6 ways to avoid Survey Fatigue in your Respondents

You may have been recently alarmed by a drop in your survey’s response rates. Confused over the lack of responses? Could it just be the fall doldrums?

Actually, your respondents may be suffering from a common malaise called “survey fatigue.” Flooded with survey invitations, respondents may feel lethargic or “fatigued” when it comes to taking or completing surveys.

You can avoid survey fatigue in your respondents by easily doctoring your survey practices with these six pointers:

1. Send your survey to a sample audience. Identify a sample audience, and refrain from surveying those who have already been surveyed by others. A major cause of survey fatigue stems from over-surveying, so coordinate your time such that your respondents are not bombarded with multiple surveys.

2. Use short surveys and skip logic. Don’t make a lengthy survey. Utilize SoGoSurvey’s branching features, which will reroute respondents around questions that do not apply to them, thereby shortening the duration of time it takes to complete the survey.

3. Pre-populate your survey, easing the respondents’ load. Don’t tax your respondents with unnecessary work; if you already have personal and demographic information, go ahead and use SoGoSurvey’s pre-population feature, and fill in the information for them.

4. Ask pointed questions, avoiding compound ones. Keep it simple, but succinct; don’t ask multiple questions in one. Use precise language; for greater accuracy and deeper insight, you do not want your respondents to interpret the question. Don’t make your respondents think more than they have to; the survey recipient should be instantly clear on what each question is asking for.

5. Provide an accurate estimated time needed to complete the survey. Surveys, typically, should not take more than 10 minutes long. But, don’t misinform; when your colleagues are only halfway through in fifteen minutes, don’t mislead your respondents by saying they’ll complete it in fifteen. A respondent might abandon the survey halfway through, if the time it takes to finish the survey exceeds the given estimations.

6. Communicate results with the respondents. If the respondents never hear back about previous surveys, they are less motivated to fill another one that disappears into cyberspace. For example, the next time your department makes changes, connect this new measure to results from a departmental survey.