Even though we ask questions every day, we saw from last weeks discussion that many of us are less confident in our ability to ask the right questions in a survey. What’s so special about language in a survey? Even if it sounds more daunting than just having a conversation, the trick is still in how you ask questions to get to better answers.

Here’s a few of our favorite tips from what we’ve learned along the way:

  • Context is key. Use a scenario to paint a picture! By building the environment for the person answering your questions, you help them get into the right mindset. In long tests, remind the participant of what situation they’re in for each question, and keep relevant images in front of them. Helio’s Branching logic is a powerful tool for maintaining context by guiding your respondent down a specific path in your tests. 
  • Don’t give away the answer. This was a big lesson we had to learn, we would get a result and then realize that we had influenced the answer. Doh! Keeping questions unbiased is harder than you think. We learned to avoid words or phrases included in the answer itself. For instance, don’t ask someone where they would go to “search” because you’re leading them directly to the search bar!
  • Beware exposure bias. Be cognizant of the order in which you ask questions on a survey or usability test. If you’re not careful you can give away an ideal answer to a later question indirectly, through related content early on. Take the survey from the user’s perspective or have someone else trial the survey for you.

It’s all about having a conversation! You don’t need to worry about having perfect questions or surveys every time, just make sure you’re having discussions with your customers where they can give their raw opinion about what they’ve experienced.

Sometimes it’s difficult to get to those customers, so hop into our survey to drive our conversation about customer access!

Go win your day,
Christian & The Helio Team

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