Increasing Survey Awareness & Determining a “Good” Response Rate

Avid’s GoSurvey tool provides homebuilding professionals with unprecedented insight into their customers’ sentiment and preferences. But in order to take advantage of GoSurvey’s transformative offerings, homebuilders must first generate survey awareness, prepping their customers to receive the surveys, and must then encourage healthy response rates.

How to Increase Survey Awareness

The first step to encouraging customers to fill out your survey is to prep them to receive your survey. We recommend employing any combination of the below to generate survey awareness.

  • Include a paper copy of the Survey Awareness document (provided by Avid) in the signing package or closing package given to home buyers.
  • Hand-deliver a copy of the Survey Awareness document to the home buyer during any in-person meeting.
  • Send home buyers an email or give them a call to introduce Avid and let them know that we’ll be reaching out to gather feedback on their experience with you.

Another tip? Start sending “Thank you for your feedback” cards. Taking the time to send a personalized thank-you note is a simple yet impactful way to connect with home buyers, demonstrate that their feedback matters, and encourage them to fill out future surveys.

The Line Between Survey Awareness and Survey Influence

While we know that survey awareness leads to higher response rates, be careful not to cross the line between survey awareness and its more aggressive counterpart: survey influence. While generating survey awareness increases the chance of home buyers completing your survey and can also positively impact your ratings, the opposite can happen if you aggressively push your surveys onto home buyers or worse — attempt to influence their response.

So how can you avoid survey influence? Never tell a home buyer how to answer the survey. Comments such as, “If you can’t give me all 6’s, call me first.” cross the the line into the “danger zone.” Instead, stick with controlled messages via letters, signs, and placards. Directing a rep to briefly mention the survey and its importance to the builder is also appropriate. Overall, you want to make sure your customer feels like their satisfaction — and not their survey results — are your top priority. While we all want to receive outstanding scores, referral rate is still the driving force of our business.

How to Determine a “Good” Response Rate

Now that you’ve primed your customer to look out for your surveys, it’s time to evaluate their response rate. So… what qualifies as a “good” response rate? Our research shows that you should expect a 50-60% response rate to the initial Move-In Survey you send to home buyers. If your response rate to this survey is lower, take the steps outlined above to increase survey awareness. Typically, as you move further from your home buyers’ closing date, survey response rate drops, so don’t be surprised if response rate to the last few surveys you send falls behind response rate to the first few surveys. 

How Important are Response Rates Anyway?

Fundamentally, you should aim for as high a response rate as possible, because this means that you’re getting important feedback from a wider range of customers. However, if the survey is high quality and administered properly (as Avid’s surveys are) it will still yield accurate results with a lower response rate. The response rate needed to achieve results that are 90 percent accurate is smaller than you may think — we lay these out below:

Response Rates Needed for 90% Accurate Results (+/- 6% error)

# of Closings

Response Rate

125

60%

225

46%

325

37%

500

27%

Source: Cardis, P. (2006, 01) The Test Kitchen. Retrieved from https://www.probuilder.com/test-kitchen

For more information on generating survey awareness and understanding response rates, reach out to your CSM directly or fill out a contact form and we’ll be in touch shortly. In the meantime, check out articles from Marketo and Gartner that offer additional insight into survey awareness and response rates.

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