How to improve survey response rates

by Bob Kobek, president of CustomerCount®

A common statement I hear from those gathering and analyzing customer feedback is that it can be difficult to get a good survey response rates.

In my experience at CustomerCount, organising surveys and customer feedback for 20 years, low survey response rates could be attributed to:

  • The type of survey;
  • The customers’ affinity towards your product;
  • Timing of delivery; and
  • The lack of an incentive.

Type of survey

Response rates are generally lower when using comment cards or paper surveys versus an on-line survey. This is because the customer is in a hurry to leave the property. They do not take the time to complete your survey – however short it may be.

Plus, there is rarely any branding on the physical comment card. Whereas in an on-line survey you have ample opportunity to position your property logo and color schemes. Additionally, using an on-line solution like CustomerCount, you get an opportunity to position your brand in the invitation, the survey itself, and the thank you page.

Customer Affinity

People will only take the time to complete a survey if they have an affinity to your brand. Why else would you want to help a resort by providing feedback on your vacation, reservation or sales experience if there is not a connection?

This is precisely why you should incorporate your logo and color scheme into any and all communications with consumers. It is not hard and will go a long way in building brand awareness for you.


We believe the best time to deliver a survey to the consumer gathering information on their vacation experience is 24 to 48 hours after they check-out.


Lastly, do you position an incentive or not? Statistically speaking, survey response rates will be lower if there is not an incentive.

An incentive can be 20 per cent off your next purchase at the resort restaurant, spa, or gift shop. Or, you can position an incentive for a discounted stay in the future. All of these incentives will increase your response rates which will provide you more statistical data to work from.

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