Optimal respondent experience: a must-have for good data.

Learn how a good survey experience impacts your data quality.

Surveys are a very important marketing tool that has proven to be the backbone of every successful company or product over the last decades. With the introduction of the smart technologies and the Internet, the relevance of traditional surveys and the interest of the participants in them drastically decreased. Though, it has been proven that conducting market research is essential before launching a new product or even getting funding for a start-up.

One of the main reasons for the shift is the physical distance that has occurred due to the advent of advanced means of communication and data input and processing. While twenty years ago things were mainly done on paper with a pen and an interviewer, they can now be done digitally online via smartphones, tablets, or computers. This is why research companies have adopted technology to conduct their surveys as it is a faster and cost-effective way.

While technology improved the way surveys are done, when it comes to speed and information access, there’s still a need to find the most efficient way to use it. The best way you can guarantee an optimal respondent experience is by designing surveys intelligently and creatively. This would ensure the engagement and honesty of the participant and would have him/her continue to participate in future studies.

Good data do not come in an instant. You need to take time to build a good questionnaire to ensure a good experience for the respondents who will spend time to share their thoughts or opinions. Questions need to be thought beforehand and we will explain to you why.

8 tips to offer a better user experience

For a survey to be most effective and to ensure a high completion rate from respondents, it needs to meet the following conditions:

  1. Question types need to be simple and concise 
  2. Questions need to be relevant to the target audience 
  3. Question types need to be neutral or unbiased 
  4. Open-ended questions need to be few in number and specific 
  5. Make sure that the list of the answers you provide has as many relevant answers as possible (if not all) 
  6. Provide the respondents with the opportunity to write their answers since the list of possible answers may not cover everything. 
  7. If respondents need to install an app and use it, make sure this app is available to download for IOS, Android, and so on so that no one is left out.
  8. Test all the possible scenarios for your questionnaire to ensure a positive respondent experience and high completion rates.

Making sure that these conditions are met would ensure the precision of the feedback you receive from satisfied respondents. It will also likely boost their interest if you wish to contact them again for another survey opportunity. Having a good survey experience is also a strong element to keep the focus of these respondents during the entire survey process while collecting data from them. It has been proven that in the case of long or poor questionnaire design, the focus tends to be reduced and it is possible that respondents might leave the questionnaire in the middle and not finish it entirely.

Every respondent is human (we do not target robots as of yet, we will let you know when we can!)

Another aspect to keep in mind is that the respondents are not mere numbers or machines. They should be given the respect they deserve as human beings by providing survey questions that would not be offensive, unintelligible, or badly structured. Failing to do so would cost you future participation and increases the risk of receiving inaccurate feedback. Simply relying on the reward system does not guarantee that you will receive accurate data so it is important to prevent low response rate or drop out to happen. A good survey experience is essential for your respondents to get the insights you need, as a client, and to make sure you get those completion rates you need. Remember that most of those respondents associate their survey experience with customer experience so it's important to get it right from the beginning so that they keep a good memory of you!

While the monetary reward system is important, respondents will appreciate the fact that their feedback helped make a change. Seeing that their responses had an actual impact on decision making or the improvement in services and products, will have them look forward to your next survey. It is possible to include in your survey that their opinion will help your brand to make a decision to launch a new product or service. Their opinion will feel valued and the time they spend on questionnaires as well.

How can a poor respondent experience affects a brand

When it comes to sensitive or emerging markets, it is mandatory to know your market before designing your questionnaire. While you may think that some questions are fine to be asked during a survey in some countries, it might be not. It is important to have the advice of experts when it comes to sensitive markets or topics to make sure that you do not offend your respondents. This is also even more important as your respondents might be your future customers or even existing customers so you want to make sure you know the local customs of the market you are targeting for your research.

Thinking about all survey scenarios while writing your questionnaire is essential to ensure a good respondent experience. You do not want to have respondents leaving the questionnaire in the middle of your survey so it's important to allocate time to test your questionnaire and make sure all possible answers are available and questions are easy to understand for any profile type. This is the very best you can do to optimize the responses you need. Like said before, every respondent is human and should be respected. We have seen too many examples of poor questionnaire design or wrong questions being asked which resulted in a bad image for the brand looking to get insights. That is the reason why it is best to look for the support of experts while looking to enter a new market, for example, and making sure that the respondent experience is your top priority while designing your survey.

The importance of an optimal respondent experience

For example, imagine a brand asking questions bout ethnic and forgetting one relevant option directly concerning some respondents, then it could become dramatical for the brand itself and result in bad publicity so we cannot string enough how important it is to take all elements int account while thinking about the questions you want to ask and think like any respondents while answering your questions.

At the end of the day, it all comes to mutual respect between the brand and the respondent. Providing a good and optimal questionnaire is already the first step to a good research project. It also gets you relevant insights for your project and avoids biases or poor survey results. Questions need to follow a certain logic and make sure they respect the local customs of a country to avoid any offense from respondents.

We hope this article has helped you understand that the survey experience is very linked to the customer experience and why the respondent experience should be optimal.  

Do not hesitate to contact us to get your market research project going into emerging markets. You can find more information on our panel.

We really hope these pointers have convinced you to consider mobile surveys for helping your company. If yes, please do not hesitate to reach out. The team at TGM will be more than happy to support you with your project.

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