Survey Community Event: Survey Engagement

"I see people doing surveys all the time," says Craig Leger, guest host at the 3rd survey community session, "but, I almost never see a follow-up, and that's what was different with you, at IIBA Brussels Chapter." * Our 2021 BA survey and the activities following it triggered the question: can we use surveys as a BA tool?

We can indeed, for example for evaluation purposes or for measuring community satisfaction. Of course, the context of the Big Belgian BA survey was different from the average "survey as a BA tool". So the typical BA question "Why" popped up: why do we do surveys, what do we want to gain from them?

With so many surveys and requests for feedback, we can imagine people may want to hit the snooze button and zone out for a while: who has time to participate in surveys today? So we asked ourselves: how to reach a certain target number of participants in our research? We turned our own experiences into the best practices to increase survey engagement below:

  • Personal contact: reach out to your target audience with a personal message - take it as a great opportunity to reconnect with your network.
  • Timebox surveys: it's only respectful to communicate the amount of time you are asking from your participants, right? 
  • Get to the point: we've all experienced those surveys where we have to read and read before getting to the eventual question - consider replacing the amount of text by a video, cartoon or try to get to the point in your question.
  • Gamified surveys: when asking time from your participants, why not try to make the experience memorable, enjoyable and fun? 
  • Survey participants as a customer: when you think of "selling" the survey to the participant, think about what's in it for them.
  • Deadline: some of us had more success with keeping their survey open for a longer amount of time. Consider giving participants more time to fill out your survey when you are asking more than 10 minutes from their time
  • Shorter, smaller & more surveys: at the same time, the smaller the surveys, the less time it takes to fill in and the more space you have to conduct more surveys - but consider survey-tiredness as well if you are doing a lot of surveys and you are always relying on the same network. 
  • Incentives: last but not least - consider donating to a charity or giving away a prize to one of the participants. When you are conducting a survey inside your own team or company, reporting on response rates might bring out some team's competitive side and give you just the response rate that you need. 

Credits for this content to Lavina Wiebe, Craig Leger, Maxime Temmerman and Saartje Lambregts. 

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 * quote reconstructed after event