How to Find Survey Participants & Respondents

Survey Respondent

There lies an evident gap between junk data and quality feedback. In most cases, the right survey participants can bring the difference between a successful survey and a not-so-successful one.

Now, modern entrepreneurs love to hunt for customer opinion. Great. But do customers really like to offer feedback?

The truth is that most customers love sharing their input and naturally connect with a brand that values their opinions. As per the recent Microsoft’s State of Global Customer Service Report, 90% of the customers actively want brands to consider their feedback.

The modern consumer is smart, decisive, and opinionated. They  do not want to purchase from your business and disappear into thin air. They are not afraid to bring their perspective into the limelight and seek active involvement in brand improvement.

The only question is- Are you asking the right questions to the ‘RIGHT’ people?

In the following discussion, we will learn who a survey respondent is and how you can find the right survey respondents.

What Do We Mean by a Survey Respondent?

Let us understand who survey respondents are and why you must be careful while choosing them.

In simpler terms, all the participants who offer their valuable feedback to survey questions are called survey respondents. You can have a single respondent or millions of them; the sky is the limit.

Ask any entrepreneur what he/she thinks is the hardest part of surveying, and there is a good chance you will hear- “the real struggle is in finding the right survey takers.”

For obtaining the desired results from a survey, you need to choose your respondents carefully. For instance, if you are working in the women’s apparel business, floating a survey across both genders won’t serve the right purpose. You need to have an in-depth understanding of your target audience before you start asking them questions.

Now let us explore some actionable strategies that will take you a step closer to finding your ideal survey respondents.

How to Find Survey Respondents?

1. In-house Human Resources

Do you need validation for the recent changes you introduced in your newly designed mobile application?

Do you wish to capture feedback about the color-scheme for your soon-to-launch product?

Then, who better than your very own employees as primary respondents.

The truth is that for most businesses, their employees fall under the potential customer bracket. In fact, they are passionate about working for you and would love to support your idea.

You can leverage your in-house human resources to get insights into the latest reforms or changes. This way, you will not only be able to save time and money, but you can also ensure that your survey generates quality data.

Your employees can offer you first-hand feedback and help you improve your product/service before it hits the market.

Bonus Tip:

The best responses for a survey come from a reliable respondent pool, such as your employees. As they are already in a professional relationship with your brand, they will offer honest feedback! To appreciate this behavior, you can share an email acknowledging how valuable their feedback is. You can also provide incentives or sponsor a lunch for all your survey heroes.

2. Website Respondents

For statistical accuracy, your survey needs reliable and contextual respondents. Also, this accuracy increases with the number of surveys you conduct across different clusters of survey respondents. However, this comes at a hefty cost, which might not be affordable for every business.

So, how do you ensure that you reach contextual survey respondents,without burdening your finances?

The simple answer to this question is – website respondents.

You can survey your website visitors, as and when they visit the website, and gather highly relevant data.

Qualaroo is one of the best online survey software that helps you create brilliant surveys in no time. The tool comes with a fantastic feature-set and lots of survey tips and tricks to help you create stunning surveys that drive results. You can find a wide range of survey question examples and several ways to automate its distribution.

Qualaroo helps you share the survey link on social media, embed it on your website, send it via email or message, and even create a pop-up on a specific web page.

Read More:  Checkout the Best Online Survey Software

Bonus Tip: 

Analyze the survey completion stats based on the location of survey banners and pop-ups on your website. Try experimenting with the position, rewards, and the time at which a survey banner appears. Assess this data to make your surveys more relevant to contextual users and understand which types of surveys are getting you more responses.

3. Paid Survey Respondents

Another fool-proof way to find a credible and reliable survey audience is by purchasing a panel of respondents.

The paid panels are compiled after intensive respondent background research and comprise of contextual people from desired demographics. The paid respondents have agreed to respond to surveys for a specific period.

Such respondents are chosen in relevance to your survey and can be bought from any reputed firm or survey agency.

Purchased survey panels might initially appear to be the magic wand to get survey respondents as and when required for any kind of survey. However, they, too, have their downsides!

The larger the panel, the more the cost!

