Your completion rate and quality of responses will be affected by a range of variables. Here are some questions to consider to help you maximise the number of people completing forms correctly.
If a person believes that the value gained from completing a form is greater than their personal cost of completing it, they are more likely to respond.
This article aims to give you some helpful tips to maximise the effect of your forms and surveys.
Asking yourself the following questions when designing your forms can help in ensuring that you maximise your results.
Why should people complete this form?
Forms should have a clear purpose, for both the people designing and completing them. Knowing what information you need to gather will help you to structure your questions effectively. Sharing that with respondents will increase the likelihood of them completing it as well.
- What do you actually want to know from these people?
- What is the value of this effort I’m expending?
- Show legitimate backing – who is sending this to me and why do I need to do it?
How easy is it for your people to complete the form?
Do as much as you can to minimise the cognitive load associated with your form. The harder respondents must think about a form, the less likely they are to complete it.
- Assume this is not their priority for the day
- Make all instructions clear, speak their language
- Short is best: an average completion time of <13 minutes is ideal
- Only ask one question at a time (no double barrel questions)
- Ask questions people can answer easily. If you want them to estimate, make that clear too
Do your people feel comfortable completing this form?
The more you can help your people to feel safe and comfortable with a form, the more likely they are to complete it. At the start of the form it’s good to outline how respondents’ information will be used.
- What is the survey for?
- Who will have access to it?
- Encourage engagement with form through the way it looks and the tone of your language
- It’s good to start with easier, less sensitive questions and work up to the challenging ones
- Maintain consistency across and within forms (language, layout, designs)
Ask the right questions
The type and wording of the questions you use will affect the information you gather. By asking the most appropriate questions, the quality of your data will be maximised.
- Avoid questions that lead respondents to answer a certain way (eg “Do you think…” vs “How do you feel about…”)
- Use the right type of question to get the information you want
- Open questions (eg text response) allow respondents to give any answer they choose and give you variety in answers.
- Closed questions (eg multiple choice) limit respondents’ options and allow you to gather data on distribution of responses.
- Do you want descriptive information or number-based data?
- Qualitative questions provide non-numeric results that can’t be ranked in order (eg Happy, Sad, Angry)
- Quantitative questions provide numeric results that can be used mathematically (eg the average number of sick days taken, based on all employees’ responses)
- Cover all possible responses; you may need an ‘other’ option where people can add more information.
- When ordering your questions, aim to work from a broad to a narrow focus.
- Keep in mind, a previous question can affect the response for the current one.
For help and more information about effective form design, speak to your Customer Success Manager. In addition, a Form Design Masterclass is also run frequently throughout the year by the Customer Success Team. Please contact your CSM if you are interested in attending.