7 Surefire Ways Market Researchers Can Fight Survey Fatigue

The increasing importance being placed on customer experiences is daunting – not only for companies looking to provide superior service but also for customers who are now facing a flood of survey and feedback requests from almost every channel. Market Researchers are now competing for the public’s time with myriad surveys, over-eager follow-up texts and approval-seeking web forms and emails; some promising bonus points or entry into raffles for prizes.

While there is nothing wrong with this level of determination to deliver better customer experiences, it is this continuous need for feedback that toes the fine line of tipping the respondents towards survey fatigue. Now, more than ever, Market Researchers are dealing with low respondent engagement and declining survey rates because of the way they approach gathering feedback. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the response rate for Market Research surveys in general has dropped from 20 percent to just 2 percent in the past 20 years.

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Each respondent is unique with specific preferences and different aptitudes. As such, utilizing a cookie-cutter approach to requesting feedback simply isn’t good enough. Effective management of customer experience requires a more tailored and attractive experience that includes relevant samples and careful survey design.

Here are seven surefire ways to overcome potential survey fatigue, avoid frustration and ensure the data being collected maintains its value:

1. Use technology that supports your entire process

Technology and automation are key to the effective design, programming and deployment of surveys. These tools are the “brains” behind the proper capture of feedback. Therefore, when selecting a solution that helps automate these processes, you must consider its core efficiencies first, then address its design or interface, another key factor. Under-the-hood power of the platform is paramount in ensuring that the highest-level of insights are being captured and analyzed.

2. Make it look appealing

38 percent of people will stop engaging with content if the layout is unattractive, and they will do this within 50 milliseconds1. Successful surveys will have an equal balance of brawns and brains; a highly functioning user interface that is also aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Put yourself in your respondents’ shoes and consider the layout. What would you enjoy answering?

3. Deploy across a variety of channels to maximize exposure, but author once

One data avenue is not always sufficient. To get the breadth and depth of data needed for insight, Market Researchers must be able to deploy the same survey across various channels, including web, phone, social media and even in-person. Furthermore, respondents are creatures of habit. Consistency in the look and feel and use of the same template means respondents will get used to your invites.

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4. Don’t overlook mobile or mobile design

As mobile-phone dependency continues to grow, so does the amount of time spent on digital media, including mobile apps and the mobile web. Targeting this demographic of mobile users should be a top priority, however, you need to ensure it’s optimized for mobile use and completion. For example, overly complicated matrix questions can look different on mobile devices and therefore lead to higher dropouts and lower data quality.

5. Keep questions short

The average human attention span is about 8 seconds2, which is much shorter than the time it would take to complete most surveys. With social media and Twitter-style sentences becoming the norm, try to make questions 140 characters or less if possible. This forces a move away from academic language, towards easier-to-understand language. Ask the types of questions you would ask if you were in front of the person, rather than longer, complicated ones.

6. Increase engagement with multimedia

Audio and videos can help increase a person’s understanding in a quick and easy way and make questions as engaging as possible. Try using video or audio to replace open text answers. You can also consider audio to read out the questions or brand names. This is a good option if you are doing product name testing.

7. Test your survey before you deploy it

It is crucial to test the survey’s features and monitor its performance to avoid surprises. Poorly functioning surveys are not only inconvenient for the respondents, but could ultimately impact the way they perceive the brand and its products and services. Important questions to ask before deployment are: Does it look good? Does it display properly? Does the logic route appropriately?

Survey fatigue is an important topic in Market Research, as respondents often experience it and data quality can suffer. It is extremely important to create surveys that are fun, engaging and reduce mid-survey respondent fatigue and frustration. While survey fatigue may never be cured completely, sticking to these seven tips and best practices will ensure Market Researchers can gather actionable, insightful data to enhance their customer experience and business initiatives.

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