Top 5 Survey Mistakes To Avoid for Accurate Customer Data

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    Customer feedback survey is a window to the thoughts and experiences of a customer. How they interact with products and services can dictate the longevity of a business. However, there has to be certain rules to curate an error-free survey. In this blog, we will share the mistakes and how to avoid this to collect accurate customer data.    

    What are Survey Errors?

    Survey errors are mistakes or inaccuracies that can occur at any stage of the survey process, from design to data collection to analysis. These errors can impact the validity and reliability of the survey results. Survey errors are typically categorized into several types:

    1. Sampling Error:

       – Occurs when the sample selected is not representative of the population.

       – Can be reduced by increasing the sample size or using more precise sampling techniques.

    2. Non-Sampling Error:

       – Errors not related to the sampling process.

       – Includes measurement error, coverage error, nonresponse error, and processing error.

    3. Measurement Error:

       – Arises when there is a discrepancy between the information sought and what is actually obtained.

       – Can be due to poorly designed questions, respondent misunderstanding, or interviewer bias.

    4. Coverage Error:

       – Occurs when some members of the population are inadequately represented in the sample.

       – Can happen if the sampling frame (the list of individuals from which the sample is drawn) is incomplete or outdated.

    5. Nonresponse Error:

       – Happens when a significant number of selected respondents do not participate in the survey.

       – Can lead to biased results if non-respondents differ significantly from respondents.

    6. Processing Error:

       – Errors that occur during data processing, such as data entry mistakes or coding errors.

       – Can be minimized through careful data handling and verification processes.

    Types of Survey Errors to Avoid: Top 5

    To ensure accurate results for effective market research or customer satisfaction analysis, avoiding common survey mistakes is essential. Here are some technical issues to avoid if we are looking to improve survey quality and bring a high response rate.

    1: Not using survey templates:

    Survey templates are pre designed and pre-tested. The templates are goal oriented and cater to the specific target respondents. However, question templates are easy to customize and are compatible across devices. Every CX platform offers pre-designed templates for the modern day marketers. Additionally, use Merren to access standard templates for your customer feedback survey.

    2: Ignoring multilingual questionnaires:

    Your respondents need to comprehend your survey to answer it clearly. It’s important to provide alternative formats like translated audio versions for people with disabilities or language barriers. Additionally, offering multilingual translations for various target audiences is vital for complete data sets. Testing the feedback form with a diverse group makes sure it’s easy to understand and navigate. Address language issues and get accurate results. Offer inclusivity in your customer feedback protocols.

    3: Leading question can bring response bias:

    Using leading questions that could potentially introduce response bias. It could be a question that could solicit a simple yes or no, more like trying to get the answer you are looking for.  Instead strive for neutral wording that is free of jargon or technical terms. Ensure that you have reviewed your survey questions thoroughly to eliminate any incorrect language or assumptions.

    4: Poor sampling techniques can leave out potential audience:

    Sampling plays a main role in determining the accuracy of survey results. Ensure that your sample adequately represents the target population by avoiding biased sampling methods. This includes convenience sampling or relying only on volunteers. Consulting with a professional market research firm can help you in creating an appropriate sampling plan for unbiased and accurate results. Choose a sampling method that truly represents who your target buyers are and what they really think about your brand.

    WhatsApp survey form builder

    5: Relying only on traditional methods

    If you are looking to capture feedback from a diverse range of audience, you have to look away from traditional methods of seeking feedback. Accurate results also depend on distribution channels. It’s essential to assure that the survey design is user-friendly and compatible across mobile devices, tablets and reachable to a large number of respondents. Use mediums that are frequently used by people such as messenger based channels of Whatsapp surveys and Facebook messenger feedback methods. We also have a guide on how to choose the right survey channels here. 

    How to Reduce Errors in Survey Production?

    Here are 4 ways to reduce errors while creating a customer feedback survey. 

    1. Use pre-designed questions that are tested:

    Pre-tested questions are designed to save time and have been shown to be effective in previous surveys.  Pretested questions avoid every survey mistake and question biases. Merren offers an array of templates you can use. Additionally, you can also create custom made questions and deploy them on relevant channels.

    2. Focus on the sole goal for the survey:

    Before you design your feedback questionnaire, develop a clear goal of what you plan to achieve via this survey. The questions included in your questionnaire should always be tailored towards your specific objective.  Pilot testing the questionnaire with a small group can help identify any issues before sending it out to a larger audience providing valuable feedback for future improvements.

    3. Include diversity in your sample size:

    To achieve sampling diversity,  use stratified sampling techniques.  Pre-test your survey before launching it to identify biased errors or other issues. With diverse respondents participating in your feedback protocol, you can get valuable insights from a range of respondents and avoid coverage error.

    4. Use simple language (avoid jargons):

    A simple language uses jargon-free words, avoids abbreviations and complex vocabulary. Any survey will bring a high response if respondents understand the question. Since the survey is distributed to a larger audience, everyone’s ability to comprehend will be different. By following these guidelines, you will be able to gather valuable feedback that can inform your market research or customer satisfaction efforts.

    Examples of Survey Errors That Prevent Accurate Results

    Here are some important notes to consider if we want to design a curated high response feedback form for our respondents.

    Not Considering the Respondent’s Perspective

    Respondents have different cultural habits and barriers. Even when seeking to close the feedback loop, they could have a certain explanation for the problems. Keeping an open-ended question allows them to express their concerns. This goes beyond numerical feedback that may not explain the entire picture. The order of presentation significantly affects how respondents perceive and answer subsequent questions. Avoiding leading questions that may influence responses is essential for accurate data analysis.

    Use of Double-Barreled Questions

    Double-barreled questions in a feedback form can create confusion and lead to inaccurate responses. Complex questions should be broken down into multiple separate, clear questions. Double-barreled questions may also result in response bias. Respondents might only be able to agree/disagree with one part of the question.

    Ambiguous or Vague Questions

    One of the most common errors is ambiguity in the question wording. With this , you will not obtain a clear cut answer or perhaps a  skewed response.  To ensure clarity, questions must be specific and focused on one topic at a time.  Use a clear and concise language without any technical terms or jargon to avoid cognitive load on respondents. Additionally, pilot testing the questionnaire with a small group of respondents can be a good idea. Using smaller results to analyze, you can refine your marketing efforts for bigger campaigns.

    Loaded or Leading Questions

    Using loaded or leading questions is one of the most common survey mistakes. The use of biased language and assumptions can lead to inaccurate results due to response bias. To avoid this error,  consider the purpose of the survey and ask the right question at the right time. Neutral language should be used with clear answer options for valuable feedback.


    Obtain accurate and genuine responses from your target audience. Avoid common survey errors such as sampling errors, biased questions, avoiding templates, ignoring multilingual questions. Additionally, survey distribution methods include WhatsApp forms, Facebook messenger surveys and dynamic emails that can bring your surveys a greater reach. 

    Want to know how Merren can give you accurate results? Sign up for our 14 day free trial here. You can also check our AI Survey Builder that will give you error free questions, ready to launch.