How to Achieve Healthy Customer Satisfaction Survey Response Rates

The most important factor in conducting a customer satisfaction survey is aggregating a “representative sample” from your target audience. To achieve this balanced sample of customer opinion, the survey must have adequate response rates. What follows is a list of steps you can take to ensure a healthy response rate to your customer surveys:
Survey Length– There is a correlation between the length of the survey and response rate. The shorter the survey the more likely you will have a higher response rate. It is always a challenge to balance the desire to get every last bit of information with the inconvenience of survey responder having to fill out so many questions. This is especially the case in highly-trafficked areas. For example, if you are capturing feedback after a customer’s visit or have a kiosk adjacent a queue line, the questionnaire should be quite short. On the other hand, if your customers are waiting for services, a longer survey may be appropriate.

Customer Satisfaction Survey Kiosk

Placement – It is critical that a self-administered survey system such as an Opinionmeter kiosk or smartphone QR-code is placed where it will capture the attention of the customer. The Opinionmeter survey device should be located at the optimum point in the transaction/service flow – appropriately placed for when you wish to solicit the feedback. If you wish to capture feedback regarding the customer’s experience, then the device should be placed in the exit path or discharge area. If on the other hand you wish to gather pre-visit or data relating to the overall experience from repeat visitors, then you can take advantage of waiting time and place the device in the waiting area or queue line.

Signage – Prominent signage requesting customers to take a short survey can significantly help draw attention to the Opinionmeter device. Signage can also be used to effectively communicate the importance and use of the data being collected, along with any incentives being offered, if any.

Staff Involvement – The single most powerful driver of response rate is staff involvement. At the conclusion of the visit, if staff asks the customer to provide a “minute of their time to give us their feedback” – a high percentage of customers will do so. It’s also important that staff be educated about the survey so they do not feel intimidated by the data being collected (e.g. that they’re being judged negatively by the customer’s responses).

Incentives – Opinionmeter devices have several optional incentive features. The “Winning Number” feature issues winning notifications to respondents according to a sequence number you select (e.g. with a sequence number of 50, every 50th respondent would be a winner). The “Winning Quiz” identifies winners based on how they respond to the survey – they must answer the survey quiz questions “correctly” to be a winner. These are optional features which can be fun and increase response rate when used in appropriate settings.

Feedback resulting in Action – It’s critical, especially in environments where you have repeat customers, to inform the customer of the actions that have been or are being implemented based on customer feedback. This can be done through simple signage placed at the survey station, on the device, even on the introductory screen of the survey itself or through a company newsletter, website, etc. Customers need to know their feedback is not only being recorded, but that their feedback is resulting in actions being taken to implement change.

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