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Using comments in your survey


Types of comments

By default, all our surveys allow participants to type comments against any rating question type. Some people like to explain, or qualify their answer so that their response can be better understood. Some people just like to describe their answer, or get something off their chest. Others like to offer praise for a person they work with, or express gratitude to their employer. Comments can be entered by a participant in 3 ways:

  1. Per rating question, using the Add button to the right of the question
  2. A free-text field set up within the survey with a question like "Are there some things we are doing great here?"
  3. Suggestions after they submit their survey, and rate the survey experience (sent via email in a Feedback Digest)

People can type their comments for a long time before they get cut off. The limit on comments fields are 16,000 characters, or about 60 paragraphs - imagine 8 typed pages!

How many people leave comments?

On average, about one quarter of participants will leave a comment within the survey (for items 1 and 2 above), but they only leave comments for about one quarter of the questions. So if you want to estimate how many comments you may get from your survey, it's about 6% of all answered questions. For example, a survey answered by 200 people that is 50 questions long (10,000 questions), you can expect around 600 comments.

How are comments useful?

Comments can help add color, or a story to what you may be seeing in the data. They can be filtered by question, or rating in the Comments report, and you can set up one more demographic filter to assist with analyzing the qualitative data.

For some free-text questions, it can be helpful to set up classifications, or tags for comments that participants select when they take the survey. Suggestions participants provide after they have completed their survey on the Thank You page are used in the Feedback Report which is emailed during and after the survey. These comments can alert you to a question people find hard to understand or answer, or can let you know people's concerns about the survey. Plenty of comments are positive too! This feedback can help you design a great survey next time.

What if the comments are in other languages?

You can export and then copy/paste comments to a Google Sheet and use the translation formula e.g. =googletranslate(B2, "auto", "en") to help you read all the comments in your preferred language.

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