How do I improve response rates?


Everyone wants higher response rates. Why? Because higher response rates mean

  1. More representation from your different customer segments.
  2. More variety in the kind of response you receive, more of the passive non-active customer responding to surveys
  3. More chance to respond to customers to close the loop - thereby reducing churn

So how do we go about getting higher response rates?

Increasing Response Rate

There are two reasons why people would respond to your surveys.

  1. They believe this is a legitimate communication channel and have an opinion to share that they think will be heard.
  2. It is an easy, frictionless experience for them that won't take too much effort.

Generating a belief that opinions make a difference

The key phrases to note in point one above are:

  • a. They have an opinion to share
  • b. They will be heard

Conversely, anyone who doesn't have an opinion (an indifferent customer) or thinks their opinion does not count/ will not be heard would not respond to the survey.

To solve this problem, you will have to encourage people to respond when they seem indifferent. But, unfortunately, this is a complicated thing to do.

There are multiple approaches one can try.

Public displays of customer love

For customers directly interacting with an employee, that interaction can be leveraged to generate a higher response rate. I am sure you are familiar with a support agent telling you, "You will receive a survey post this call; please answer it." This small act will help, but even more, can be done.

One of the best ways to ensure a response rate increase is by sharing success stories with employees. When customer opinions and stories are shared in a public forum, along with some public acknowledgment of higher response rates, employees will go out of their way to convince their customers to reply to surveys.

Closing the loop with the customers who and an issue

We are all storytellers. When something nice happens to us, we tend to tell the world. We tell these positive stories more often than we tell stories of misfortune. When we have a poor experience with a company, and that company hears us and does something to solve our problems, that is a positive story we can tell at the water cooler. People hear these stories and realize that their issues get listened to via a survey, and the company will follow up with them. They are then a lot more inclined to answer future surveys.

Sharing the results

The social media phenomenon has taught us that humans have this intrinsic fear of missing out. Therefore, one of the more uncomplicated tactics has been to share the result of the feedback with every customer who was asked to participate in the feedback loop. Share critical messages in story/comment form and how you have acted on them. People who haven't responded would feel that their voices have not been heard and would want to participate more in future surveys.

Make it easy to respond to surveys.

This is usually a more straightforward thing to fix. But realize that this fix only works on those inclined to give feedback in the first place.

Mobile Optimized

Over 70%-80%. of the surveys today are answered on mobile devices. This means surveys need to look good on those devices with one-hand operations. This is now a hygiene factor.

Keeping it short

With the attention span of customers now at 8 seconds on social media and under 3 minutes for blogs, we need to ensure that one does not spend more than one or two minutes on surveys with us. You will see statistics that show that response rates do not fall with more questions, and people tend to finish the surveys they started, but the quality of responses will go down as the attention span is so low.

Sending it at optimal times

Send surveys out when you think they will answer. This will depend on what kind of response you are asking for. For example, if you send out a survey post a flight, sending it within 30 minutes of the flight landing is ideal as that is the time the person is most likely on the back seat of an Uber with nothing else to do. If, on the other hand, you are asking for a relationship survey, see when people are answering your surveys, and try to send it out during that time (e.g., emails that land Tuesdays/Thursday lunchtime work best; Fridays afternoon are the worst)


Getting customer responses is getting more and more difficult. Response rates have been falling over the last few years. However, this is because the system has been abused too much, and people are getting survey fatigue with no immediate benefit.

Using the approaches outlined above will positively impact your response rates. We have seen response rates increase by 3 - 5 X when implementing some of these measures. There is no magic bullet, but by combining these techniques, most companies will be able to overcome poor response rates.


Amitayu Basu

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Create “wow!”    experience for your customers

With AI, Numr CXM gauges your customers' emotions and actions, providing you with actionable insights to elevate sales and customer retention