Increase the Volume of Survey Data you Collect from Respondents

Philip Cleave
September 10, 2019

Having worked hard to create your online survey, you will want to ensure the highest levels of audience engagement. A healthy response rate and a large volume of survey data will enable you to gain valuable insights and make data driven decisions to achieve your objectives. In this post we’re exploring how you use a variety of different collection methods to improve data capture by engaging with your audience on the channels that are most relevant to them in a range of different scenarios.

It can be challenging gathering feedback, but it can be made a lot easier by making sure you choose the right channel for data collection. The tricky thing these days is that your audience can engage with your survey in many different ways.

In order to effectively gather data you need to consider how, where and when your audience is interacting. From the prospects you meet in person, to customers that you engage in store, to those on digital channels, to the contacts you meet out on the road in remote areas. Choosing the right channel to distribute your survey is the key to success for each of the aforementioned scenarios, the right channel will help you to maximise engagement, generate better responses and most importantly collect more data.

With these different scenarios in mind we’ve pulled together four tips to help you better engage with your audience, on the channels most relevant to them, and help you choose the right collection method to gain more insights.

Four considerations to help boost your volume of survey data

1) Use a QR code:

If you’re not familiar with QR codes they are very much like a barcode that contains coded information. A QR code is an image that stores a url, which can be scanned and opened by a QR scanner, or a smartphone loaded with an appropriate app or inbuilt camera.

QR codes have been around for many years having first launched in 1994. However when Smartphones launched their awareness significantly increased as with a special app your phone could read the QR code. However the experience was mixed with many phone users not realising they needed an app to read the QR code which led to some frustration.

Fast forward a few years and now most Smartphone manufacturers have equipped their camera apps with QR code readers, delivering a far more streamlined experience and making them incredibly easy to interact with. Consequently, there has been a growing use of QR codes, with studies suggesting that QR code awareness and usage is on the rise.

A recent study shows that QR codes usage is rising globally and that in general 25-30% populations in developed nations use QR Codes,

The great thing about QR codes is that they can be easily added to almost anything! Here’s 6 ways you can use a QR code to collect data:

  1. Incorporate to your stand design at your next exhibition to gather product feedback.
  2. Add a QR code to a printed pop up banner in networking areas at your next conference, or event to gather attendee feedback.
  3. Add a code to the bottom of your till receipt to engage with customers post purchase.
  4. Incorporate to your business cards, brochures, pamphlets, product packaging to gather customer feedback.
  5. Want to know what your employees are thinking? Why not create a poster with a QR code linking to the company employee engagement survey at put them up round the office.
  6. If you’re a trainer and you want to gather feedback at the end of your course why not include a QR code as the last slide in your presentation and ask attendees to submit feedback.

The use cases for QR codes are drivers, giving you an incredible range of opportunities to survey and collect customer views on your products and services. If you are thinking about using a QR code to distribute your own survey, you can find out more about setting this up in our helpful guide to assist you with this.

2) Insert a question into your email invitation:

When email is your preferred channel for communicating with your customers, embedding a survey question into the body of your email can prove extremely effective.

Whether you are looking to collect post-event feedback, or measure satisfaction levels with your customer service calls, a single compelling question in your email such as “How would you rate our event?” or “How would our rate our service?” can entice individuals to complete the rest of your survey.

You could even try using this email method with a Net Promoter Score question, to get a clearer measure about how your customers’ feel about your business. This could be followed up with survey questions, which could home in on what you could be doing better.

Further insights from your data could be gained through integrations such as connecting your survey results with existing customer data held in a CRM like Salesforce, containing valuable information based on previous communications you have had with customers.

3) Create a website pop up or embed a survey:

If you want to engage visitors on your website, using a pop up is a great way of inviting a user to submit feedback. Pop ups can be triggered based on a number of criteria including time spent on page or exit intent (when a user goes to leave a web page). If you feel pop ups aren’t quite right, you can easily embed a survey (just copy and paste the embed code) into any webpage. You can direct any user to complete the survey via links, buttons or any other type of call to action, making it easy to capture data across multiple parts of your site throughout different stages of your customers journey.

With greater accessibility to the web than ever before a great digital experience is paramount to success for many modern organisations. Subsequently capturing the feedback of your website visitors has never been more important and has the potential to uncover valuable insights that help to deliver a better experience.

Surveys can help you to discover how your website visitors feel about any number subjects such as: new messaging, a new product, or a new page layout that you are testing, or their views regarding their overall experience of with your website. If your website is an essential component in your customers journey you need to seriously think about understanding how you can easily gather user feedback to consistently improve it.

4) Conduct offline surveys when you are working remotely:

If your work frequently takes you out on the road and you often find yourself in remote locations with little or no internet access, offline surveys will ensure you are able to keep collecting responses.

Whether you are conducting a countrywide research roadshow, a post-show survey of an agricultural event, or your a regional sales exec with numerous face to face appointments, there are many scenarios where an offline survey is the ideal tool to enable you to collect data.

While many providers can offer offline collection options, these typically require you to download a separate app. Not only can this be arduous, as you need to ensure all your team members have installed the app, you also run the added risk of storing data in both an app and with your survey provider, increasing the potential for security vulnerabilities.

In contrast, SmartSurvey’s offline solution requires no additional app. You simply create your survey as usual, enable it for offline collection and then load the web link once on your mobile device or laptop. This ensures you can instantly begin gathering and storing data in offline mode with no internet connection. Then once you are re-connected to the internet, you can simply upload your responses.

If you have not used an offline survey service before, but are interested and would like to know more about it, you can find out more information on our offline survey tools.

Irrespective of whether you are working for a online retailer, large healthcare organisation, government department, charity or an SME, there is likely to be any combination of different ways in which you could be interacting with your contacts day to day. And whether that’s liaising with them in person, communicating with them by email, interacting with them on your website, or meeting them in person, it’s important to select the right survey method to make it easy to collect their feedback.


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