review of business graphs

Many of us have been asked to respond to a short survey after a shopping or dining experience. But how many of us ignore the request unless we’ve had a negative ordeal?

Surveys can provide businesses with valuable feedback on many different facets of the consumer’s experience. But with constant demands on our time, only a small percentage of consumers will fill out a survey, typically when they have either an excellent experience or an awful experience.

Because of this, the survey data does not represent the general consumer of the goods or services that had an average experience. So what can we do to avoid skewed data results?

Non-Response Bias

When you ask people to complete a survey after their experience with your business, you may only receive responses from those with strong positive or negative experiences. But what happens when those that would fall in between don’t respond at all?

Non-response bias occurs when some people surveyed do not respond, creating an absence of possibly critical data.

If you’re planning to make critical business decisions based on the survey results, your data will be negatively impacted by those who choose not to participate. Once survey responses go below about 80 percent, non-response bias will begin to affect results.

The group that responds to the survey is not necessarily representative of the consumer population as a whole. Survey responders are always more motivated to take time to answer a survey than non-responders. But those non-responders likely had an average experience with your business, so their average results wouldn’t be part of your survey data, therefore skewing the results.

Survey Methodology

The way survey questions are asked, and when they are asked, can impact your survey data. A simple twist of words in a survey can change the tone of questions, driving a particular type of response. It’s also important to be prompt in asking for consumer feedback following their purchase.

Many of us have received texts or emails within minutes of leaving a business asking us to rate their products or services. This is an easy way to gather data from those willing to take a few minutes of their time to respond.

Businesses that tell consumers why they are asking for participation will see different outcomes from those businesses that give no explanation. Keeping surveys short can make it easier for the consumer to respond, which could help raise the response rate.

Putting technology aside for a moment, telephone surveys have the advantage of human interaction. However, because of the prevalence of sales calls, those calling specifically for research purposes are being screened.

Lastly, if your goal is to receive genuine consumer insights, consider using an objective third-party to gather data for you. It can be a difficult task to gather the thoughts and opinions of your consumers when you create your own surveys.

Is your company asking for consumer feedback? Do you feel like critical data is missing from consumers that have had an average experience with your business — not terrible, but not spectacular?

Are you interested in learning how to avoid skewing your survey results by diversifying your consumer intelligence strategy? Learn how Shoppers’ View can help!