Surveys are an increasingly popular method of gathering important data. Not only are they a brilliant way of gaining specific feedback from a large quantity of respondents, but are more cost effective than conventional market research approaches.
However, boring, uninspiring surveys can achieve the opposite to their desired outcome. Approximately 20% of respondents who start a survey do not complete it, especially if it is long and laborious.
So what can you do to ensure that abandonment rates are kept to a minimum, and your respondents enjoy taking part in your survey?
A survey, no matter the topic, has the potential to be conducted in an appropriately humorous way in order to engage the respondent. This could mean making the occasional question fun and upbeat, or asking questions with an air of joviality. Of course, the use of humor should always be treated sensitively, and there is an art to balancing the conversation so not to deter from the underlying message or skew the responses.
Keep Your Customer In Mind
If you are an existing business and are conducting a survey within your customer base, it is critical that you ensure your customers feel that their contribution is valued and important. In a recent survey, 68% of respondents reported that they discontinued business with a supplier due to ‘perceived indifference’. This is why all aspects of your customer communication should be designed with their interests in mind, and that includes the way a survey is written. In a nutshell, a bog-standard script and generalized or irrelevant multiple choice answers will not give your customers the personal touch they’re looking for and may deter them from finishing the survey or engaging with your business in the future.
Provide Visual Aids
Visual aids can give a touch of zing to otherwise mundane questions. Generally, people react more positively to images than blocks of text. So if you are, for example, conducting a survey on eating habits and are offering a multiple choice list of what the respondent has eaten in the last 24 hours, why not provide a selection of pictures for them to choose from instead? This helps your audience to interact with the survey and may even influence them to share it with friends. Of course, when using pictures, don’t make it complicated. If your respondents are left scratching their heads, they are far less likely to complete the survey or take another one in the future.
Give A Small Incentive
If a person is offered an incentive for taking part in a survey, it more than doubles their likelihood of taking part. However, large incentives can skew the results. If what you’re offering is too desirable, you run the risk of respondents lying in order to fit the demographic, or rushing in order to get to the ‘prize’ at the end. Therefore, small but tempting offers such as a voucher or opportunity to enter a prize draw could be all that’s needed.
Add In A Poll
Polls are a fun way of giving your customers a glimpse of how they compare to others. By integrating a poll midway through a survey, the respondent can select their answer and then be immediately presented with the overall polling results. This also gives them a sense of wider engagement with other respondents. It is important, however, that by revealing these comparative answers, you do not risk influencing their future responses, so it’s best that these polls are slightly humorous, short and sweet.
Gamification is the process of integrating game mechanics into a website or marketing tool in order to engage and delight your customers. As the respondent moves through the survey, they will enjoy the questions by ‘playing’ mini games in order to answer them. Research conducted by Research Now has shown that gamification within a survey setting increases enjoyment and interest, while also retaining the customer’s interaction with each question for longer. If possible, why not also give users the opportunity to create an Avatar who will guide them through the survey? There are many different gamification options to choose from.
With the many different options available to make surveys unique and fun, it is no wonder that more and more individuals and companies are using them to gather feedback and data.
If you are planning on incorporating a company then surveys are the best way to learn about your prospective customer before you spend money on product development. The integration of games, polls, incentives and humor should be thoughtfully constructed and embedded with care so that you can ensure your customers enjoy completing the survey without influencing those all important results.
Also published on Medium.