Most Effective Ways to Combat Survey Fatigue

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Photo Credit:'s Peopleimages

Your inbox may be full with invitations to attempt surveys asking for your feedback for certain companies or brands you use. You may even try your hands on a few but not for long. If you start a survey and don’t understand the first thing they ask, you are more likely to just curse the company and close it back. After two or three of similar experiences, you are more likely to just vow to never attempt another survey again.

It is no novel concept that we are going to be discussing here today, but still something that needs special care while creating your surveys. Yes, I’m talking about nothing other than your respondents’ survey fatigue.

Most companies are survey-reliant when it comes to measuring customer satisfaction. The best practices to conduct those surveys is something, sadly, most of them still need to learn. What measures can you take to reduce the irritation of your respondents? How would you assure them that their time and opinion holds some value to you?

Designing effective online surveys is a difficult task. Only when you can retain the interest of your respondents throughout the survey, can you really keep them from feeling exhausted and leaving without giving the relevant information. Moreover, if your survey hasn’t been properly adapted for the digital age, if it takes too long to download or is too lengthy for mobile phone devices, or you don’t take any immediate action on their responses, your respondents are going to get a negative impression of the surveyor and the brand he represents.

Therefore, we will help you explore the key ways to cure survey fatigue of your respondents:

1. Don’t Badger the Respondents With Survey Requests

One request during a minimum of 3 days time period is good enough for your customers. Two requests from two different departments of your company are bad, and more than a couple is even worse. Don’t forget that yours is not the only brand the customers use. They will be receiving requests for feedback from many other companies. Also, contemplate the number of surveys each of your respondents gets within a month. Make a schedule. Don’t just badger him with loads of different surveys.

2. Transparent Dealing

One of the best ways to garner trust in your customers is transparency. You need to be open with them about everything because only when they trust you completely will they open up with you in turn. The first step towards achieving that end is better communication. Customers need to know that it’s worth spending their time on giving you feedback. When you invite them to take your survey, make sure that they are aware of:

  • Why they are taking the survey?
  • An estimate of the time it will consume.
  • Your Privacy policy
  • What you intend to do with the data you collect through their input? (i.e. the goal of your survey)

A later promotional campaign based on the steps you take for improvement should be sent specially to the customers who responded to your survey. Trust me, they will appreciate this little effort ten times more and would always be happy to help you out with their feedback.

3. Prepare a Smart Questionnaire

Take trouble in preparing the questions rather than giving it to the survey respondents. Chances are, if they don’t understand 5 out of the 10 questions you ask, they won’t bother opening another of your surveys. Be very careful about how you phrase the questions. Don’t just ask whether they like the lemonade or not. Rather, ask them about the texture, concentration, pricing, or taste. Be very clear about what you are asking and what you need to know.

Also, while designing the questionnaire, make sure that you are not crossing any boundaries. Privacy is a sensitive matter and many people simply skip the section about personal information; such as, family life, income and finances and religious beliefs, etc.

4. Make Your Surveys Mobile friendly

If the website you use to create surveys is not mobile-friendly, then chances are that your customers will be facing a lot of trouble providing their feedback through cell phones. In today’s fast-paced world, nobody has time enough to spend hours stuck to the computer, especially, to attempt a few surveys. In order to reduce the respondent burden, you must embrace the responsive approach for your surveys.

This means that your surveys will be accessible from anywhere at any time of the day. Moreover, you will increase the survey completion rate of the respondents you invited. Not only that, you will also increase the response rate because once your survey is easily usable on mobile phones, people will attempt it with their friends or suggest it to other people thereby making it viral.

5. Be Appreciative of Their Efforts

Do you take your customers’ feedback seriously? Do you value the time and energy they spend on attempting it? If you do appreciate their efforts, don’t just do it like a silent lover. You need to express your appreciation in words and by taking concrete measures. Acknowledge properly how their contribution helped improve your brand or its products. Let them know that their voice didn’t go unheard.

Another way to recognize their efforts is to offer some sort of a gift; such as, a discount coupon or free subscription to your newsletter, etc. You can also run a marketing campaign on media revealing the work you are doing to improve your brand experience based on the survey result or the customer feedback.

Have Your Say!

Survey fatigue is a genuine issue that every surveyor should beware of. You must have faced this issue too if you are a regular surveyor. Let us know what measure you take to prevent this from happening to your surveys. Any useful comments and suggestions would be highly appreciated.

About The Author

Kelvin Stiles is a tech enthusiast and works as a marketing consultant at SurveyCrest – FREE online survey software and publishing tools for academic and business use. He is also an avid blogger and a comic book fanatic.