It is important to collect high-quality data in order to make strategic observations about customers. Researchers must consider how to design surveys and then increase survey completion because it increases the reliability of the data.
Why measure survey completion
Set the scene. We are in a lab with a team of cat researchers. They are wearing white coats with goggles and desperately want to find out what other cats think about various fish.
They have written a 10-question questionnaire and invited 100 cats of all socioeconomic levels — from the hungry and rough alley cats to those who eat their Fancy Feast three times a day from a crystal plate.
Now, the survey completion rates can be measured using two metrics: response and completion rates. The combination of these metrics will determine what percentage out of 100 cats completed the entire survey. You’d get 100% completion if all 100 cats gave their full reports on how delicious the fish was.
The truth is that no one, not even golden retrievers, can complete a survey 100%.
Here’s what happens when you keep this in mind:
Say ten cats never showed up to the survey because they slept.
Only 25 of the 90 cats who started the survey were able to answer a few questions. They then wandered away to knock over some drinks.
The 25 cats that only partially answered the survey still had some important opinions. They prefer salmon to any other fish.
The researchers found that 72% of the cats completed their survey (65 divided 90). However, this survey does not include 25% — or a quarter! Salmon is a clear favorite. The other 65 cats did not show any statistically significant preference. They wanted to eat any fish they could see.
The Kitty Committee now reviews the research and decides that if the members like the fish they see, they should offer the cheapest ones to get the best profit margin.
CatCorp’s competitors ran the same survey, but they gave each participant a glass to knock over with a small fish in it!
Only 10 out of 100 cats who started the survey completed it. The same ten cats that were absent from the previous study did not show up for this one either.
There were 90 respondents, and 80 surveys completed. CatCorp had a completion rate of 88% (80 divided by 90), indicating that the majority of cats didn’t give a damn about salmon, but a few did. CatCorp offered salmon and made more money than the Kitty Committee.
You can see that the more complete your surveys are, the more accurate your data will be. You can then make more accurate, data-driven, and effective decisions. This is the ultimate goal.
We measure completion rates in order to be able to say, “This is how confident we feel that the information provided is accurate.”
Will a Maine Coon business person who is looking to invest be more inclined to work with a company that makes cat food whose metrics for making decisions are 88% accurate or 72%? It could be a matter of who is serving the salmon.
What is the survey completion rate (or percentage)?
The survey completion rate is the ratio of the total number of respondents divided by the number of completed surveys. To get the percentage, multiply the result by 100. Survey respondents are those who have completed the study and those who began the study but did not complete it.
Although math was not one of my strong subjects in school, the software I used to teach the classes did all the math. It was to make the math simple so that we could concentrate on the importance of building reliable data.
We’ll now talk about equations, and we’ll use more realistic numbers. Here’s the formula for:
We need to divide the number of completed surveys by the number who answered at least one question in your survey. Even if they answered just one question, that counts as a response (as opposed to the ten lazy cats who never come).
You’re now running an email survey, say, for Patton Avenue Pet Company. Let’s guess that there are 5,000 email addresses on the list. You can send your survey to them all.
You can see that your analytics report shows that 3,000 people answered one or more questions in your survey. One thousand respondents completed the whole survey.
This is the percentage of respondents to your survey who have answered at least one query. This sounds good! Some of them didn’t complete the study. You’ll need to know what percentage of respondents completed the survey. Here we go:
The Completion Rate is equal to the number of surveys completed divided by the number of respondents.
Completion Rate Completion Rate
We know how to find the correct completion rates. Did you know that is also the response rate? These are two completely different numbers based on separate formulas. I will show them next to each other so you can see the difference.
Completion rate = Number of completed surveys divided by number of respondents
Response rate = Total number of respondents divided by total # of surveys sent out
They are all different numbers that mean other things.
Completion Rate: Percentage of respondents who completed the survey. It shows how confident we are in the accuracy of our information.
Response Rate: Percentage of respondents to our survey.
The next question is: What can we do to make this number higher so that we are closer to having a more accurate and complete data set from our population?
We’ll keep working on completion rates, even though there’s still more to learn about response rates and how you can increase them as much as possible.
What is a good completion rate for surveys?
This is a loaded question. It depends is a phrase that people in our industry are forced to use more often than anyone wants to hear. Sorry.
The factors that affect the results of a survey include the type of survey you are conducting, your industry, whether it is an internal or an external survey, sample size or population, confidence level, margin of error, etc.
You can’t get a high response rate without first increasing your completion rates.
Instead of focusing solely on what constitutes a high completion percentage, it is more important that you understand what constitutes a high response percentage. If you aim high enough, survey completions will follow.
This discussion on survey response rates was found in the Qualtrics Community.
What is the average response rate for B2B CX online surveys?
Current response rate: 6%-8 %… “We are interested in boosting response rates, but first would like to know what the average is.”
The best response came from an organization that provides government services to businesses. The poster states that the service is free, which is why they receive a high response rate.
I would say that transactional surveys have a response rate of 30-40%. Our annual pulse survey is closer to 12 percent. The type of survey you conduct and the time since you last rendered services are both important factors. .”
The Qualtrics blog “Delighted” has reported new data since this conversation:
This is in line with reports from the customer thermometer, which considers a response rate above 50% to be excellent. The report states that response rates of 5%-30% are more common. The report notes that high response rates can be attributed to a strong desire to complete the survey or a close relationship between the brand’s customers and the brand.
You’re in trouble if your business has little contact with people. Customer Thermometer suggests that you can expect lower responses. Surveys sent by unknown senders also tend to have the lowest response rates.
According to SurveyMonkey, the response rate for surveys sent by people with whom the sender does not have a prior relationship is between 20% and 30%.
Keep up the efforts to increase response rates, no matter what numbers you get. You will have a higher chance of increasing the completion rate for your survey. You ask, how?