Respondent Survey Experience: The B2B Edition

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Respondent Survey Experience: The B2B Edition

The Sample Landscape

In this installment of The Sample Landscape, we take a look at the B2B survey experience: the good, the bad, and the passionately ugly. While some respondents really enjoy their time taking surveys, there are some that are chomping at the bit to share their complaints. Those complaints turned out to be very helpful in identifying ways to improve B2B surveys.

Good News

In May 2018, we surveyed US IT decision makers (ITDMs) from 9 different panels with around 100 respondents per panel. Respondents were asked questions regarding their job, experience taking surveys, and their purchase intent for a hypothetical concept, along with various other topics.

Previously, we discussed the consumer survey experience where we found that nearly three quarters (73%) of respondents think that their general experience taking surveys is always or usually enjoyable.  When asking the same question to ITDMs, the results were similar, if not shockingly better. In total, 84% of respondents said that their general experience taking surveys is always or usually enjoyable. Not too bad, right?


Room For Improvement

Even though respondents are overall satisfied with surveys, it is to be expected that there is room for improvement. Respondents were asked, “In market research, survey participation has greatly decreased over the past few years. What would it take for you to take more surveys?” Some commonly seen points centered around incentives, disqualifications, and survey design.

One respondent, who had helpful feedback and a positive outlook on surveys, said “More point value in addition to shorter length of surveys. Sometimes surveys take 30 mins and either you get disqualified or not the promise points or not enough points for the survey. I enjoy learning about products and do what I can to help.”

Another respondent wrote about survey design:

“For them to be less repetitive, and less intrusive.  Many of the surveys I take seem to ask the same thing multiple times, multiple ways.” One respondent even mentioned privacy: “If I could be assured that my information was protected and the incentives were increased.”


The Passionate

Up to this point, respondents were fairly composed and level-headed when describing what would entice them to take more surveys. However, when we told people to go on a rant about their survey taking experiences, respondents ran with it.

We said, “Go on a lengthy rant, if you want, and anything goes! Researchers and those that design surveys will read this so here’s your chance to really tell them how you feel.” We are not disappointed by these responses!  People absolutely took advantage of the opportunity to tell us what we do wrong.  Some responses were filled with strong emotion and a little humor:

“Give us more incentives first of all. I’ve done so many surveys that are really really long and then it’s like hey here is 10 points. 10 points!!!!! Also, the worse thing is if you spend over 20 mins on a survey and it disqualifies u at the end!! What is that???? How do you not qualify after u basically completed the survey.  It’s crazy. Mic drop”

While some responses were a little more serious:

“I love giving feedback but sometimes your surveys don’t work properly due to technical issues or you get booted out with no compensation after answering questions for half an hour. Disqualify people at the start so they don’t waste time and make sure compensation is adequate. Make your surveys fun or I get bored and won’t bother continuing. Don’t be so repetitive. That is all.”

One of our respondents wrote a near novel and even provided his email address for us to reach out if we wanted to discuss further. We took him up on that offer. After a half hour phone call with this passionate survey-taker, we uncovered three key takeaways.

  1. Incentives are not even close to adequate for these highly paid ITDMs.
  2. It is incredibly frustrating to finish a survey, not qualify, and not receive an incentive.
  3. Experienced survey takers have found ways to get into surveys that they don’t qualify for just to receive the incentive, and they absolutely take advantage of that knowledge.

When designing your next B2B study be sure to keep these pain points in mind to ensure quality data and quality responses.



Footnote:  Results are based on 908 respondents from 9 different US B2B panels.