Bonus Tip:

It’s great if your business has the financial liberty to buy a panel of survey respondents. However, to survey your desired audience, and achieve the desired results, look to partner with a survey agency that has worked with similar businesses before. For instance, if you are in the kidswear business, partner with an agency with similar industry exposure and a database of young parents.

4. Leverage Technology for Smarter and Intuitive Surveys

Many modern businesses are on a spree to make the most of technology for attaining their desired survey results. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and chatbots is visible in survey creation, distribution, and data analysis that allows you to tap into hidden patterns with finesse.

Chatbots are software programs that are often given a human name for a more humanistic experience. They are programmed to interpret and understand natural language and can hold a conversation with a customer. Many companies use chatbots to interact with their customers and guide them with the basic help they need.

For instance, Spotify’s Facebook Messenger chatbot makes it easy for its customers to search for, listen to, and share music. Similarly, these chatbots can be used to ask both open-ended or closed-ended questions from the live chat window on your website.

Bonus Tip:

You can leverage an AI-powered tool like Qualaroo that allows you to survey website visitors and better understand the intent behind their visit. This tool is powered by IBM Watson that conducts sentiment analysis and helps you understand the overall sentiment or mood of the respondent.

5. Survey Respondents from Previous Surveys

One of the easiest ways to find the right survey respondents is to find them from previous surveys.

Using existing information from the previous surveys helps you find contextual respondents for your surveys.

To make this process even better, you can offer a certain incentive to every respondent. For instance, you can offer a special discount coupon. The respondents that complete this task will be actively associated with your brand and may respond more favorably when prodded in the future for another survey.

Bonus Tip:

Every time you float a survey, compile a database of every respondent and the type of questions that they had responded to in the previous surveys. As time goes by, you will have an incredible library of survey respondents along with their areas of interest.

6. Social Media

Social media is another great tool if you want to look for survey respondents. 

This platform is perfect if you’re gathering information about your company’s services. Simply tap your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram followers, and engage. Given that they’re already invested in your brand, there’s a high chance that they’ll respond and willingly participate.

Even if your existing community isn’t the type of respondents you need (perhaps, you’re looking into a new market segment), social media can still help you qualify your prospective respondents.

People’s social profiles display demographic information such as their age, gender, and location. This makes it easy to filter them if this is an essential consideration for you. Likewise, social profiles also give you a peek into their values and interests. People follow brands and people they resonate with. Based on who someone’s connected to, you can have a pretty good idea of their hobbies, lifestyle, and personality. 

Bonus Tip:

Consider using paid ads if you want to widen your search. Unlike organic posts, paid ads are guaranteed to show up in your targets’ feeds. Plus, social media ads let you control who sees your content through sophisticated targeting parameters. 

Read More: Checkout the Best Alternative to SurveyMonkey Here

Factors that Affect the Statistical Accuracy of a Survey

If there are so many easy ways to find respondents for a survey, what makes them good and bad?

Why do some surveys reveal fantastic results that drive the business in the right direction, while some fail?

Well, the answer lies in the statistical accuracy of a survey. The survey results are affected by four major factors, namely:

  • Size of population or respondent pool
  • The statistical accuracy of the demographic segmentation chosen, such as annual sales volume, region and support representative, etc.
  • Sampling error tolerance for business decisions
  • Degree of variance in the responses recorded in the survey

Smart Surveys For Your Smart Audience

If you shift the clock backward a couple of decades, surveying was an incredibly time-consuming job. From face-to-face or telephonic surveys to online surveys that can be shared in seconds, we have come a long, long way.

Your perfect survey audience is out there, and we hope, by using any one or a combination of these methods, you will be able to find your target survey takers.

You can leverage the ProProfs Survey Maker to automate survey creation, distribution, and analysis. The comprehensive feature set of this tool will empower you to conduct compelling surveys and make future-ready business decisions.

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About the author

Jared Cornell

Jared is a customer support expert. He has been published in CrazyEgg, Foundr, and CXL. As a customer support executive at ProProfs, he has been instrumental in developing a complete customer support system that more than doubled customer satisfaction. You can connect and engage with Jared on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


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