There are two types of people. Those that make assumptions without any logic or proof and those that needs proof before believing anything. When it comes to creating surveys, it's best to be the latter.
Creating a survey is more than just questions and answers. In fact, every great survey begins with eliminating assumptions, and instead, asking, "what do I want to learn and achieve from my respondents?".
This act of busting assumptions is a brainstorming technique that works by challenging the things that have gone undebated for years. So, as you work to create great surveys, be sure to follow these guidelines.
Never assume your respondents know what the survey is all about. Whether in the instructions or introduction, clearly state the goal of the survey so your audience never wonders, 'what am I even doing here?'. Always be inclusive and explain everything in detail.
Never assume polarized views will help. In general, polarized views will not get you good responses. Give respondents the freedom to say 'I don't know'. They will not be able to say 'agree' or 'strongly disagree' all the time. To avoid neutral results, people usually try to omit this option and push people to one side or the other. When this happens, it can affect the survey results and may cause respondents to leave without completing the whole survey.
Never assume your respondents' response. Leading questions will only give you the answers you want. Leading questions also constrain the respondents, reducing their freedom to answer the way they like. Give them the freedom to contradict the statements so you get a different point of view that will help you in the long run.
Never assume everyone has easy access to your survey. There might be cases where people don't have access to the internet. You will have to make alternate arrangements so that everyone can easily access your survey. If possible, make hard copies available for circulation or make your survey available offline.
Never assume you can be sloppy with grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Keep your survey questions error-free because mistakes are costly and can cause you to lose valuable customers. You should also focus on making sure your questions are direct and to the point, not vague or ambiguous.
Never assume your respondents will answer all questions. People usually decide to respond or not depending on how long, complex, or relevant the questions are. The completion rate of a survey depends on these factors as well. To achieve more completed responses, try marking important questions as mandatory or consider asking them in the beginning. Likewise, try not to include questions you feel are not important.
So the next time you create a survey, remember to never assume anything. By not relying on assumptions and putting in a thought, time, and energy beforehand, you will create a survey that grabs your audience's attention and get you the results you need.