Open-ended questions

How Can We Help?

Q: I recently issued a survey where only about 10% of the people who responded completed the five open-ended questions at the end. How can I fix that, considering we need those responses?

Completing open-ended questions is very time-consuming, especially at the end of a survey. Unless the questions are on topics the audience has a burning need to communicate to you, you should not expect a high percentage. When I’m pricing a survey project, I assume about a 20% response rate on average for analyzing the themes of the comments. If you have one question that you really need a lot of people to answer, put it near the beginning of the survey before they’re tired. However, putting more than one at the beginning will reduce your overall participation rate.

If you need that much input from open-ended questions, you might be better served by conducting focus groups.