The importance of progress bars in online surveys

The importance of progress bars in online surveys

We all like to know where we are headed – no matter in which perspective we put it. This is also true in the business world and particularly so. Businesses have targets and they like to track their progress. This default analytical aspect is a human one and remains the same when it comes to consumers or clients.

When you approach them to dedicate a portion of their time to a market research survey or a customer feedback, the same idea applies – they want to track their progress towards completion.

Research surveys can be micro or macro ranging from a single polling question to requiring 15-30 mins or more of a respondent’s time. A progress bar is particularly helpful for these longer surveys where a respondent is more likely to get anxious on how much progress they have already made in completing the survey.

Single purpose – multiple benefits

Progress bars have a single purpose – to inform the respondent on approximately how much more time it might take to finish the survey. This single most important element can greatly add to the success of your market research.

These progress bars play a constructive role in helping customers understand how much time they will be dedicating to the survey instead of being anxious. It also promotes a transparent image of the company for honestly helping customers understand how much of their time they will require and how is the survey progressing with each question.

Assurance – the most effective marketing tool, even in research

Another role that progress bars play is that of assurance. Online surveys are in general much more transparent and open than telephonic surveys. However, add to that the factor of a progress bar and you get even more credibility. It often happens that a human telephonic interviewer may not give out the right information on how many more questions are remaining to be answered by the respondents in a fear that they may drop-off midway. However, this uncertainty is much better addressed when a consumer knows from the very beginning on how long the survey might be. Under the later circumstance, it has been shown to get better and more complete responses.

Your audience will be much more likely to complete a survey with more thoughtful and accurate answers when allowed full transparency and autonomy using progress bars.