Survey bubble 01

Survey Features

How to conduct a survey

Use our in-depth online survey guide to create an actionable feedback collection survey process.

Survey research assists you to unveil customers’ opinions and gain data points on customer behavior and sentiment. By asking your customers to answer questions relevant to your study and analyzing the findings you identify growth opportunities. 

The survey can generate a large amount of information in a short time span. You can use Survey for various reasons. Many Research fields use surveys to generate a large amount of data – Social, Health, Market, Psychology, and Politics. 

If you want to acquire insightful and valuable information, you need to survey the right audience and ask the right question by using the right method. For successful survey research, follow the steps given below:

Steps to conduct a survey

Step-1: Define the Purpose of your Survey

Step-2: Define the Audience

Step-3: Decide how to Distribute the Survey

Step-4: Design your Survey

Step-5: Conduct the Survey Research 

Step-6: Analyze the Survey Result

Step-7: Present your Survey Findings

Lets’ dive into the details of each step:

Step-1: Define the Purpose of your Survey

What is it that you want to do with the results of your survey? Do you want to learn the reason for customer churn? Or, do you want to understand the changing trends in customer expectations?

Clearly describe what your goal is for the survey and communicate that goal with every team member involved in the building of the survey questions. If you are unable to figure out your survey goal list all the issues your company is facing currently in the market. Prioritize the goals that seem to need immediate attention. Ask these questions to define the purpose of your survey:

  • What kind of customers comprises your target markets? 
  • Is your marketing campaign performing well?
  • Do you need further data to improve the campaign?

Step-2: Define the Audience

When you decide to conduct a survey you should have a clear idea of whose opinion matters the most to you. Your target population is your relevant audience whose feedback you want to collect. 

When you gather survey results you should be able to generalize them to the whole target population. For example, if you would want to collect the opinion of mothers on infant food, you need to specify with who you want to conduct a survey. 

The sample is the group of people selected from the population. It is often not possible to survey the entire population. For these situations, you will survey a sample from your target population. 

You can use a sample size calculator to figure out how many respondents you will need who can properly represent the entire population. There are several sampling methods – probability and non-probability – that can help you to select respondents for your sample. 

The larger the sample size is the more accurate and valid your survey results will be.

Step-3: Decide how to Distribute the Survey

You can deploy Surveys in various ways. You can send online surveys via email or SMS, post them on social media, or upload them on the website. You can also conduct interviews – FTF or telephone – and record their responses. The way you decide to distribute your survey depends on many factors. 


With Email, you can send a survey to large sample size. It is easy and you can also send a customized message to the recipients of the survey. You can add a link or simply add a satisfaction question to receive a quick response. You can also send reminders or resend the survey via email to those who have not responded or opened the email.


You can embed a link to the survey page on your Website or launch a pop-up on your site, which directs the users who click on it to the survey. The users won’t have to leave your website or follow a long path to reach your survey.

Social Media

Placing a survey link on social media platforms can increase the visibility of the survey and thus increase the response rate. You can also encourage the respondents to share the survey within their network. Using social media you can reach a large number of audiences and gather multiple opinions.


Interviews, whether Face to Face or by telephone – are a great method to collect in-depth feedback from respondents. However, it is more convenient when you have a small sample size and ample time to conduct extensive research. The interview allows the researcher and the respondent to explore the subject matter and generate qualitative information. 

While there are many ways you can distribute your survey, you have to remember that every method has a drawback. Carefully decide how you want to gather feedback.

Step-4: Design your Survey

Knowing who your target audiences are and what your purpose is, it should make designing survey questions easier. When you conduct a survey, the result depends on the quality of your survey questionnaire. If the respondents find the questions confusing, intrusive, or vague, or if it is too long they are most likely to drop off. There are four factors you need to consider when you write down your survey questions:

  1. Types of survey questions
  2. The content of the questions should match survey goal
  3. Format of the survey questions
  4. Order of the questions in the survey

Types of Survey Questions

There are primarily two types of survey questions:

  1. Open-ended survey questions
  2. Close-ended survey questions

An open-ended survey question is a better option to collect qualitative data. It allows respondents to share their thoughts and opinions in their own words.

