When people first discovered online surveys, they were impressed with the ease with which surveys could be deployed. Just point & click and soon you had a survey. You could easily type email addresses and deploy these surveys. The convenience is remarkable. But the very convenience that makes online survey so desirable can create a problem. Soon, everyone started to survey everyone through online surveys. Just point & click became the equivalent of just aim and shoot.
Oversurveying resulting from this convenience has created a sort of Survey Fatigue. Fewer people are excited to receive online surveys in their email. Response rates are declining and there is the risk of alienating some customers through too much surveying.
Are you surveying too often? Is your organization over-surveying its employees, members, customers, partners and vendors?
Over-surveying is a consequence of the fact that few organizations take a strategic view of their surveying activity. While businesses and professional organizations take time to plan nearly everything, it is rare to find a strategic plan concerning surveys. We will all benefit from addressing the following questions:
- In the coming year, what are the areas in which your organization needs and intends to conduct surveys?
- Who are the intended audience/participants for each planned survey?
- Is there any duplication of effort – are you repeating some surveys?
- Who will spearhead each survey?
- Can you spread out some surveys so that you don’t survey the same set of participants in close succession?
- Can you eliminate some surveys due to redundancy?
- Can you plan and map all the surveys that you will do on a survey calendar?
- Can you get a report of what surveys have been deployed in any given period by our organization?
To provide the framework for such planning, Zarca Interactive introduced an Online Survey Calendar to go with its online survey platform. The Survey Calendar allows for a list of surveys to be planned before deployment. Each deployed survey is linked to a planned survey. By comparing planned and actual survey deployment, organizations can get an understanding of any gaps. This would lead to better planning and a process improvement.