There’s no better way to learn what customers want than to ask them directly. Surveys can provide valuable insight into the appeal of your products, services, prices, and other facets of your business. However, collecting genuine responses from your audience can be a challenge. Here are four tips to help you choose the right survey incentives.
Make it Timely and Relevant
If your participants are already motivated to provide their opinion, you’re all set. Businesses that consistently provide quality products and top-notch service are more likely to get a greater quantity and quality of survey responses. Connecting with your audience on social media and establishing yourself as an authority in your field can also build trust. If you have these factors in place, your surveys will feel timely and relevant no matter when you send the invitation.
You can also encourage responses by trimming down your survey. Make each question clear and direct and cut out any similar or repetitive questions. Short surveys can prompt more well-thought-out responses and minimize abandonment rates.
If you are a service provider looking for some customer feedback, you can place a kiosk in your store with a customer feedback app on it. This way customers can provide feedback on the spot, and a discount for their next visit would be a relevant incentive for them.
Make Your Survey Incentives Useful and Worthwhile
Draw attention to a valuable incentive that your audience will actually use. Offering low-value or off-putting incentive can alienate respondents and even portray your brand as cheap. Think about what your audience will appreciate. Is it valuable enough to justify their time investment? Is it easily accessible to them? Straight cash tends to drive high response rates, but paying it out may involve delays and fees. Gift cards and exclusive discounts are smart alternatives that can be sent out and redeemed easily.
You can then deliver the incentive as a prepaid reward or a completion reward. In the prepaid scenario, you provide the gift to everyone on your survey mailing list regardless of whether they actually take the survey. Studies show that prepaid incentives can nearly triple response rates compared to completion rewards. While some people will inevitably take the gift and run, most will feel obligated to respond.
Consider the Impact of the Incentive on Your Data Quality
Offering certain incentives can actually negatively impact response rates and the quality of responses. It may seem straightforward to offer a monetary reward, but some people may perceive the offer as patronizing or disrespectful. This effect holds true especially if participants are already willing to provide their feedback solely because they enjoy using your products or services.
On the other hand, if you delay the reward until the survey is complete or use a lottery-type incentive, you may receive hasty, disingenuous responses. Participants may click on boxes haphazardly to finish the survey and obtain their gift or contest entry as quickly as possible. This leaves you with misleading data, wasted money, and potential disaster if you use the data to drive your next product launch or marketing campaign.
Deliver What You Promise
“Don’t make promises you can’t keep” are wise words that apply to business and personal relationships alike. You want your audience to know that you value their time and opinion. Do your research to find out how much you can afford to offer and how quickly you can pay out. If offering cash, make sure you meet all legal requirements and can cover potential fees. The same goes for lotteries.
No matter what type of incentive you offer, make sure you can deliver. If you don’t, your audience will feel betrayed and word will spread quickly.
The right survey incentives for one business may not work as well for yours. Know your audience, know your budget, and think about what would best motivate you to fill out a survey