describe the imageSurveys are all about results. A lot of hard work and planning goes into other elements like design and execution, but ultimately all that matters is the data collected. When you’ve put in all that hard work, it’s easy to assume the results are the easy part. It’s down to the panel then. Your work doesn’t start until you have to collect the data.

In some respects, this is true. But its important that you consider the work an online consumer panel member has to put in to complete the survey. They’re input is the target of your research. You need to make sure they are engaged in the process to get the most effective results.

Respondents Not Interested in the Topic

Online consumer panel members know what is expected of them when they complete a survey. They are provided with unbiased compensation, which should help them engage, but it doesn’t guarantee their interest. If the survey questions are overlong or drab, they may lose their enthusiasm for the survey. That loss of interest leads to quick or malformed answers and less effective results.

Respondents Think Survey is Unimportant

This problem can create similarly poor results, but has a slightly different root cause. Part of the skill of an effective survey is choosing the correct target demographic. If you choose badly, or are too broad with your criteria, you could end up with a sample from panelists with no opinion on the topic. In order to get the most engaged respondent, you need to discuss your target demographic requirements in detail with your online panel provider.

Respondents Don’t Feel They Have Time

Another issue that can be created by overlong questions. Online consumer panel members will commit to a lot of time to complete their surveys, but some may be worse time managers than others. That can lead them to rush through surveys if they feel they are going to take too long. By keeping your questions direct and to the point, with simple ways to answer, you can keep them engaged long enough to get the best results.

The most important part of a survey is the results, but the most important step is the planning. If you fail to plan your profiling and the questionnaire effectively, you could end up with results skewed by a lack of interest, a perceived lack of time, or both. The best way to avoid these issues is to work closely with your online consumer panel provider. Their knowledge and expertise will ensure that you avoid these mistakes and get the best results from your survey.

Online panel research can be a powerful tool as it allows your organisation easy access to the views and opinions of your target audience. We prepared a white paper to help you to Get the most from Online Panel Research. Download it Now!