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A smarter incentive for surveys

Running customer surveys can yield no end of useful data, from sales insights to simply updating the promotional database. But how can we persuade customers to complete surveys? Most of us will receive them on a frequent basis, and I don’t know about you, but I can get a little tired of the presumption that some display. “Thanks for your business”, they’ll say, “…could you now complete this survey? It’ll only take ten minutes!”

Er – why? What’s in it for me?

Some might offer something in return (which is reasonable enough), or the chance to be entered in a draw for something (which won’t attract more cynical recipients). However, short of a cash offer for my time, these don’t particularly appeal to me. Perhaps because there’s no direct relation to the transaction – they want my time, opinions and data, and in return I get something quite different.

But what if we offer data in return? Everyone wonders how they stand in relation to their peers. If we offer survey respondents a report by return on how their replies stacked up to others, that’s a more appealing proposition – and one where the two sides of the transaction bear a direct relation to one another. As long as the survey questions aren’t solely designed to elicit data which provides a competitive advantage, offering the more general results in a report, as an incentive, seems well worth trying.