4 Ways to Increase Survey Response Rates For Your Small Business

March 10, 2016 Erica Brooke Fajge

As busy professionals, we have all had this experience: While checking email, you come across one with the subject line “We want your feedback!” Do you open the email, answer all of the questions, and hit “submit” right away? Or do you wait on it, or not respond at all?

The common action taken would be to complete the survey at a later time or not do anything at all. According to Survey Gizmo, the average response rate for customer feedback surveys is only about 10-15%.

So, as a small business owner or manager, how do you ensure that your surveys are being answered?

1. Keep It Short and Quick

People are busy and don’t have time to give detailed responses. Surveys consisting of quick-to-answer multiple-choice questions are more likely to be answered than ones with open-ended responses, which can appear overwhelming and time-consuming to complete. When designing surveys, also ensure that they don’t take longer than 10 minutes; 5-7 minutes is ideal.

2. Be Timely and Follow Up

You might decide to send out customer feedback surveys at a random opportunity; maybe you distribute them once a year or once every 6 months. However, if you are sending them to get feedback on a specific service, make sure the survey is relevant and that you send it as close as possible to when that particular service was performed.

Also, send out (friendly) reminder emails with a link to the survey to customers who have yet to respond. Sometimes, that extra (gentle) push is all that’s needed to get a response; in doing so, you’re showing that their feedback matters.

3. Get Personal

Your surveys are more likely to be completed if your customers feel like they have a personal connection with your service and are loyal. Use an email address that is easily recognizable, and make sure to include their name in the email. Make the subject line appealing, such as “Help us improve our service to you.” A loyal client receiving the email is more likely to open it and respond in a timely manner if she feels that her opinions will be taken into consideration and will add value, so convey that message in your email.

4. Offer An Incentive

It’s never a bad idea to give a little extra push by offering a gift card or complementary service. Make sure to mention the gift in the subject line as well as in the actual body of the email. Mentioning it in the subject line will attract your customers’ attention, but including it in the body of the email will ensure that you mean what you say. Because an incentive can sometimes come across as a gimmick to customers, you should let them know exactly how and when they will receive their gift.

Keeping these four simple, but significant tips in mind will help you to create customer feedback surveys that actually get answered, and you just might see your response rates skyrocket. No one wants to spend time creating surveys that go unanswered. Putting yourself in your customer’s’ shoes and investing just a little time in learning about their habits and tendencies can go a long way. You’ll thank us later.

Tell us: What types of surveys do you send out? What techniques do you employ to get your surveys answered?

About the Author

Erica Brooke Fajge

Erica Brooke Fajge is a Content Marketing Writer at Booker Software. She has extensive experience in the tech and digital marketing industries, specifically in web content, online publishing, and startups. Erica also shares her expertise as an adjunct instructor at the Fox School of Business at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she teaches Business Communications in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management.

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