TechValidate Survey Design Best Practices

The first step toward creating an effective survey is to brush up on the basics of survey science. To keep your survey on the right track, we came up with 5 tips for maximizing the chance that customers will complete your survey:


1. Clearly define project objectives / goals. Fuzzy goals lead to fuzzy results.

An unfocused survey will yield obscure results. The last thing you want to end up with is a set of results that provide no real marketing or sales-enhancing value.

Spend time up front to identify:

  • What is the goal of this survey?
  • What do you hope to accomplish with this survey?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is your timeline for needing results back?
  • Where do you plan on using the results from this survey?


2. Keep the survey short and focused. 

Make sure each question is focused on helping to meet your stated objective. Avoid ‘nice to have’ questions that don’t directly provide data to meet your goals.

Shorter surveys generally have higher response rates and lower abandonment among survey responders.

  • Target 10 questions for your TechValidate survey
  • Surveys should take 5 minutes or less to complete [6 – 10 minutes is acceptable but we see significant abandonment rates occurring after 11 minutes]


3. Use close-ended / multiple-choice questions whenever possible.

Primary reasons why you should use close-ended questions:

  • Easier for respondents to answer / higher response rate per question
  • Greater control over the end-message: you have thoughtfully designed the answer choices to fit with your desired marketing & sales message
  • Provides quantitative data for analysis
  • Ability to create charts and statistic assets from your data

Open-ended questions (free response) provide useful qualitative information and insights; they are highly valuable questions to include. However, since they can take much longer to answer, try to only include 1-2 of them at the end of your survey.


4. Question ordering.

We are usually trying to create a customer story with TechValidate surveys. Think about your customers’ journey and then tie that into the design of your survey. Ask about:

  1. Challenges they were experiencing prior to using your product/services
  2. How they are currently leveraging your product/services
  3. Benefits they have seen since working with your company

Begin your surveys with easy to answer questions (multiple-choice, close-ended questions) and end with the more difficult to answer questions (Matrix, quantitative/metric-based, open-ended).


5. Capture the right audience.

When you’re sending out a survey it’s always best to include as many recipients as possible, right? Not always.

Targeting your happiest and most engaged user base will result in higher quality and, more importantly, more positive feedback for leveraging in your marketing & sales collateral.

Your contact list can make or break the success of your survey. Spending a little extra time identifying the appropriate contacts will go a long way in helping the success of your survey.



  1. Advanced planning helps ensure that you are asking the right questions to meet your objectives.
  2. Shorter, more targeted surveys result in higher completion rates and more thoughtful responses.
  3. Use close-ended questions in your survey for greater control of the output message and higher completion rates.
  4. Logical flow with survey questions: start with the easiest questions and end with the hardest to answer questions.
  5. Tailor recipient list to happiest & most engaged contacts to ensure a strong response rate.
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