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Surprise mention in survey

I did a survey today which was ok on the whole but question 5 had a surprise element in it. Note I did not know who was behind the survey (deliberately to get unbiased answers).

The question was in effect “Are you primarily a business or personal customer of these services?”

The answer options were “personal/business/equal/I am no longer a customer of Company X”

So the anonymous-to-get-unbiased-answers aspect was thrown out the window with that answer which is not so good. It also didn’t mean a lot as I never said I had been a Company X customer, nor even acknowledged I’d heard of company X before. The fourth answer didn’t even answer the question so was completely irrelevant.

The lesson is to read every answer with the question before you finalise a survey or any other multiple choice list – this also applies for a bulleted list in that each point must complete a sentence from the introduction.

From the above example…

“Are you primarily a business or personal customer of these services?” “personal” works
“Are you primarily a business or personal customer of these services?” “no longer a customer of Company X” doesn’t work.

If you are writing or editing a survey, ensure you read each answer with the question in this way to get a polished, sensible result.

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