In this article, we’ll talk about the satisfaction surveys you usually launch after the event, reasons why attendees may decide not to complete them, and how to improve your surveys to get better feedback.
While they’re sometimes annoying and boring for attendees (and usually crucial for event planners), satisfaction surveys are always subject for improvement refinement.
They’re one of the few ways we can truly learn how an attendee felt during an event. But once we moved from paper to online surveys, the amount of responses decreased.
Back in the day, when you asked attendees to fill out a paper survey before the event ended, you had a better chance of getting feedback. But once we moved to digital surveys, the response rate declined. Here are some of the reasons why this happened:
No more anonymity
Most satisfaction surveys are run anonymously. Nobody will find out who answered and who didn’t, and your attendees know it. So it’s much easier for them to ignore the survey and assume that other attendees will complete it, so why waste their time?
Lack of commitment
In some unfortunate cases, you attendees might feel disconnected or simply not interested in your brand. Although they attended your event, they won’t be attending another one, so there’s no reason to engage with you any further. And since there’s no connection or commitment between them and your brand, they’ll simply decide not to fill out the survey.
No time estimation
One of the things people hate most is to start a survey without knowing how much time it will take. So the lack of time estimation at the beginning of the assessment may jeopardize the entire feedback-gathering process.
The survey is complicated or time-consuming
In some cases, you make the mistake of asking for too much information from your attendees. The need to go into details and recall every single moment of the experience may seem to boring or annoying to your guests, and they might decide to take the survey later and then forget, or decide not to do take it at all.
Although these are only some of the reasons why your guests might not complete the satisfaction survey, they’re enough to decrease your survey feedback rate and prevent you from gathering valuable insights.
To keep this from happening, you’ll need to create better satisfaction surveys.
Tip #1. Divide your survey into parts
Let’s suppose you have several questions about all sorts of topics. You want to know both how the check-in process and the catering quality was. However, grouping questions or concepts from different areas is a mistake and will cause more confusion than clarity.
Your attendees might not feel comfortable jumping from one question to another, and may even get annoyed and decide not to bother with the survey altogether. Instead, come up with a series of concepts to cover and group your questions accordingly.
For example, you can have the following categories: event promotion, registration and check-in, venue facilities, audiovisuals, catering services, speakers, planning team, etc.
Tip #2. Ask clear questions
There’s nothing more annoying than to read the same question over and over again without understanding it.
This is a sure red flag that will determine even the most insistent guests to quit completing the survey. That’s why it’s important to formulate the questions as simply and clearly as possible.
Ask yourself what exactly you want to know, and then put it into words, and avoid using sophisticated terms. Subsequently, before launching the survey, ask two or three members of your team to reread the questions and see if they’re clear enough.
Tip #3. Use multiple choice format instead of making attendees write out long responses
If you want to avoid off-putting your guests from completing the survey, don’t ask them to write out long answers. Instead, use multiple choice or text slider questions.
By structuring the assessment this way, your attendees will have to make less effort when filling in the survey, meaning they’ll be more likely to complete it.
Obviously, you can also use open-ended questions to gather more details, but try to limit these questions to no more than two, and place them at the end of the survey. In addition, make these questions optional.
Tip #4. Keep your survey coherent
This one is important for both you and your guests. What do I mean by keeping the survey coherent? For example, if you’re using a zero-to-nine ranking scale, then stick to that.
If you’re using option answers such as “very satisfied,” “somewhat satisfied,” “very unsatisfied,” etc., then make sure to use them everywhere. This will help you later when quantifying your survey and also won’t confuse your attendees.
Tip #5. Incorporate a progress bar
To keep your guests engaged and aware of the time allotted for completing the survey, add a progress bar. Whether it’s a three-page or five-page survey, this bar will help your guest estimate how much longer the assessment will take to complete.
The secret to creating good satisfaction surveys is simple: Make them as easy and comprehensible as possible. Your attendees will appreciate it, and in return will do their best to give you valuable feedback.