There are some individuals who are very hesitant to participate in web-based customer surveys. In fact, there are some individuals who would never even consider taking part in such surveys. Then we have others who would only consider taking part in web-based customer surveys after a lot of persuasion. Surely, there has to be a reason, or a number of reasons, as to why such individuals are not keen to take part in web-based customer surveys. And those reasons, as to why we have quite a good number of individuals who are hesitant to participate in web-based customers surveys, are what we are trying to find out in this article. We will also go a step further, and give suggestions on how the various concerns can be addressed, so as to get the people in the various categories to take part in the surveys.
It emerges that there are at least five reasons as to why some individuals are not eager to participate in web-based customer surveys. Those include the facts that:
- They fear that their feedback won’t be taken seriously: There are many people who are of the view that businesses only run web-based customer surveys as a ‘formality’. So, according to this school of thought, the opinions given in the web-based customer surveys are never taken into consideration – and as such, ‘there is no point in taking part in the surveys’. In actual fact, many of the companies that run web-based customer surveys do so with the genuine objective of collecting feedback from customers. There may be a few who run online customer surveys just to keep up with their competitors/just to show their customers that they care about their opinions. But for the most part, the surveys are sincerely aimed at getting customers feedback, which is then acted upon. It is important to remember that these surveys are costly exercises. And it is highly unlikely that a business would spend such colossal sums of money to collect feedback that it has no intention of acting upon! Nonetheless, if you are involved in designing web-based customer surveys, this is a concern you have to address. For instance, you have to include a statement to the effect that “you value your customers’ feedback” and a commitment to act on the feedback given by the customers in the survey. This way, some of the customers who would have been hesitant to take part in the survey will be motivated to do so.
- They don’t want to waste their time: There are individuals who think that web-based customer surveys take too much time. So they are hesitant to take part in the surveys because they don’t want to spend/waste too much of their time. In actual fact, most of the web-based customer surveys take less than 5 minutes. But a person who has never taken part in such a survey would never know this. You come across individuals who think that the survey is like an examination – you know, the sort of exercise where you have to answer question after question for half an hour or even a whole hour! So you can’t blame such an individual when he hesitates to take part in a customer survey, unless he is being paid for the effort. To deal with this concern, it is important for you as a survey designer to include a statement (on the survey webpage) to the effect that the exercise won’t take much of the participant’s time. You can be even more specific, by stating that it is just a 3-minute or 5-minute affair. This way, individuals who would have hesitated to take part in the survey out of the fear of ‘wasting time’ are now likely to consider taking part.
- They think that the web-based customer surveys are too complex: Human beings hate complexity. They love simplicity instead. And we have some individuals who think that the web-based customer surveys are ‘too complex’. And because they don’t want to ‘tire their minds’, they refrain from taking part in the surveys. In actual fact, the web-based customer surveys tend to be very simple, with the participants mostly being expected to answer by clicking on checkboxes or radio buttons. But an individual who has never taken part in one such survey wouldn’t know this. So it is upon you, as an individual who is designing a web-based customer survey, to make it clear that it is a simple affair. This way, individuals who would have hesitated from taking part in the survey out of fear of complexity would be more likely to participate.
- They feel that they have nothing to gain by taking part in the surveys: There are individuals who are hesitant to take part in the customer surveys because they don’t see how it would benefit them. In other words, they don’t see what is in it for them. You have to understand that as human beings, there is a reward system that is hardwired in our brains – which sees us being eager to do things that are of benefit to us, while avoiding things that are of no benefit/things that are of little benefit. So if you are to get the individuals who are in this category to take part in the web-based customer surveys, you have to show them how exactly they stand to benefit from it. If you have nothing else to offer, you can just tell them that they stand to benefit from ‘better service’ if they complete the survey (and give feedback on how you can serve them better). But if you have better incentives – you know, things like sweepstakes drawings entries, discount coupon codes and so on, it would be even better. See, a person is more likely to complete your web-based customer survey if they know that they would get a discount coupon code or a sweepstakes draw entry upon completing.