How to Maximize your Survey Benefits

In my final post on participation rates, I’d like to explore the role of benefits. Benefits are any advantage a person thinks will result from completing a survey.  Examples of benefits can include anything from feel-good emotions to material rewards.  Because we don’t always know what every participant perceives as a benefit, how can we maximize survey results and appeal to everyone?

It is important to understand that benefits are usually less obvious to a person than the cost of completing a survey.  Costs occur as soon as a survey arrives in your inbox, whereas benefits are enjoyed in the future.  We must help people see that the long-term benefits are worth the short-term costs.

There are a few steps we can take to highlight a participant’s benefits:

  • Begin pre-survey communications several weeks before the survey period.  Not only do these communications provide basic information about the survey, but they also give information about the kinds of decisions that will be made — thereby highlighting the potential benefit.
  • Provide examples of past surveys that led to a specific change. These changes are tangible benefits that participants can relate to.
  • Personalize the survey invitations, along with the survey itself.  Include a participant’s first and last name when possible.
  •  Include images and videos in your survey.  Color and sounds help to make the survey come alive and feel “more real.”
  • Report the findings of the survey and explain how those findings will be used. Take every chance you can to show how the voice of your constituents is having an impact on business decisions.

This last step is particularly important because it proves that you value your respondents. Participants want to know that they didn’t waste their time, and that their voices are being heard.  If you follow all these steps, you should soon see an increase in your survey participation rate!

Thanks for reading my posts about Maximizing Survey Participation!