Editor’s note: Shelly Chandler is the customer experience executive at marketing research technology firm Confirmit, N.Y.

The ability to gather and act on feedback has become a common necessity for most organizations. Across all industries there is tremendous pressure to listen, engage and cater to the audience – and ensure the consumer experience is a positive one. Conducting surveys is one medium that can help organizations accomplish this while also gaining a deeper understanding of how their audiences feels, acts and what they expect. With this data, companies can analyze and improve internal and external procedures.

Unfortunately, there is often a Catch-22 when it comes to feedback surveys: While most consumers expect companies to understand their wants and needs, a continuous drive for feedback from organizations can push consumers away, causing respondent fatigue. If you’ve conducted a survey in recent years, chances are you’re familiar with the struggle of declining response rates and low respondent engagement. Audiences are now facing a flood of survey requests from almost every channel, including Web, e-mail and text, and have developed a predisposition to ignore such requests.

How can you engage your audience and capture the insights you need while avoiding respondent frustrations?

The answer lies in survey design and implementation. Effective management requires a more tailored and attractive experience that includes relevant samples and careful survey design. When you plan your next survey, follow this list to ensure you are accurately capturing your audience and gathering data that is important to your organization’s success:

Are the questions short and to the point? 

Modern technologies continue to influence our ever-shrinking attention spans, which are now much shorter than the time it would take to complete most surveys. With social media and Twitter-style sentences becoming the norm, it’s important to try to make questions 140 characters or less, if possible. The questions must get to the point quickly. Ask the types of questions you would ask if you were in front of the person rather than longer, more complicated ones.

Does it leverage a variety of question types? 

Once you have their initial attention, it is important to keep your audience engaged with innovative question types, including single-choice, multiple-choice, carousel, card-sort and ranking. Most notably, you should include open-ended questions to let the respondent speak their mind with no answer constraints. Some of the most beneficial insights can be hidden in unstructured data. Huge improvements in text analytics in recent years make comments easier to handle so consider replacing several box-checking questions with a single free-form text question that will give you greater insight.

Are the questions intelligent and necessary? 

No one likes being asked a stupid question (yes, they do exist!), especially if the information should already be known. When asking for feedback, respondents shouldn’t have to tell you their name, contact information or what services or products they have acquired from you. These are important background variables that can be used in the creation of customized e-mail invitations and controlled survey logic. Get your IT systems connected to pre-populate basic information to be seamlessly included in the data set for reporting.

It is also recommended to filter the answer lists so only relevant options for the respondent are displayed. For example, display items you know your respondent has interacted with instead of listing all options.

Is the survey aesthetically pleasing?

Put yourself in your respondents’ shoes and consider the interface of the survey. Research shows that 38 percent of people will stop engaging with content if the layout is unattractive, and they will do this within 50 milliseconds according to Adobe’s report, The State of Content: Expectations on the Rise. For example, complex matrix questions can look skewed on mobile devices and lead to higher dropouts and lower data quality. Respondents will be more likely to stop all together if the formatting looks complicated and/or time-consuming. Rather, stick with modern fonts, colors and graphics to appeal to your audience.

Did you include multimedia?

In today’s digital world, multimedia and gamification are no-brainer methods to help keep respondents hooked. Consider using audio or video to read out or present the questions. This can help increase a person’s understanding of what you are looking for in a quick and easy way and make questions as engaging as possible.

Survey design 

One of the most common mistakes organizations make when authoring a survey is rushing the survey design. This is arguably the most important part of the journey and the blueprint behind constructing a meaningful feedback program. Leverage the list above to help ensure the most efficient use of your time – and your respondent’s time – while maximizing results.