How to Maximise Your Survey Response Rates

The obtaining of maximum survey response rates is essential to guarantee better quality and quantity of survey feedback. The response rates for different surveys naturally vary. The most frequent types of surveys – surveys designed to measure customer satisfaction – often have survey response rates of 10 to 30 percent, and the same applies to market research surveys. The rates are higher with employee surveys. However, there are tools that can be applied to maximize the response rates of online surveys.

To invite a favourable response from customers who are going to fill surveys, they should be completely informed on the main purposes of each survey. These include the reasons why a survey has been drawn up, who is going to discuss and use the results, and it what manner these results and feedback will be used.

The first approach that will attract more respondents is to keep surveys brief. The principle of brevity guarantees keeping the interest of respondents until the end, and with longer surveys there is a risk of respondents getting tired and abandoning surveys before they are fully completed. Informing prospective respondents of the approximate anticipated time for doing a survey is also a good practice, to enable them to know when they are likely to finish. Brief surveys with a completing time indication are good at attracting rewarding survey response rates.

With surveys sent via email, setting deadlines by which surveys should be completed is another factor which prompts people to duly fill in and email surveys back. The deadline should not be shorter than one week, and a 7 to 10 day deadline period is usually recommended.

Offering incentives for the filling of surveys is a powerful factor for accomplishing good survey response rates. Gift certificates, vouchers, etc. are common incentives which naturally appeal to people and attract more respondents. With employee survey software, team based prizes for workgroups with the highest survey response rates are very appropriate, such as free meals. The information on incentives can be sent via email, and the same email will ask people to complete the specific survey on the company website.

A factor which puts off prospective respondents is the lack of confidentiality and anonymity. When surveys are going to be confidential or anonymous, the fact should be pointed out to prospective respondents, and that will result in higher survey response rates. Furthermore, when answering questions in confidential or anonymous surveys, people are more likely to give truthful answers.

Sometimes people forget to do surveys received via email, owing to a lot of business tasks. That is why sending reminders to respondents a couple of days before the deadline before which replies are due to be received is a very good method of ensuring higher survey response rates.

The follow up of an online questionnaire, such as thank you messages sent to respondents, is another factor for higher survey response rates when next surveys are launched. Follow up activities are like investments which guarantee higher success and larger participation in next surveys.

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