Complete or Delete? Overcoming survey fatigue

So you need to do a survey; you are not alone with thousands of surveys completed every day across the globe.   From basic freebies to extortionate corporate giant surveys designed to boggle the minds of customers, surveys are everywhere you look but don’t be fooled into thinking that what everyone else is doing is the right thing.

You could be really radical and … something different!

As a survey respondent what really makes you think ‘why on earth did I start this’, is it the sheer volume of questions, the ease of use (or lack of), the format or is it particular questions that are turning you off?

Before you set up a survey for your own business, ask yourself the question above and keep that in front of your mind when you start to design your own.

Be wary of the excitement of drafting questions for your own use or that of your business.  It is very easy to get blinkered and convince yourself that you need all twenty questions.  Do you?  Do you really?  Listen to advice from the survey experts, we aren’t telling you to keep it short for any reason other than that we really believe that shorter is better.  And yes, we can tell you why.

Survey fatigue is a popular phrase now and isn’t without merit as I believe that this is a genuine feeling, I even suffer from it myself and I am in the industry.  On the flip side I also think that surveys have become so ingrained in daily life for us as a consumer that we are almost expecting the survey to arrive, mentally preparing ourselves for the blockage in our inbox, making a conscious decision whether to complete or delete.

So, how can you combat survey fatigue and get the responses you want, when you want them from customers who are happy to give you a helping hand?

1.       Do not rely on web surveys for your feedback

There are few people that can really remember an experience they had a few days before the survey invite pops into an inbox, the real memory boosters here are extremely poor or outstanding experiences.  If I can barely remember anything about the visit my feedback will be so neutral I decide not to bother.  Ask me quickly on site and I am much more likely to complete your survey and move on with my life knowing that the email is unlikely to appear.

2.       Do not ask any more than 5 compulsory questions

If you really need to you can ask more but give your customer the choice to continue.  Your loyal customers will complete for you and your other customers will thank you for not tying them into the whole thing. 

Choice = engagement = higher quality results

3.       Make the first two questions the best they can be!

‘Most’ customers will drop out of the survey early on so make sure that your initial two questions are awesome and will give you something to work on.  If possible, one of these should be a comment question, givingyour customers free reign to type how they ‘FEEL’

4.       Check your questions are worded for normal humans!

Your customers do not know (or care about) your internal lingo.  Avoid buzz words and phrases that only mean something to your company.  Including these will result in higher dropout rates.

5.       Tell or Show your customers why their feedback is important and how it helps

The age old ‘you said, we did’ for the 21st century.  It still has a place in my opinion and is vital in proving to your customers and colleagues that you actually do something with the feedback.  Many businesses do this but poorly, letting it be a chore rather than a great exercise for reviewing feedback, updating colleagues, agreeing actions and keeping customers in the loop

6.       Say thank you

I hope I don’t need to explain this one.

Survey Fatigue is a feeling, a sense of boredom with the concept of surveys but you can influence how your customers view your survey and turn it into a positive experience.  Don’t put all that effort into creating a survey and waste the opportunity by making it a bad one!

Thanks for reading this weeks blog.  To say thanks we have an offer for all you survey novices out there.  Click here to find out this weeks treat!