Supplier Surveys: Is Less Really More?

Suppliers are busy people. Many are entrepreneurs who work night and day to make their business a success. Even if they aren't, their job is not to sit around waiting to complete your ad-hoc surveys. This means that it’s really easy for your survey to fall to the bottom of their to-do list. It’s frustrating but important to recognise and plan for.

Keeping your survey as short as possible not only makes their life easier, but it also means your survey is more likely to be completed. After all, there’s nothing quite like that dopamine rush when you cross something off your to-do list.

Here are my personal top tips to make sure less really is more for your next supplier survey:

Keep your pages short
Keep the amount of questions and content on each page to a minimum. This helps reduce the likelihood of the supplier's first thought being 'cor! this is a lot of work.' There's no 'right' number, but if you find yourself having to scroll - you probably need a new page.

Keep the number of pages low
Balance the desire to keep your pages short with the desire to minimise the number of pages. The higher the number of questions and pages you have, the more likely your supplier is to abandon the survey half way through.

Number your pages
Numbering your pages is a great way of guiding suppliers through a multi-page survey. Each page they tick off fuels their intrinsic motivation by demonstrating progression.

Want to learn more about using Intrinsic Motivation to boost supplier performance? Click here to read The Carrot and the Stick: What You Need to Know for Successful Supplier Engagement

Remove overlapping questions
Keep an eye out for questions which overlap in what they are trying to understand. Imagine you have responses to each question – do they all really help you address your business problem? If not, get rid.

Pick your platform wisely
Make your suppliers' life much easier by using a surveying platform which makes completing surveys a pleasant experience. After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than a clunky piece of software making the job twice as hard as it needs to be.

Want your next Supplier survey to fly? The Art of the Successful Supplier Survey continues next week with ‘Air Traffic Control’.

Tags: Supplier engagement

David Taylor

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