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How to make your own survey templates

A step-by-step guide to creating model questionnaire templates – key tools for business surveys, client surveys and customer surveys.

Firstly, what do you want to find out?

Are you collecting facts or opinions? For example, if you are designing customer questionnaires, do you need to know how many people buy a certain product, or is your goal to undertake a satisfaction survey to find out what your customers think of your product? In an academic or medical context, such as in a stress survey, questions will probably combine both facts and opinions as people's experiences and feelings will usually be recorded.

Next, who do you need to ask?

Survey samples or populations are the specific groups of people you have identified as likely to provide the information that you value. These are the sources that are most important to you, and they may be other businesses, clients or customers, and may, for example, be defined by a specific social group or other qualifying factors. Internet surveys often gather basic information about the status of the people taking part in surveys – for example, age, location, employment status – before the survey proper begins.

Establishing facts

When you know "what" you need to ask and "who" you need to ask, then consider looking at a survey example – perhaps from one of the free online templates – to decide which types of questions are relevant to you and which example of a questionnaire best suits your purposes. Factual questions tend to result in very specific answers, often restricted to one category in each case. For example, "Do you have red hair?" Answer: Yes or No., or "How old are you?" Answer: Under 18/ 19–30/ 31–50/ over 50.

Gathering opinions

Survey templates that aim to canvass opinions will generally allow those who respond to make a value judgement, often on the basis of selecting all answers that apply. For example, "Tell us if you think the product is (a) Really good value (b) Quite good value (c) Good quality (d) Quite good quality (e) Useful (f) Out of date (g) Not of interest.

Have you got enough information?

The final stage of designing a good questionnaire survey form is to make sure you provide those who are participating with the opportunity to add extra information that is relevant to gathering the information you are looking for. Many questionnaire samples include one or more final "open" questions, such as "Is there anything else you would like to add?". Follow these simple steps and you will be assured of success with your survey templates.

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