Does your organisation struggle with bringing in enough feedback data? Not sure why your survey response rates are so low? It can be a frustrating situation, especially when you are putting in your all to try and understand and help your customers achieve their online goals. But you’re not alone. This is a problem experienced by a slew of companies, across just about every industry. So what can be done differently to achieve better results?
In this post, we dive into why it’s better to have more feedback data, what truly classifies a good survey response rate and most importantly, what your organisation can do to increase its survey response rates.
The quest for higher survey response rates
Feedback surveys are a great way of gathering a lot of useful feedback data from your customers in a relatively short period of time. These surveys can give you insight into all facets of the customer journey: from page design and content to important online processes such as purchasing. You’ll be guaranteed ample insights that will help you consistently meet customer expectations. That is, if you can obtain enough survey responses from your customers.
A sufficient amount of feedback data is – as you might expect – critical to the analysis process. Think about it … if you want to use trends as a means for prioritising your feedback and taking action, you’re going to require an adequate sample size. And not only will enough data give you statistical validity, it will also give you more interesting user insights to work with.
Not sure how to calculate your survey response rate? Try this:
What is a good survey response rate?
So how do you know if you have a good survey response rate? Well, there really isn’t a direct answer to that question. There are lots of factors that can affect your survey response rates; factors such as how you deploy your feedback surveys (i.e., by email, embedded on a page, feedback button, triggered based on behaviour, etc), which channels you use, and the relationship your organisation has with its customers.
However, the average response rate for most companies typically falls somewhere between 20-25%. That means anything above that percentage is considered excellent in most circumstances and any below is…well, let’s just say it’s time to make changes to your approach!
Are your survey response rates – despite your efforts – falling somewhere around or below these rates? Then the tips below just might be what you need!
9 tips for increasing your survey response rates
Over the years, our team of well-seasoned feedback specialists have built up a dedicated understanding of what works and what doesn’t with obtaining user feedback online. As a result, we’ve got quite a few tricks up our sleeves that will help you get more feedback data from your visitors and customers, and we’re happy to share!
1. Use surveys that are fit-for-purpose
When you’re looking at an entire customer journey, you simply can’t apply the one-size-fits-all mentality when deploying feedback surveys. Your surveys must serve a purpose and be relevant for the respondent – in that moment. That means that you might need to use different surveys for different funnels, pages, and/or channels. Of course, it’s always sensible to have a feedback button available across your website to give your visitors the opportunity to provide feedback on their terms.
However, if you want to measure things like the amount of effort it’s taking your visitors to achieve a certain task on your website or see how far they’ve come in achieving their goal, you can use surveys which incorporate metrics such as Customer Effort Score (CES) and Goal Completion Rate (GCR).
In other situations, you might want to gather insight into customer loyalty. Then you can apply surveys that measure either Net Promoter Score (NPS) or Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) at the end of a funnel (i.e., post-purchase) or within an email survey.
As you can see, the nature of the survey must match the situation the visitor or customer is in on your digital channel(s).
Get that right and you’re already one step closer to higher survey response rates…
2. Keep questions relevant
This is a major frustration among many respondents when taking any type of feedback survey. Being prompted with a question that doesn’t apply to you is not only annoying, but also time-consuming. Imagine being asked if you would recommend the product you’re trying to order without yet having ordered it!
To avoid this issue altogether, there are some feedback solutions – like ours – that offer question routing (or survey logic) capabilities. When building your surveys, you can create different questions that will be displayed depending on the answer to the previous question. This not only makes the questions more relevant for the respondent (and thus giving them a tailored experience), but it will also give your organisation more useful feedback data as a result.
3. Simple and snappy
If you want to keep your respondents engaged, then you should strive for a survey that costs little to no effort. Craft surveys that are easy to understand and brief. That means avoiding any ambiguous language or complex sentences that may be misinterpreted by the respondent. Not only will a simple survey help you boost your response rates, but it will also help give you more accurate data. For example, if one or multiple survey questions is confusing for the respondent, odds are they will either opt out of the survey entirely or provide a response that is irrelevant or vague, in an attempt to guess what is meant.
