It is quite easy to build a huge sophisticated questionnaire with perfect data outcome. But wait, how are you going to motivate the people to participate? In the end they are only human.
Humans aren’t too patient when they get bored. Too many questions easily get them there. Still the perfect size of a questionnaire is not just determined by a few numbers.
There are environmental factors. The closer you are to the participants, the more questions they might be willing to answer.
Employees will surely answer more questions patiently than strangers, especially when doing it at work. Furthermore, they will be open to think about the more complex questions.
Try the same with customers on social media and they wave you goodbye. Just ask whether they spare you half an hour for a survey and see them run. Would you do it for another company? Always remember, there are humans with lives out there.
A short example:
Imagine you just bought a car. The manufacturer invites you to participate in a small survey. Most probably you will like the brand. Only few of us choose a car on purely rational motivation.
What if it was a different manufacturer? Would you participate? Well, probably not. Maybe, if the brand new car broke down after a week and somebody wants to shout it out to the world.
You might think: ‚Great, our next employee survey will be much bigger now. There are emotional ties with the company and they answer during work. We will have great data sets.‘
Better think twice! This might work for a month or two. After that people will rather get another coffee than spend the time on this kind of survey again.
Want to know why?
Well, humans tend to learn from experience. Once they feel, they wasted too much time on some useless questionnaire, they won’t even start next time.
As soon as they will receive the same again, they will remember. You will have started a race, who can hit the delete button faster.
The results should be much worthier when you can keep up the participation level. Make every participant remember, it was really just a few clicks. Keep it fast and easy. Participants will remember it as some two minute distraction with a coffee.