How to write inclusive demographic survey questions [infographic]

Inclusivity matters in 2021. And data matters, too, especially in planning your business strategy. We all know that conducting surveys for your company allows you direct access to your customers’ opinions. This can be used to improve their overall customer experience. Take the time to compose conscientious demographic survey questions to identify respondents’ race, gender, education level, marital status, and more. It makes a big difference.

An inclusivity-minded survey will lead you to more accurate and actionable results. Open-ended questions will provide you with more straightforward feedback and insights. They don’t shoehorn respondents into a limited multiple choice selection where they do not feel represented.

In today’s world, a more inclusive survey is also the right thing to do. Remember that the social optics of “doing the right thing” can also have an impact on your bottom line. According to Microsoft Advertising, 63% of people say that brands that represent diversity are more authentic.

How to develop inclusive demographic survey questions

Here are 5 tips to help you create an inclusive survey:

1. Is the information really necessary?

Think about the most direct way to phrase your questions. Don’t make assumptions about the person taking the survey.

2. Include a fill-in box in your response options

Allow respondents to self-identify shows that you are not making assumptions. The limited options you have room to provide are capable of representing everyone.

3. Transparency is key

Clearly state upfront how you plan to use the information shared. This respects the sensitivity of the information that respondents are sharing with you.

4. Let them skip a question

Include an option to skip over a question. A question may make a person uncomfortable. This will help improve the completion rate of your survey.

5. Avoid a laundry list of answers

Don’t offer too many options in a multiple-choice question. This can cause confusion and appear inauthentic. Also, don’t use terms that appear condescending or out of touch.

You can find 5 additional tips from Chattermill to help you write more inclusive demographic survey questions below.

How to create inclusive survey questions

This infographic was created by Chattermill.