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3 tips to avoid survey fatigue

When collecting data from an audience, you need to be respectful of their time and you want to make sure…

When collecting data from an audience, you need to be respectful of their time and you want to make sure your survey keeps the respondents engaged from “hello” to “thank you”. A key aspect of keeping your respondents engaged is avoiding survey fatigue.

Survey fatigue can be divided into two different types, both of which can have a profound effect on your survey’s response rate, as well as the quality of the data collected.

The first type of survey fatigue starts before your survey even begins and stems from the increased amount of surveys currently being circulated. People are constantly being asked for feedback, whether it be by the local grocery store or their workplace, and are simply tired of answering surveys. This type of survey fatigue is the hardest to battle as this is not really dependent on your specific survey, but an overload of surveys in general.

The second type of survey fatigue is related to the fatigue your respondents may feel when actually taking a survey. This type of fatigue happens if your survey is too long, complicated, or confusing and may lead to the respondents rushing through or exiting the survey prematurely- leaving you with a lack of quality data. 

Though the above might sound bleak, don’t fret! We have comprised a set of tips for how you can avoid your respondents getting survey fatigue.

Don’t drown your audience in surveys
Don’t send more surveys than absolutely needed. This way the chances are higher that your target audience will respond to the survey, as opposed to if they have already received four surveys from you this month. If your organization is dependent on sending out a lot of surveys, try to keep track of when different departments are sending out surveys, so the same people are not answering surveys from multiple departments at the same time.

Communicate the survey’s value clearly
If the respondents know how their responses will be used and what the aim of the survey is, they are more inclined to stick through the survey. So make sure to communicate this clearly. When designing your survey reflect on and efficiently communicate the following to your respondents:

  • Why should they take your survey?
  • What will the answers be used for?
  • How time-consuming is the survey?

Always think of your respondents
Though the survey might ultimately be beneficial for the respondents themselves, through for example improved work or customer experience, while taking the survey they are doing you a ‘favor’ by sacrificing their time. This is not something that should be taken lightly, so make sure that their time isn’t wasted which can be done by:

  • Using behavior and conditions to make your survey as ‘respondent-friendly’ as possible. This way you won’t confuse your respondents with irrelevant questions.
  • Asking the right questions and not asking too many of them. Keep it simple and only ask the questions you absolutely need to. Short and sweet is the way to go. Put your survey to a ‘nice to know vs. need to know’ test. If questions in your survey are ‘nice to know’ rather than ‘need to know’, drop them. This will give you better quality data and a higher response rate ensuring that you get the information that you ‘need to know’.
  • Get creative. A good looking survey is inherently more pleasant to answer so put some effort into your survey design. If you need inspiration check out our blog post on flawless survey designs.

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