Let’s be honest here… surveys can be quite boring. Especially for respondents, with low response rates and not very representative data and insights as a result. What can we do to avoid this?
Survey fatigue is one of the hot topics in any debate or online forum that focuses on (online) research. For years, the Survey has been the go-to format to ask respondents about their experiences, wishes, preferences, activities, etc.
By applying all kinds of ‘smart’ questions and selection criteria researchers aim to make the feedback collected as reliable as possible. Even though every self respecting researcher knows that it is an approximation, at best. In a world where the average span of attention seems to become ever shorter, research professionals are finding it more challenging than ever to get reliable, representative data for their studies.
At SPARC, we pride ourselves in being able to find creative ways to drive response rates and high respondent engagement, resulting in reliable, representative insights for our customers. Below are three tried and tested methods that we apply to achieve just that.
Less is more – surveys should be short & sweet. Unfortunately, a lot of stakeholders get very excited by the idea to get answers from (potential) clients and have a tendency to aks everything ‘they ever wanted to ask’…
There are many ways to reduce survey length. One is to cut out as many questions as you can about things you already know. Demographics, in the case of CX which products they have, if they have made a claim – are some examples. These things should already be known before the survey starts. Cutting them out will reduce Survey fatigue and improve response rates. As an example, in an ideal world customer experience surveys should take about 2-4 minutes to complete.
Make your survey questions ease to understand and clearly related to (internal) actions
This differs per industry, but as a rule of thumb, you can take the following considerations into account:
- Each survey question should have an owner within the organization
- Understand which (type of) action can be taken within your organization from this question
- Rule 1 applies here as well: less is more. Minimize words used in your questions; if the idea is clear you can remove all excess words
- Align each survey question to an internal goal (KPI)
If you are able to demonstrate that the outcomes of a survey has driven specific actions and improvements… you have done a great job! In a lot of instances, you can turn these achievements into various communications. ‘You’ve spoken, we’ve listened’ is a proven powerful message to your client base.
Use the Survey to start a dialogue with your (future) customer. Invite them to join a more in-depth session or to participate in a forum or diary study.
It’s not always possible, but if it is, don’t hesitate to ask respondents if they are willing to provide feedback again in the future. You can invite them for a more qualitative session to understand the reasons behind certain answers they’ve given or get them involved developing a new functionality or even product. Whether you do this by creating an eco-system of respondents or by taking a more case by case approach, there is tremendous value in setting this up and maintaining this database.
Don’t underestimate the potential positive brand impact you’ll see when customers receive a call from a representative after clicking “submit” on their survey. It provides companies with the opportunity to evolve outside of analytics and start directly contributing more to other operational areas of the business.
If you want to know more about SPARC’s bespoke approach to avoid Survey Fatigue and how it can drive your response rates and quality of data and insights, you can reach out to us here.