  • Most commonly used in interviews and focus group surveys.
  • Useful as a follow-up question to ask respondents for more explanation on their answer to a closed-ended question

Close-ended survey questions generate quantitative data. It offers the respondents a predetermined list of options or a rating scale and asks them to select their preferred answer. 

  • Provides numerical data which makes it easy to find patterns or trends
  • Keeps the survey short and crisp, saving respondents time and effort
  • Different types of closed-ended questions are available to make the survey interactive and keep respondents engaged

You can combine both question types in your survey. You can use open-ended questions to follow up with a close-ended question on a subject you need detailed information about. 

The content of the question should match the survey goal

The questions you ask should be relevant to the goal of the survey so that you can gather accurate customer insight. 

  • Avoid including questions that don’t serve the purpose of the survey. 
  • Consider the questions carefully along with the list of answer options you provide for the closed-ended questions. 
  • Add a N/A or “other” option to give respondents the freedom when attending your survey.

Format of the survey questions

The questions should be asked in layman’s language. 

  • Make sure you don’t use jargon or unfamiliar abbreviations when asking the general audience any questions. Explain the terms if you do use them.
  • Avoid asking hypothetical or vague questions that need an explanation from the researcher. 
  • Avoid words that may influence the respondent’s opinion. Phrase questions so that it does not motivate the respondent to answer in a particularly biased manner. It will ruin the survey result.

Order of the questions in the survey

For better survey results, arrange the questions in a logical manner. 

  • Group questions on a particular topic together. Divide the survey questionnaire in a way that the respondent understands what the section of the question is about. 
  • Start with easy questions that engage the respondents and hook them to the survey. 
  • Avoid asking personal questions at all or place them towards the end of the survey. If the respondent decides to leave the survey you will still have the responses for the rest of the survey research.

Step-5: Conduct the Survey Research

At this point, you have a properly written questionnaire, and a sample of respondents, and you know how you want to distribute your survey. Now you can run a test and when you are satisfied with your survey research design you can conduct the survey with a method of your choice. 

If you are conducting a survey via online methods like websites, social media, or email, keep the survey open to respondents for approximately 2 to 3 weeks.

Step-6:Analyze the Survey Results

Use survey software that can ease the entire process and provide assistance in every step. With the survey software, you can gather the response automatically, and analyze survey results in real-time. 

Filter any duplicate responses. Sometimes a respondent may accidentally fill in a survey more than once. Also, clean incomplete or incorrectly completed surveys. 

You can use the Analytics tool to organize the response to closed-ended questions. Each closed-ended question must have a code. The survey software will comb through the responses and categorize them based on patterns. 

For example, if you are surveying your customers to understand what issue they face with your mobile app, you can identify any pattern in the answer. You can determine if there is any issue that the majority of your audience face and prioritize such issues to fix them. 

The analytics tool can also help identify respondents’ sentiments in qualitative responses. It can point out positive and negative emotions in the responses.

Step-7: Present your Survey Findings

You have your survey results which you need to share with the rest of the company. You have to now report your survey research. 

Start by explaining: 

  • The purpose of conducting the survey
  • The kind of questions you have used
  • Your target audience and how you selected them
  • The method you used to conduct the survey
  • You can also present the questionnaire you created for the survey in the report. 

Then you need to inform the readers about the entire analysis process. Explain what statistical analysis method you use, and which software you used to analyze the test. Justify the methods used to analyze the collected data. 

Present the survey result in a clear and factual manner, so that the reader can gather what you are trying to say by just looking at it.

In the discussion section of the survey report don’t just repeat the result findings. The discussion should present the researcher’s reflection on how well the survey has met the research goal. It should explain the problems faced during the survey process. Explain the conclusion and the limitations of the survey research. 

The process of conducting surveys becomes much easier if you’ve access to the right tools. For instance, Voxco Insights provides you with all the tools you may need for successful survey research. 

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