Understanding customer perceptions is critical to driving business success, and customer surveys are one of the best ways to gather customer research. Companies use customer surveys for several reasons—whether it’s to assess customer satisfaction levels, find opportunities for improvement, or better understand a target audience’s buying habits. Regardless of the audience information being collected, successful surveys require a large, honest, and engaged audience to achieve desired response rates and statistical significance.

The following tips identify factors pertinent to successful surveys, from building successful customer surveys to increasing research participation through incentives and cross-platform distribution.

Factors to Consider When Building Customer Surveys

From keeping surveys short to asking relevant questions, successful customer surveys consider the audience and business goals. Use these tips to create surveys that engage customers and encourage high response rates.

  1. Short Surveys Retain Respondents
    According to a SurveyMonkey study of 100,000 surveys, nearly 20% of participants do not complete surveys that take longer than 7 minutes. When respondents are uninterested and exit the survey, data is skewed and does not iterate accurate consumer perceptions to the business.
  2. Proof and Test Surveys
    Lack of clarity and instructions may cause frustrations and decrease a survey’s completion rate. Although a question or instructions might be clear to the business’s internal stakeholders, it is not guaranteed that the consumer will understand. When proofing the survey, ensure all language is clear, concise, and straightforward—proof surveys for unnecessary jargon and exclusionary verbiage. Then, test every survey with an external sample before distributing it to the entire audience.
  3. Communicate with Respondents and Reward Them
    Transparency and acknowledgment improve respondent relationships and increase response rates. By clearly communicating the goals of the survey and the anticipated time commitment, respondents are more likely to complete the survey and have a positive mindset. Additionally, respondents are more favorable of surveys when incentives are involved. By offering a reward for completion, businesses may increase response.
  4. Prioritize Relevancy
    All survey questions should be relevant to your selected audience. If respondents see unrelated questions, they may feel like their time is being wasted and therefore exit the survey. If some survey questions might not pertain to the entire audience, create logic-based question paths that automatically skip questions irrelevant to respondents’ previous answers. By automating survey questions, you omit inaccurate data and ensure respondents’ time is not wasted.

For example, suppose you’re trying to determine how long consumers spend playing a specific video game. In that case, the survey should not exceed a 5-minute completion time, be proofed and tested by numerous individuals internally and externally, and questions should be relevant to the video game. If a consumer doesn’t spend time playing video games, the survey must allow respondents to opt-out or skip irrelevant questions. Not only will it save them time, but you’ll also get more accurate responses.

Choose the Right Incentive Program 

As previously mentioned, rewarding respondents shows a business’s appreciation and entices higher response rates. Depending on the audience and survey goals, gift cards, swag, loyalty points, and cash are great incentives. However, it is essential to ask the following questions when selecting the right incentive program:

  • Know your audience – will this incentive encourage a response?
  • Is the incentive program easy to use?
  • Does the program offer automation, or will the rewards be delivered manually?
  • Are there multiple reward options?
  • Does the program fit within the budget?

Many businesses offer simple customer rewards like gift cards but often overlook digital gift cards or e-gift cards. Digital gift cards are a simple solution that provides respondents reward choice and instant delivery. One excellent e-gift card incentive solution is Tango Card. Tango Card’s simple reward system makes sending digital rewards easy—their most popular product, Reward Link, is the fastest and easiest way to send a choice of e-gift cards. Tango Card’s easy reward solution integrates with numerous survey platforms, allowing for delivery automation, instantly sending e-gift cards via email. Thus, you don’t have to worry about manually rewarding each respondent.

Regardless of the incentive selected, ensure that its value equates to the customer ask. For example, offering a $1-off coupon for a 10-question survey will not yield a high response rate. Yet, offering a $25 e-gift card for a 5-question survey will increase research participation.

Achieve Statistical Significance Through Cross-Platform Distribution 

To create a successful customer survey and obtain valuable data, businesses need a large respondent sample. Distributing surveys to a subscriber list is an effective way to reach target audiences, but it isn’t the only way. Social media, SMS (text) campaigns, and website pop-ups are more ways to increase exposure. Trying these methods will provide exposure to the survey that will likely lead to a higher response rate, and thus, the survey will achieve statistical significance.

Acquiring quality customer feedback requires successful survey development, including creating relevant questions to evaluating outside of the organization. Businesses can increase success and survey participation by distributing the survey on various platforms and offering digital incentives such as e-gift cards. Use these methods to receive more responses to your market research surveys.