

By making the survey available to students outside her university as well as persons in each student’s social networks, the survey maker makes it more difficult to identify respondents based on their responses. She wants to ensure that her feedback sources remain anonymous, so she chooses a survey with Respondent Anonymity Assurance (RAA). It enables her to contact people without disclosing their identities.

Wondering what will be the cost of conducting survey research using Voxco?

BEST PRACTICES FOR ANONYMOUS SURVEY

1. We must communicate our intentions

Before they begin, inform participants about the nature of our anonymous poll. Explain what information we will and will not gather, who will be evaluating the input, and how we intend to follow up (if at all). Inform them of any further procedures we are taking to preserve the anonymity of their responses, and clarify what we intend to do with their responses following the survey. Will we, for example, quote them anonymously in a report? That’s important to know in case someone they know reads the report and recognizes them. For all parties involved, preliminary communication will create confidence and set expectations for a more effective survey experience.

2. Use the proper platform

Respondent Anonymity Assurance (RAA), which is one of the few ways to ensure that our survey is genuinely anonymous, is not available on all survey platforms. It is critical for the quality of our research since once triggered, the safeguards provided by RAA-enabled surveys cannot be removed. This implies that participants, contacts, and even the survey designer cannot seek identifying information after the fact. It safeguards the anonymity of survey respondents as well as the integrity of our data.

3. Disable the use of custom variables or data gathering

Many surveys have a provision that allows us to save participants’ personal information. We’re not talking about sensitive information like credit card numbers or their mother’s middle name. When most consumers subscribe to an online newsletter or register for a special discount, they provide the following information: their name, email address, phone number, or mailing address. When designing a survey, we frequently fail to consider how these unique variables will be gathered and kept for future use.

4 . Write questions with care

We may believe that our inquiries cannot be connected to any one respondent, yet this is dependent on the alternative replies. As previously said, look for questions that provide personal facts about people, their family members, or experiences that are unique to them or someone with their background.

This does not preclude us from asking demographic questions. Simply phrasing them carefully and consider different responses as we go. If we must ask such questions, we should consider employing a randomly selected sample of participants or broadening our sample to include persons from beyond our community (as the student attempted to do in example 3).

5. Create the survey as a whole

While a single question may not be able to identify individual responses on its own, a collection of them may. If, due to the nature of our anonymous survey, we must ask very personal questions, keep them as brief as possible. The incorrect mix of questions is a problem that researchers (or data thieves) can solve with some detective work. Again, we may include some of these questions while maintaining anonymity, but we should avoid developing a survey that allows us to identify participants after all questions are reviewed.

6. Obtain a big sample size

We can keep our questionnaire anonymous by surveying as many people as feasible and using a wide variety of identifying characteristics. Some studies, such as current consumer engagement or staff happiness, must have restrictions. Consider the widest group of people we can include in our poll and predict relevant findings whenever possible. Collecting input using an anonymous online survey in accordance with the best practices outlined above, our poll might reach relevant participants from a variety of geographies and demographics.

Explore all the survey question types
possible on Voxco

Read more

pasted image 0 28

What is Market Research

Market Research Try a free Voxco Online sample survey! Unlock your Sample Survey SHARE THE ARTICLE ON Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on

Read More »
Anonymous survey template Single source

Event survey questions

Event survey questions SHARE THE ARTICLE ON Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on linkedin Table of Contents What are event survey questions? It

Read More »