How to Increase Survey Response Rates


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How To Increase Survey Response Rates Cover
Source: Wizu

‘The Customer Is Always Right’. That’s how the saying goes. So, are you actually listening to your customers? Or let’s go one step further and ask are you even giving your customers a chance to speak? Customer feedback is essential to help you grow your business. Finding out what the customers want, from their own mouths can help you make decisions based on real data that can end up saving you time and money and increasing brand loyalty and revenue.

Surveys are an essential part of any customer feedback program as they give companies an effective way to collect customer feedback at key stages throughout the customer journey. However, with some research suggesting survey response rates average between 10% and 20% it is now harder than ever to actually get your customer to provide that valuable insight. In order to combat this, you need to find new ways to engage your respondents throughout the feedback process.

We don’t usually use this blog to push our own product but in this instance, all I will say is that Wizu was created for this very reason. People are bored of traditional online surveys and want a more engaging, personalised experience. Wizu recently won the award for Voice of the Customer Innovation at the UK National Innovation Awards as we offer a totally new approach to feedback collection by utilising a chatbot to create a conversational user interface. If you want to find out more, then explore but for now we will just focus on some more universal ways to improve survey response rates.

1.       Look your best

A good survey design can make or break your response rates. If you offer a poor respondent experience, then chances are they will abandon your survey and will think twice before opening the next one you send through. Ensure your survey matches your brand, appeals to your target audience and is easy to read and use.

2.       Have a purpose

Do your recipients know why they are being asked to provide feedback? If there isn’t a clear reason why you are asking these questions and how their feedback will be used, then your response rates will suffer. The more they feel their feedback is valued and important, the more likely they are to complete.

3.       Think mobile first

You might have created your survey on your desktop but chances are more than half of your recipients will open it on their mobile phone. Make sure you offer an optimised mobile experience or your respondents won’t be hanging around for long.

4.       Keep it short

Not every survey is going to be a couple of short quick questions so one of the key elements here is to set your respondents expectations correctly. If it is going to take 10 minutes, then at least tell them in advance and they will be more likely to stick with it to the end. If possible though try and keep it to under 5 minutes, or split your survey so you collect the most important data first and then give them an opportunity to answer some secondary questions.

5.       Mix it up

Try not to use the same question types over and over again. Keep your respondent interested by utilising different question types such as multiple choice and ratings. If you have an endless list of 1 to 5 questions, respondents can tend to switch off and will either abandon or potentially skew their responses out of boredom.

6.       Offer an incentive

Unfortunately, this a tactic that has been used far too often but sometimes a good incentive can substantially increase response rates. You just need to weigh this up against the risk that the quality of your responses might suffer as you attract people who just want to get through the survey to qualify for the prize!

7.       Get personal

Customers are looking for a more personalised experience with your brand so your survey experience should be no different. Try to include elements of personalisation in your invitation by including context or customer specific information.


When you are looking to create a customer survey, take a step back and look at it from the customers’ perspective. Are you making it clear to them why you are asking for this feedback and what you will use the information for? Just by making a couple of changes to your approach you could substantially increase your response rates and gain a deeper customer insight.

Martin Powton
I have over 13 years' experience in digital marketing and am interested in all areas of marketing, customer experience and employee wellbeing.


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