Thank Respondents and Increase Survey Response Rates
Surveys and other customer listening posts are some of the most important foundational tools you have at your disposal to not only understand the current customer experience, identifying what’s going well and what’s not, but to also then design and deliver a better experience.
For better or worse, customers are receiving surveys for every interaction and transaction they make, from going to the doctor, to buying products online, to taking their pets to the groomer, and beyond! Most of the time, customers complete surveys to provide you feedback about the experience because they truly want to help; they want brands to succeed, and they know the only way that can happen is if the experience is better than what it is today.
But when was the last time you thanked customers for their feedback? And how did you do it? Was it done in a meaningful way? Have you considered that surveys are another touchpoint in the customer experience? That the experience with the survey must be considered and improved as much as the experience with any other touchpoint?
These are important questions to answer. Especially if you’re struggling to improve your current survey response rate levels. There are at least three things that you can do to improve response rates: (1) design a survey that customers want to respond to, (2) ensure that you’re surveying the right audience, and (3) providing incentives.
Yes, there are a lot of details behind each of those three items. Using good survey design practices, including ensuring that the questions are relevant to your audience, are paramount to getting quality feedback that can guide customer experience improvements. For the sake of this article, let’s focus on the third thing: provide incentives.
Incentives will typically help to increase the percentage of non-responders by encouraging them to provide feedback in return for some reward. This is a good thing, especially when you have continuously low or declining response rates or when you’re surveying a niche group that may have to balance other priorities with their available time; incentives may push them to make the time.
However, before launching a survey with an incentive, conduct an A|B test, i.e., have a test respondent group to which you offer an incentive and a control respondent group with no incentive, to ensure that the incentive doesn’t skew the audience or the responses.
If the incentive doesn’t impact responses negatively (or produce statistically significant results versus the control group) – and a lot of research has shown that incentives don’t – then proceed with offering an incentive with your survey. Be sure to use it both as a way to encourage participation and to thank customers for responding.
Also, make sure that the incentive is appropriate for your audience. Historically, we’ve seen that executives, as well as B2B customers with stricter corporate gifting rules, are more amenable to charitable donations, while consumers and other B2B customers with less-strict corporate gifting rules can/will accept virtual gift cards.
If you’re already using incentives for your surveys, you know that managing and tracking them can be complex and time-consuming unless administered seamlessly upon completion of the survey. Clearly, this is another aspect of the customer (respondent) experience that needs to be simplified and done right/well.
Fortunately, with Clicktools’ integration with Rybbon, incentives are automatically presented to the respondent upon completion of the survey. The incentive arrives from your email address with your customized branding to engender trust and recognition. You can rest assured that Rybbon tracks every incentive, capturing when it’s delivered and when it’s claimed. Unclaimed rewards are refunded to survey administrators.
Rybbon makes it easy to thank and reward your survey respondents. You can send global e-gift cards, Visa and MasterCard rewards, and charitable donations when someone completes a survey. Set-up is easy, and tracking and reporting are built into Rybbon.
The best incentive to motivate customers to continue to provide feedback is to do something with their responses and close the loop with them, i.e., tell them what you did with the feedback. But if you want to increase response rates, using an incentive like Clicktools now offers through its partnership with Rybbon is a great idea.