3 things you can do to improve survey quality

Market Research

Today, it is harder than ever to get high-quality survey responses. A few challenges that exist today include ghost completes, where there might not be a real person behind a survey completion; speedy responders who are just looking to get rewarded and will not provide thoughtful, or meaningful responses to a survey; and the wrong respondent getting matched to a survey. Cint is one of the world’s largest marketplaces for survey responses. We’ve consulted with experts on 3 ways users can improve survey quality. 

1. Build Trust

It has been said many times: survey design has a lot to do with the outcome of a survey. Provide the user with a great experience, and not waste their time. Rapid qualification is one way to build trust and ensure respondent quality. Here are some tips: 

  • Don’t use up valuable time with too many qualifying questions. If you spend too much time qualifying, the respondent might speed through the actual survey.  
  • Provide feedback to the respondent on why they may not have qualified, so the next time, they are willing to try again. Without feedback, the respondent might feel cheated or let down, and not participate in the future.  

2. Make it Harder to Tamper with Survey Instruments 

As one expert stated, “don’t let the players out of the casino.” A couple of ways to make it harder to tamper with survey instruments is to embed the survey in a game or an application, so the survey is simply part of the program’s dynamic. When playing a game, a user runs out of “lives.” To gain more lives the user is directed to take a survey and is then able to continue playing the game.  

Another tactic is to have a direct connection to the supply. Using secure, encrypted links, suppliers can connect the survey instrument directly with a supply source, making it harder for fraudsters to interfere. Use multifactor authorization. Have respondents provide additional information, such as answering a call, or selecting a link to email to prove they are who they say they are before participating in a survey. 

3. Consider Going Cashless

Although statistics say that the best incentive is cash for taking a survey, where there is cash, there is fraud. Are there other ways to incentivize respondents that are meaningful but don’t involve cash? Can you use a point system, like airline miles, that users can accumulate and then redeem for prizes?  

Make it charitable. Rather than paying a respondent, is the respondent willing to donate their fee to the charity of their choice?  

No one company or service can wipe out fraud. If we all work together, and make changes over time, we can improve survey response quality. Consider some of the tips above to improve survey quality or learn more from our survey design guide.