How Best to Incentivize Survey Respondents

Let me first say that incentives are not always necessary to ensure strong response rates in customer experience surveys. In fact, with in-store surveys, when the survey instrument is designed to suit the environment and the survey technology is implemented correctly (placement, signage, staff awareness) our customers enjoy upwards of 8-10% response rates without the use of incentives. Although it varies from industry to industry, we find a large portion of consumers, especially those who are invested in the success of the merchant; are willing to participate in customer satisfaction surveys without the need of incentives to help improve the products and services. However, when the decision has been made to use incentives, we encourage our clients to consider the various forms incentives can take.

There are two basic types of incentives – rewards and information. Rewards are by far the most commonly used and often take the form of some kind of financial reward or product sample. What we find far more interesting (for both the business and the customer) is providing information as the reward. Often times the most compelling type of information is the survey results themselves, which can be displayed at the conclusion of the survey. There can be proprietary issues with divulging this information; however there are ways around this. For example – you can reveal results on selected questions only. Other options include the use of Opinionmeter’s quiz feature and display the results of only those quiz related questions at the conclusion of the survey. Additional ideas may include sharing how the survey results have been or are intended to be implemented to improve the product or service. This has the added bonus of instilling continued customer engagement and a sense of ownership and participation in the business’s success and growth.

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