Online surveys can be a powerful tool in measuring feedback about your business or brand, especially when well-crafted survey questions are written to pull participants into the process. Think of your survey as a customer engagement journey, and lead them gently through the process with a simple, direct tone that puts them at ease and keeps them moving easily from one question to the next.

Following are five easy ways to establish a tone that keeps participants engaged with your survey from beginning to end.

1. K.I.S.S. (keep it super simple).

Don’t stress your survey participants with long, difficult questions. Keep your questions short, and use simple words that are easily understood. Avoid complex language that could confuse participants or slow them down. Consider your survey another form of customer engagement, and keep that engagement simple and easy.

2. Be friendly.

Write as if you were speaking to a friend. Remember that you’re trying to measure how your participants “feel” about your subject matter. So keep your questions conversational, and avoid negative words or confrontational language. Keep the language focused on them by using the word “you” frequently. Remember that their participation in your survey is voluntary. The more you can connect with your participants emotionally through your survey questions, the more likely they are to stay engaged.

3. Be specific.

Keep each survey question focused on one issue, and give participants specific responses to choose from. Use descriptive words and avoid vague language on topics that are too broad, which can confuse participants and make it difficult for them to make clear choices about their feedback. The easier it is for participants to answer your questions, the more likely they are to give you the answers you’re looking for.

4. Be authentic.

Remember that your survey is an extension of your brand. You want your participants to come away from your survey with a positive feeling about their interaction with the process. Feel free to mimic the voice of your brand in your survey language. For instance, if your brand is geared toward teens, be sure that the survey questions use language that teens will relate to. However, it’s best to steer clear of acronyms and slang because that can be misinterpreted and result in inaccurate survey data.

5. Be respectful.

Participants who are taking part in your survey are doing you a favor. So be respectful toward them by making the process as easy and pleasant as possible. Generally speaking, people like to provide their opinions on matters that are important to them, so long as they feel that they will benefit from the experience and that their voices are being heard. Write your survey questions so your participants feel that your survey is more about them than it is about you and your brand.

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