It seems to be becoming a fairly common practice these days (at least here in the U S) to include a customer satisfaction survey invitation printed on receipts at check-out that offer a discount on a future purchase as the survey incentive. After receiving three survey invitations on my receipts in a matter of only a few days, I was prompted to suggest offering a special discount code or a free promotional item as an incentive for customer satisfaction surveys as a recent survey tip. I have received a bit of feedback on the potential data bias involved with offering a discount code as an incentive so I would like to expound on that a bit.
Depending upon the type of survey and the survey audience, offering an incentive is usually very effective in improving response rates. People like the idea of getting something for their time and Zoomerang has found that incentives typically boost response rates by 50% on average.
The use of discount codes as incentives to increase customer satisfaction survey response rates can be beneficial in reducing non-response bias since customer surveys without an incentive tend to capture only the discontented. Using a discount code incentive can help increase participation from the vast majority of your customers in the middle (those between very satisfied and very unsatisfied) giving you better overall results. In addition to gaining insight into your customer’s shopping experience, offering discount codes as incentives can both stimulate repeat business and strengthen your brand.
The data compiled from the survey respondents can be used as an additional marketing research tool providing you with more customer insights. Offering a discount code incentive provides you with information regarding what comprised the customer’s original purchase as well as if and how they utilize the discount code incentive resulting in additional actionable data, not unlike many of the current Customer Loyalty programs that are growing in popularity.
As for offering free promotional items as incentives I suggested that since they seem to be fewer and far-between these days and I for one miss the once plentiful bounty, especially t-shirts. The ad-wear that we wore back in the day was generally given to us free of charge in exchange for being a walking billboard, but I digress….