Why drop-off rate matters for your customer survey

Optimizing the customer experience in your feedback surveys is critical. Here are some practical tips to help you get started.

Why drop-off rate matters for your customer survey

We conduct customer surveys to collect valuable customer insights. However, you may have experience of not hearing many VOCs due to a lower response rate than expected. At the same time, difficulties would have arisen in achieving the purpose of the survey.

Why was the response completion rate so low despite us actively guiding people to participate in the survey and offering prizes?

You must be frustrated. You are not even sure what part you have to improve and enhance for the next survey. Sometimes, you just give up on conducting another survey because of your experience of low responses even if you know customer surveys are important. 

In such cases, the answer to your frustration is the ‘Drop-Off Rate by Question.’ It gives a strong hint as to ‘Why did the customer have no choice to leave during the survey?’. For you to avoid making the same mistakes and to conduct better surveys, we will provide you with detailed information on the drop-off rate by question.

Should you conduct another survey despite the previous survey having a low response rate?

Your survey’s response rate can be much lower than you expected. In such cases, doubts may arise about the format of the survey itself. Is this really an effective tool for listening to customers? The short answer to this question is ‘Yes’. Customer surveys are not simply a tool for data collection but an important medium that solidifies the foundation of customer understanding. So you can’t just do the survey once and be done with it. Even if the response rate for the first survey was low, you must continue to conduct customer surveys.

[Why you should continue to conduct customer surveys]

1️⃣ Just as you continue to improve your products, you must also improve your customer surveys

If you identify and improve the problems of your previously conducted surveys through the drop-off rate by question, the response rate will naturally increase. This is because you made improvements based on your understanding of customers who actually participated in the survey. As the response rate increases, more customer voices can be collected, which provides a valid basis for analyzing customer survey insights.

2️⃣ You can clearly understand the changing trends of your customers and market

Markets and customers continue to change. To catch this, many of you will be paying attention to newsletters or curation sites that cover business trends. However, because these trends represent only the overall picture, it is difficult to apply them equally to all customer segments or all industries.

Therefore, through surveys, we need to understand the constantly changing characteristics and experience of ‘our customers.’ Because whether our customers will react positively or negatively to a trend is not determined like a fixed variable, we have to listen to their voices directly. Only then we can catch the changes from a customer-centric approach and reflect trends appropriately for our brand.

3️⃣ You can continuously verify that your brand is moving in the right direction

If you stick to the way your service or product was first presented to the world, you will have difficulty surviving in the market for a long time. Even if it is a very small detail, you must constantly improve and develop it. The voice of the customer (VOC) serves as a guidepost as the brand moves forward.

Improvements must be identified and reflected from the perspective of customers who actually use the brand, not from the perspective of a service/product provider. Only then can we create a brand loved by customers from an objective perspective. Of course, there are other ways to listen to VOC such as customer interviews, but if you observe changes in customers’ experiences and emotions through surveys, you can examine and verify your brand’s direction more easily and quickly.

Key indicator to keep an eye on to increase customer survey response rate: Drop-off rate by question

What is ‘Drop-off rate by question’?: This is an indicator that allows you to check which questions in the survey had the most respondents leaving. You can clearly see what areas need improvement to make your survey better. If there is a lot of drop-off on a specific question, you can reduce the drop-off rate by changing how you ask the question or the design of the question.

Smore’s drop-off rate by question
At Smore, the drop-off rate for a question is calculated as 100% - (People who answered the question/People who completed the previous question)%.

Why you should look at the drop-off rate by question rather than the overall drop-off rate

The reasons why customers leave during a survey can be interpreted differently depending on which point or question they leave. The next survey can also be improved in different ways. For example:

🔴 If drop-off rate was high at a personal information input question, it means that there was a high burden and concern about sharing information.

👉 In the next survey, this can be resolved by providing clear guidance on the safety of personal information use and disposal.

🔴 If the drop-off rate was high at an essay question, it is likely that customers felt the hassle of writing an opinion.

👉 To make respondents feel less burden by essay questions, you make essay questions to be optional rather than required.

🔴 If the drop-off rate was high at a multiple-choice question, it may be because the question was too difficult or difficult to understand, or because the question’s choices did not include appropriate answers.

👉 You can improve the survey questions by modifying them to be more intuitive and checking whether the questions and choices are ambiguous or biased.

🔴 If the drop-off rate increases toward the end, it is likely that the length of the survey was too long and respondents felt fatigued.

👉 You can check and adjust whether the number of survey questions is appropriate and whether time required to complete the survey is to long.

If you check at what point or what type of question the customer left, you can read the customers’ minds as to why they left without completing the survey.

The drop-off rate by question identifies areas where the customer experience was disappointing in the previous survey and provides insights to help you create a more detailed and carefully designed survey next time. This allows you to collect more VOC and deliver a more positive customer experience.

Among survey tools in Korea, the drop-off rate by question is a feature that can only be found at Smore. This feature is not provided in the commonly used Google Form.

Create a survey optimized for customer experience with Smore right now.

You can even get started for free.