Doing these 4 things will drastically improve your survey response rates

Doing-these-4-things-will-drastically-improve your-survey-response-rates

Like customer research? I’ve got good and bad news for you.

The good news is online surveys can generate immense insights — like half a million dollars worth (or more), in our experience. The bad news: Less than 1% of your customers are completing your surveys, at least the traditional kind.

Want to get closer to a 10% response rate? Try these 4 things:


1. Less is more (conversion)

Surveys are too long for their own good. 20–40 questions apiece? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Instead, one, two, or just three question micro surveys are the key to better conversion. And if integrated with your existing systems (analytics, CRM, personalization, etc.), you’ll still get all the context you need without asking annoying and redundant questions of your audience, like “How did you arrive on our site today?” or “Did you purchase something?”

You already know these things. Focus instead on things that aren’t being measured elsewhere, such as how people feel, what they think, and how you can help.


2. Blend in, don’t interrupt

How would you feel if a retail clerk dressed in a lab coat suddenly cut you off, grabbed you by the shoulders, and announced, “Congratulations! You’ve been randomly select to answer a survey to improve your shopping experience!”

Unfortunately, that’s what many online stores and websites do. They interrupt the shopping experience in the very act of shopping. Thanks to embedded micro-surveys that blend in with your existing content and style guides, you don’t have to do this anymore.


3. Talk like a human, not a statistician

If your survey looks and reads like a tax form, few people will complete it. If, on the other hand, it’s branded, personal, not overbearing, and reads like the rest of your messaging, you’ll have a better chance of seeing results. Human voice always trumps robotic language.


4. Monitor outcomes, not meaningless ratings

Over the years, I’ve struggled to get real insights from traditional surveys because their recommendations are rarely rooted in cause and effect. For example, how does knowing the “readability rating” of a website help me improve it? It doesn’t. So associate surveys with desired outcomes. Monitor those outcomes over time. Then adjust your approach accordingly.


Of course, the art and science of high-converting surveys goes well beyond the above. But in my experience, these four are crucial in the fight for more insights.