Survey Respondents: Tips, tricks, privacy and more


Market research has shown an astonishing growth rate in the past 15 years. To keep up with this pace researchers have adapted newer methods and techniques for accessing and utilizing survey respondents.

Survey respondents are the sample groups, recruited to provide honest answers to the surveys deployed by the researchers. They have the expertise to answer the questions stated in the survey. The advantage of having the sample group is that the surveys can be deployed online and the responses can be received in a limited period of time.

However, researchers find it difficult to complete the needed numbers of surveys and interviews when the survey respondents are in demand or less in number. Particularly for reasons like these researchers now tend to use more than one sample source or pool of respondents.  

It is a well-known fact, getting things done from someone else isn’t as easy as it may seem to be. So why not make these tasks a little more interesting! The survey respondents need to know the value they are going to add to the survey and that is how the researcher will get honest and candid responses.

Best practices for data collection from survey respondents

No two survey respondents or audience are exactly alike. In fact, the difference is good. Every respondent will answer the survey differently, having a bigger impact on your data than you can imagine. As a researcher when you design your questionnaire, it should be more from the respondents’ perspective.

As a researcher, your focus should be on the respondent’s experience, so focus on their experience to design a survey that can help you gather relevant data. The respondents won’t lose interest if the survey is relevant to the area of expertise.

Make sure your survey is aligned with your brand. Using your brand color and logo gives the survey respondents a correlation between your brand and the survey. Make sure that the survey is attractive and to the point.

Avoid asking lengthy questions, if the questions are lengthy or difficult to understand, the respondents may drop out and all your efforts will go in vain. Also, make the survey title extremely appropriate and short, no one would want to answer a survey with 15 words long title.image

Last but not the least, always have a giveaway for your respondents. A gift card or a voucher for responding to your survey can change the response rate dramatically. It’s important to make your respondents feel valuable.

Let us focus on a few questions you must ask about your respondents even before you send them the survey. These are the questions that will help you align the right respondents for your survey.

1. Will your respondents be interested in your survey topic? Knowing what questions to ask whom will definitely keep the respondents engaged and they are more likely to provide valid and tangible data.

2. How much do your respondents know about your chosen topic for the survey? If your respondents are well versed with the topic, it’s easier for them to respond. This also means the response time for your surveys will be reduced.If respondents are very familiar with your subject then it will likely be easier for them to provide responses to your questions.

3. Do your survey respondents have any behavioral experience with your survey topic? For example, if your survey is about a fitness gear and its features, sending it to people who are fitness conscious will yield you a better response than sending it to those who have never been to a gym or never have used a similar product.

Reasoning through these questions before you design every survey will help you improve your respondents experience and you will be able to connenct to the right survey respondents.

Protecting the confidentiality of your respondents

It is by law that as researchers you need to understand that the confidentiality of your survey respondents is important to you. The information that you provide can only be used to produce statistics.

For example, the description you provide can only be used to analyze the characteristics of the groups and not describe an individual or specific organization. These are the basic thumb rules for any researcher and abiding by them will send out a positive message to your respondents.

These policies and procedures should be in place so that no one should be able to misuse the information or take advantage of your organization or business.