I logged in to Constant Contact a few minutes ago to start writing a newsletter. There was a button for completing a survey, so being a naturally curious [some might say snoopy!] person, I clicked.
Constant Contact now provides a survey platform. Sadly, they made several common mistakes. So egregious and common are these errors, it seemed essential to post about it and save others from the same mistakes.
This is a screen shot of the first page of the survey. I see three mistakes here:
First mistake -- ask for my name right up front. If you are going to make this non-confidential, you might want to ask for this information in the last question. Because then if I don't answer, you still get the rest of my data.
Second mistake -- non-exclusive categories. If I am in business 6 years, I have two choices. Same problem with 8 of the response categories. Oddly, the sequence changes from 8-9, and 10+.
Third mistake -- the person who wrote this survey has insufficient knowledge for the task. Two easy solutions. Either take a survey writing course -- there are lots of them around, and some are available online. Or, spend a small amount of money and hire a researcher to write the questionnaire for you. Seriously, this is not a complex questionnaire. It would be likely a half-day of work for an experienced person.
Or, you can just get poor data and look like a goof to the world.
You know, the thing is, the fact that I can use a power saw does not make me a carpenter.