About the workshop

Learn to Design Actionable, Effective Surveys

Organizations require feedback — from customers, members, employees, and other stakeholders — to prosper. Surveys can collect needed feedback, but without a properly designed survey instrument, these feedback programs will not deliver their promise.

Marble House, Newport, RI USA (c) Fred Van Bennekom

It All Starts With Design

Perhaps you were newly appointed to run your organization’s survey program because you were a marketing major, but your survey education consisted of one session in a market research class — and that was five years ago. 

You know you need more training on how to write a good questionnaire. Why? Because a successful survey program requires a well designed survey questionnaire.

Or perhaps you’ve conducted some surveys for your organization, but

  • Lots of respondents quit the survey halfway through, some even on the first screen
  • Some open-ended responses seem to conflict with the responses those people gave to certain questions
  • You weren’t certain about the findings for many of the survey questions
  • Some respondents critiqued the survey -- negatively -- in a comment box
  • The survey findings led to no action within the organization

The value of the program wasn’t demonstrated. Management just let the survey program fade away…

If This Sounds Familiar

Then the Survey Questionnaire Design Workshop will help you deliver the full potential of the survey program

Our questionnaire design training will support you in creating an effective survey program or improving your current surveys. The deep focus of this workshop:
Writing valid survey questionnaires that generate actionable data.

Web-based survey tools make it simple to build and conduct surveys, but they don’t train you on vital survey design practices necessary to generate meaningful, valid survey data to inform some decisions.

And that’s why you’re conducting the survey, right?

The Curriculum

The Survey Questionnaire Design Workshop teaches all the vital information needed to design, create and write a survey questionnaire that will support your research interests with valid, reliable data.


What You Will Learn

Each of the 5 modules addresses information critical to an effective survey questionnaire.

  1. Questionnaire Design Elements
  2. What are the different parts or elements to a questionnaire?
  3. What role does each element play in capturing valid information from respondents?
  4. What are the three major categories of questions used in most surveys: attribute, attitudinal, and demographic?
  5. Questionnaire Design Process
  6. What are the steps to follow to create a survey instrument?
  7. How can we identify the questions we need to ask to meet our information needs?
  8. What is a focus group? A critical incident study?
  9. Why are pilot tests so critical?
  10. Question Design Principles
  11. What are the three key characteristics of a well written question?
  12. What are typical errors in question construction that can lead to getting false responses, e.g., loaded questions and double-barreled questions?
  13. Why are ambiguous questions a problem?
  14. Survey Question Formats
  15. What are the different question types I can use?
  16. When should I use each question type?
  17. What are the concerns when designing each type of question?
  18. What type of data does each question type generate?
  19. How does each question type affect the analysis I can do on the collected data?
  20. How should rating scales be constructed? Scale length, placement of the anchor labels, scale presentation, scale direction, etc.
  21. Questionnaire Considerations
  22. At the questionnaire level, what concerns should we have?
  23. Should I require respondents to answer every question?
  24. How long should the survey be?
  25. How many questions should I have on each screen?
  26. How should I group the questions?
  27. What’s the best flow for the questions?

As you can see, this is a “how to” workshop, not a "why conduct surveys" workshop. Prepare to be armed with lots of knowledge!

Who Should Take This Training?

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Anyone Working on Surveys

Anyone responsible for an organization’s survey program will learn valuable skills that they can immediately apply.  Someone chartered with authoring the questionnaires will obviously benefit, but others on a survey project team who would be reviewing survey drafts will also benefit. 

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Anyone Outsourcing Surveys

Perhaps you’ve outsourced your survey program to one of the myriad survey vendors. Taking this class will help you be a better consumer of their services. You’ll be able to partner with them from a more knowledgeable footing. 


About Fred C. Van Bennekom

Dr. Frederick C. Van Bennekom is Principal of Great Brook. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Northeastern University's College of Business Administration where he teaches Operations Management in the Executive MBA programs. He also teaches service operations at Babson College and in Harvard’s Certificate in Management Program.

Fred has authored many surveys used by service organizations for service program development and quality control purposes. Fred authored Customer Surveying: A Guidebook for Service Managers, and the Support Services Questionnaire Library, published by the Customer Service Press. Fred has also co-authored a major research report on Best Practices in Design for Supportability: Gaining Competitive Advantage from Customer Support, with Keith Goffin of the Cranfield School of Management in England.

Prior to his academic career, Fred served ten years as an information systems consultant for Digital Equipment Corporation's Field Service organization. There he developed management reporting systems for field management applying data collected from the service management systems. During this decade, Fred became grounded in the customer support services industry. 

Fred received his A.B. from Bowdoin College and his masters and doctoral degrees from Boston University's School of Management. Fred has published in both industry and academic journals and is a highly acclaimed speaker at industry conferences worldwide, including SSPA, ICMI, HDI, DCI, Pink Elephant, and AFSM. He is past president of the Minuteman Boston chapter of AFSMI and the Boston Chapter of the Association of Support Professionals (ASP) and co-produced Voice of the Customer conferences. He also served as a judge for ASP's Best Support Web Sites competition. 

Our Testimonials

Hear From Our Happy Students

How do attendees rate us? 97.4% say this workshop will make them “much more effective on their next survey project”, while 97.1% say they would “recommend this workshop to a colleague with basic-to-intermediate survey background”.


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