Respondents are the lifeblood of survey research. Without them, we literally can't do anything. But we do tend to take them for granted, often thinking of them as "sample" rather than people. They are people, however, like you or me. And for some reason, they choose to do our surveys.
Why they choose to do the surveys is important to understand because panelists are not cheap to recruit and, depending upon how rarified they are, often are difficult to find.
In order to better understand why people respond, we conducted a study with a nationally representative sample of 1006 Americans age 18+ using Vision Critical's Springboard America panel on April 12, 2012.
What we found was that people do surveys because they want to make a difference; they want to be your trusted advisor. And in return, they want to learn about new things and know that they are being listened to and valued.
Here are five key finding from the study:
1. Respondents do surveys because they are curious;
- 95% agree "I enjoy learning about new things and products when I do surveys"
2. Respondents want to be good citizens;
- 89% agree "I feel like I am doing my part as a good consumer and citizen when I provide feedback"
3. Respondents want to help and be respected;
- 87% agree "I feel like I am being a trusted advisor when I provide feedback to a company on their products"
4. Respondents want feedback;
- 86% agree "I love it when I see the results of a survey I participated in"
- 62% agree "I sometimes wonder if anyone ever really even sees and uses the feedback I provide through a survey"
5. They are in it for love, and not just the money.
- 36% agree "I am too busy to take surveys unless I am paid"
Let's sum up what we've learned with three recommendations for strengthening your relationship with your panelists:
- Test "new" ideas, offers, anything novel with respondents - they value it.
- Provide feedback from surveys, they love it and it reassures them that you are listening.
- Tell them they are trusted advisors and show them how they make a difference.
Here's to your relationship: may it be it be mutually rewarding and enduring.