7 Tips for Getting Quality Survey Responses

Don't let this be how your customers perceive your survey!
Don’t let this be how your customers perceive your survey!

Surveying your customers or network is one of the most powerful ways to quickly collect feedback on a multitude of specific topics. If you want to know what’s working – or not working effectively for your business, you should consider sending out a survey.

But simply compiling a few questions and blasting out an email won’t guarantee hundreds of responses with quality data. You must be strategic with how you craft your survey and the ways in which you incentivize your audience to care enough to provide you with answers. Check out these 7 tips for getting quality survey responses that will get you started in the right direction.

  1. Timing is everything.

If you want the most honest and detailed answers, you want to hit your audience as soon as a particular event or experience with you has ended. For example, maybe a customer just purchased a product from you. Your survey should reach them 1-2 days after that product hits their hands. This will have given them enough time to try the product and assess how it functions and the results it produces. This is the prime to capture this feedback while it’s fresh on their mind.

Also, if something happens to be less than acceptable, they will feel they have an easy way to reach you without having to look up your contact information and talk to customer service. You can then right any wrongs and improve your chances of saving that business relationship – maybe even earning a positive review to boot!

  1. Keep it short…really short.

The next key for quality survey results is to limit the number of questions you’re asking to five or less. You’re already asking for someone to take time from their day to complete your survey, if you then ask them to dedicate a half hour to this task, you’re far more likely to get people who simply click out before answering any question. Limiting your questions to only the most important will get you more responses and better answers as you’re not pushing people beyond a reasonable degree of patience.

  1. Make it utterly convenient.

Especially in today’s society of instant gratification and fast moving technology, we want everything quick and easy. If it takes even one click too many to access your survey, you’re likely to lose a large percentage of potential respondents. Send out your survey by email and include the direct link to the survey two or more times. Use big and color fonts for your survey link so people simply can’t miss it. Then be sure to use a survey platform, like SurveyMonkey.com, that is professional and trusted so you’re confident that the survey won’t crash or frustrate users in other ways.

  1. Ask interesting questions to inspire interesting answers.

Just because you should keep you survey short and easy, this doesn’t mean that you have to make it boring. Carefully craft the text of each question to ask for specific or helpful information you really care about. Sure, there are the obvious questions like “Overall, are you satisfied with our service?” but don’t feel obligated to ask this if it’s really not the most important information you are after. Make your questions fun, creative and reflective of your brand. Ultimately, aim to make your survey a fun experience for your customers.

  1. Offer (appealing) incentive.

Many different businesses will offer a free prize drawing or giveaway to one or a few lucky survey respondents. This is a great technique to get people to provide quality responses in exchange for a chance to win something cool. If you choose to only give away one item, make sure it’s a big enough prize that it incentivizes your hundreds or thousands of customers to care enough to respond. Another strategy is offering something smaller, but to everyone who responds. Maybe it’s a $5 credit to their account or a percentage off their next order. If this information is of enough value to you, don’t be afraid to pay a little for it!

  1. Make use of the intro message and closing message.

As I mentioned above, a quality survey platform such as surveymonkey.com will allow you to customize your survey with a brief intro and closing message to your audience. Be sure and take advantage of this opportunity to thank your respondents and let them know that you appreciate their input and exactly how you plan to use it to improve things for them in the future. This is also another great area to strengthen your branding through messaging. Are you a fun, hip and modern brand? Use similar language in your message.

  1. The best way to show appreciation is to put the information to use!

Finally, the best way to continue to encourage your audience to provide quality responses to your surveys is to let them see just how you put their data to use. Maybe one survey provided you with a great idea for a new product, be sure and use your social media, blog, newsletter and other marketing assets to express your thanks as well as inspire other customers to join in the conversation. A sincere showing of customer appreciate will always be one of your most powerful tools for building a community of advocates who want to help you better yourself.

Have you ever sent out a survey to your customers or networks? Share what you did right – or wrong and how it impacted your responses by commenting below!

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