Should I provide an incentive for participation in a customer survey?

Incentives for participation in a customer survey are a well-known way to increase response rates. Some companies struggle with the type of incentive to provide, but the real question they should be asking themselves is whether providing incentives will skew the survey results.

Research has shown that respondents who have received incentives tend to provide longer answers to open ended questions than respondents who did not receive an incentive. In addition, with incentives, respondents rated the surveys as more interesting, and they spent more time than others did in answering the survey. The type of incentive has no negative effects on the demographics of the survey respondents or the quality of the data.

If the overall population is so small that it will be difficult to get a representative sample without offering an incentive, it may be a necessary practice for achieving the goal of your customer survey. See our free white paper for more information on survey incentives.