June 18, 2012
By Brent Dupay
While monetary survey incentives have obvious appeal, data from two independent surveys suggest that another way of enticing respondents is through information sharing. According to a 2009 e-Rewards survey of business decision-makers (n=529), the option to receive a brief summary of the survey findings is a more popular incentive among business leaders than a monetary reward. Over 90 percent of respondents said that would encourage them to participate; only 39 percent said the same of monetary rewards or incentives.
In a separate survey of executives conducted by BuyLine in 2007, receiving a copy of the survey results ranked third, ahead of 11 other survey incentives (some of these incentives are not shown in the second graph below). While a gift certificate or free book ranked ahead of result sharing, the differences were not substantial. (Note that the e-Rewards survey calculated this as a multiple response variable and the values add up to more than 100%. The proportions in the BuyLine survey add to 100%, but it is not clear whether the values represent the percentage of total mentions or the percentage of respondents.)
Though they differ with regard to the relative appeal of information sharing, both of these studies strongly indicate that sharing results with customers is a strategy worth pursuing. It is a low-cost survey incentive, and respondents should be more forthcoming and cooperative if they know the results will be shared. It should be noted, however, that customers might find survey data about customer service less appealing than findings related to purchasing or market trends.