Posts tagged ‘surveys’

5 tips for increasing survey completion rates

From the SurveyMonkey blog, a useful article on increasing survey completion rates.

Based on an analysis from 25,000 surveys, some of their conclusions state the obvious (i.e. the longer the survey the lower the response rate….) but here are five tips from the article I found useful:

  1. Starting a survey with an open-ended questions reduces completion rates
  2. Starting a survey with a simple easy-to-answer closed question will facilitate completion rates
  3. Placing open-ended questions towards the end of the survey is better than at the start of the survey
  4. A matrix or rating style questions doesn’t reduce completion rates – but too many of them do
  5. Each additional word in a question text has a direct negative effect on completion rates

View the full article here>>


August 18, 2015 at 10:03 am 1 comment

News from Benchpoint

Benchpoint, which brought together the two authors of this blog, has been very quiet lately. At the end of last year I decided to retire our unique software suite, which has performed magnificently for 12 years or so. The reason was simply that I was approaching retirement age and was loathe to invest a couple of hundred thousand in a re-write to bring the features and performance up to modern day standards.

 So, with many misgivings, I shut down the server, the website and dissolved the company. We never made a bomb, but we had proved something which many doomsayers doubted in 2000 –

  • ·         That the internet would never take off
  • ·         That people would never do internet surveys
  • ·         To create a software suite with real time editable questionnaires and fully analysed results was impossible.

Rubbish, of course, we did it! So, with head held high, it was time to go fishing, as they say.

But Benchpoint was never a software company, it was a survey company. In the time since we developed the survey engine, hundreds of others tried the same thing. Some succeeded, but many failed. I’m proud that some of the results we produced are still being cited in today’s academic articles, like this one from Tom Watson and Fraser Likely (pdf).  Even now, very few software providers can do the results like we could. But a few can, and that’s the key.

Fishing is not much fun when the autumn gales come crashing in. Someone asked me if I could do a survey for them. Why not? I could use one of the available packages, and simply charge my time accordingly. And gradually I found myself thinking, why not re-start the business, working in semi retirement, for chosen customers? The same old Benchpoint expertise. No software to maintain, no Limited company to run, no VAT (hopefully, if we can keep it small).

So I have set up  a simple website, still on

We offer 3 specialisations – employee surveys, membership surveys, and the unique organisation tooI  I developed, “Management Probe”, which analyses the hell out of a company’s DNA and tells you what makes it tick. Or not.

 I am now open for business. With organisations I want to work with. And I will still go fishing, sailing skiing and keep my bees. But not when there’s a project on. That’s a promise.


October 24, 2013 at 9:12 am Leave a comment

Surveys for communicators

Increasingly communicators need the ability to evaluate their activities – being able to design and set-up online surveys is a key tool for communicators for soliciting feedback and interacting with audiences.  Here are the slides from a practical workshop that I conducted last Friday for the Geneva Communicators Network and covers surveys for communicators from concept to analysis – hope it’s of use!

June 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm Leave a comment

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