5 steps to ensuring a high response rate
Having enough customers respond to your Business Benchmarking survey is essential for getting an adequate sample size – and that’s a must-have for statistical validity. Here’s some advice on how to boost your response rates.
1. Keep your survey short
Don’t add too many extra questions to the standard Business Benchmarking question set, this will ensure your survey drop-out rate stays minimal.
2. Warm up your customers
Send a pre-survey communication notifying your customers that they will be receiving your survey. This allows you to solicit questions or concerns and leads to a higher participation rate. Here is a template that we suggest to use a potential starting point:
During the next few weeks Company XXX will commence a customer survey. Surveying is likely to begin on XX the XX of XXand our nominated survey management company The Leadership Factor (TLF) will contact you via XXXX. The Leadership Factor is an independent company used by the Institute of Customer Service to collate customer feedback. As a valued customer your views are important to us, so any time you can spare to assist in this short, 10 minute survey and provide feedback will be greatly appreciated and help inform our plans to further improve our service quality to you. In the meantime, should you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact us.
There are a number of other ways to get the message to customers. Employ a range of approaches to get the best reach across your customer base:
- Letters/email – send out a letter explaining to customers why, when and how the survey is going to take place
- Social media – a tweet, Facebook post or message on a blog can assure customers that if they are contacted there is nothing to worry about
- Newsletters – an article or simply a line or two, in a prominent position, can provide relevant information
- Website – a paragraph on the home page or relevant pages as a reminder a survey is taking place. Including a link to the agency conducting the research adds further credibility
- Staff – contact centre staff can make customers aware when they call; account managers can personally inform customers
- Posters – where customers visit counters, branches or offices, posters can be displayed.
3. Ensure you’re using the right channel to distribute your survey.
Are you looking for the right respondents in the right place? A postal survey can effectively cater to audience that is off-line, not everyone is connected to the Internet. Phone surveys, in turn, can be used to reach difficult-to-reach but critical respondents in B2B sectors.
4. Make sure your customer data is up-to-date
Poor quality contact data with incorrect or incomplete customer information will not generate any responses. Depending on your survey distribution method, you will need to ensure your customers’ names, address details or telephone numbers are correct. You should also make sure you’re contacting the customers who’ve interacted with you over the last 3 months.
5. Contact relevant people
If you send out the survey to the ‘wrong’ person, or an unsuitable person, it is very unlikely they will take part in the survey. Even if they do participate, their response will not be useful to you or your organisation. This particularly applies to B2B surveys where the job role of the respondent is vital to gathering relevant feedback.
With these tips, you should see a significant increase in your Business Benchmarking response rate and quality of feedback from customers. But beyond these 5 steps, you can also speak to your Customer Relationship Director to find out how you can get the most out of Business Benchmarking.