Typically it is recommended to cap your surveys at max three questions and incorporate questions that are also “open answer” in case the respondent wishes to provide additional information that cannot be filled in using a multiple choice or radio button.
4. Gotta long survey? Add a progress bar and mention time
If you ARE going to create a longer survey, i.e., for more in-depth research purposes, internal surveying, etc, then it is advisable to inform your respondents of their progress and the estimated time they will spend on it. This will reduce unnecessary frustration brought on by not knowing how much longer the survey will take to complete.
You can simply do this by adding a progress bar at the top of your surveys.
5. Survey on multiple channels
Nowadays the customer experience is seen as one fluid experience across multiple channels so by measuring KPIs such as Net Promoter Score or Customer Effort Score on many of your digital channels (i.e., web, mobile and email), you will be able to get a better feel for how the entire customer experience is perceived. It also enables you to get more visibility for your surveys. For example, you can have the same or a similar survey running on both your website and mobile app, which will give both types of the users the opportunity to submit feedback regardless of the channel they choose to use.
By leveraging surveys on your digital channels, not only will you enjoy higher response rates as a result, but also a more well-rounded set of data that encompasses the entire experience.
6. Create surveys in line with your brand
Another important factor to consider is survey branding. There are plenty of survey tools out there that enable you to craft a quick and easy survey, but the ability to customise these surveys isn’t always available. Having a survey that is in line with your brand will amp up your credibility and blend in better with the website, mobile app or email you’re collecting feedback from.
7. Make it fun!
Another way to increase your survey response rates is simply to make your survey more fun to fill in. It is anything but enticing to have to fill in a plain old survey served up to you in black and white. To boost engagement, your surveys might just need a little flare! There are plenty of ways to do this – depending on your survey solution – including adding images, GIFs or if you’re interested in more innovative methods – conversational feedback!
Conversational feedback is a fun and casual way to collect feedback from visitors. It enables a fully personalised experience that will leave your users feeling as though they were chatting with a colleague.
Learn more about how conversational feedback works here.
8. Localise your surveys
An increasingly popular approach to boosting survey response rates is to cater to local markets with different language options. This is especially popular among ecommerce organisations that operate in different regions and countries. In fact, 74% of respondents said in a survey that they are more likely to make a second purchase if the after-sales service is offered in their native language.
Ready to start translating your surveys? Then we have some advice for you:
Good translations take a lot of time and entail extra costs. Test the website translations by asking visitors for feedback in real time. In this way, you can learn a lot from your customers regarding whether the quality is sufficient and whether everything is clear.
Alternatively you can use a solution such as Mopinion which has a built-in form translation feature, allowing you to add multiple translations to the same feedback form.
9. Follow up with customers
The last and perhaps most important of all – follow up on survey feedback! We cannot stress this enough.
Also referred to as closing the customer feedback loop, the process of following up on customer surveys is a vital part of keeping survey response rates high. Think of it this way – if your customers know that something is being done with their feedback, they’ll be more likely to provide more of it in the future. It’s this two-way communication that keeps them engaged and loyal to your brand as well.
Let’s drive those response rates!
Now equipped with the tools you need to start boosting your survey response rates, it’s time to get crackin’. Whether that’s localising your surveys for the global market your organisation caters to, spiffing up your surveys with a conversational touch with conversational feedback or extending your survey reach to multiple digital channels, the tips above will certainly help out in one way or another.
Ready to see Mopinion in action?
Want to learn more about Mopinion’s all-in-1 user feedback platform? Don’t be shy and take our software for a spin! Do you prefer it a bit more personal? Just book a demo. One of our feedback pro’s will guide you through the software and answer any questions you may have.