- A concise survey invitation increases response rates. Basics such as good grammar and correct spelling are obvious, but companies also need to consider brief wording. Companies should partner with the survey provider to develop a unique invitation that will capture customer’s attention and encourage them to respond.
- Communicate how long it will take to complete the survey– and deliver as promised. Differing opinions exist about survey length, and it can be challenging for companies to balance the need for customer feedback in many areas while offering a survey that is not too lengthy. Many times the invitation asks customers to complete a “short” survey, however, when customers dial in or access the link to the survey, they discover that survey completion takes longer than expected. With a long survey, customers may abandon the survey before completion. And worse, they probably will not participate in a future survey based on this one experience.
Our experience shows that surveys with a maximum of 10 questions receive the best response rates. Conduct trials internally and make note of how long the IVR or web survey takes to complete. After completing the internal tests, include how long it will take customers to complete the survey on the invitation.
- Use incentives that make an impact. Consumers are busier than ever and companies need to motivate them to complete a customer survey. If your organization is not using a survey incentive, consider a drawing for a gift card, a discount off a future purchase at your store, or merchandise to entice people to participate. Think about your customer demographics and what types of incentives may appeal to them. Also consider the average price of a purchase at your locations so that the dollar amount of the incentive makes sense. A good customer survey vendor offers expertise in incentives and recommendations for choices that mesh with your unique needs – and fit with your customer demographic.
- Deliver the survey invitation in creative ways. Consider delivering the survey invitation through location flyers, signs, a survey invitation on your website, or email campaign. Train employees to ask customers if they would like to participate in the survey. Managers should not train employees to ask customers to take the survey and, “Please rate us highly.” Customers are often put off by this request and it compromises the integrity of the survey.
- Test the survey from the respondent point of view. How is the overall survey experience? To find out, take the survey yourself or have another employee complete it. As you participate in the survey, can you imagine places where customers might abandon it? If so, adjust questions, eliminate confusing questions, shorten the survey, or revamp it entirely. If you feel you or other employees are too close to the survey to be objective, gain opinions from individuals outside your organization.