Feedback can be very helpful in so many areas of business. But it’s only effective if you can actually get people to provide it. Surveys that are long, confusing or difficult to access tend to discourage people from taking them. And when few people take your survey, the results can be easily skewed. So in order to get more responses, and thus better results, consider some of these advanced tips.
Keep the Invitation Brief
If you send out a request for feedback that is long and drawn-out, what will that tell your customers about the actual survey itself? Few people will even take the time to answer survey questions, much less read through a long request to do so. A short request with just a few details about the survey is likely to be more effective.
Personalize Each Invitation
Another way to make your survey request more effective is to personalize it to each potential respondent. Saying “Dear Ms. Smith” instead of “Dear valued customer” at the beginning of a request can encourage customers to offer their feedback, since they are likely to feel that they will really be valued.
Offer a Small Incentive
Some customers will want to offer you their feedback no matter what. But others might need just a little bit of a push. So a small incentive, like a discount on their next purchase or entry into a raffle, can really make a difference. It tells customers that there’s something in it for them, other than the potential to improve your company’s products and services.
Keep the Questions Simple
Once a customer has decided to take a survey, the quickest way to turn them away is with long or complicated questions. If a customer has to spend time reading and re-reading paragraphs of instructions, questions, or answers, they are more likely to decide that the incentive you’re offering just isn’t worth the time your survey is taking. So keep all instructions, from the introduction, to the questions, to the answer options, short and easy to understand.
Use Simple Graphics
Visuals and graphics can enhance your survey request. For example, include a photo of the incentive you are offering. But don’t add too much. An excess of graphics can be distracting or they can cause the page to load slowly. So as with your request and instructions, just keep it simple.
Assure People of Their Privacy
Try a Variety of Sources
Depending on the type of survey, there might be a few different ways for you to increase the number of potential respondents. If you are collecting information about a potential new product, for example, you could reach out to more than just your current customers. Consider targeting people in web communities related to your industry or product.
Send a Reminder or Two
If you are sending your survey invitation via email, you can expect to have the majority of responses come in during the first three days. After that, if you plan on only having the survey open a week, consider sending a reminder on day four to get more responses. If you’re planning on keeping the survey open for two weeks, send a reminder one week from the first invitation, then two days before it closes. Keep it to just one or two reminders at the most.
Share the Results
When people take a survey, they like to know that their input is appreciated. Aside from receiving an incentive, they also want their experience with your company to improve in the future. So after you’ve compiled all the results, consider sending a quick follow-up stating a few main points you learned and what, if any, changes you plan to make because of it. This will help customers understand the power their input can have. And that could encourage them to continue taking part in your future surveys.
Critical feedback photo via Shutterstock
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