Increasing response rate of client satisfaction surveys

jmenchhofer's picture
Thu, 02/16/2017 - 08:39 -- jmenchhofer

At my health department, we are currently considering a QI project aimed at obtaining a significant number of responses to our client satisfaction survey.  I guess you could say this is a QI project to improve our QI program.  We put together a brief client survey to be used across all programs at the health department during 2016.  It was available online via Survey Monkey.  We posted a link on our website, included it in our e-mail signatures, and even posted signs in public areas of our facility with a QR code that would direct smart phone users to the survey.  We also made paper copies available, although I don't think staff was very intentional about presenting the survey to clients on a regular basis.  We got a very low number of responses, basically nothing we coult really use to identify areas for improvement.

We have informally discussed making our surveys more program or division specific, and maybe offering some sort of incentive for completion of the surveys. With all of the use of technology and online applications in this day and age, I thought that option would be attractive to a lot of people, but I've been proven wrong two or three times now.  Has anyone here employed any other tactics to successfully get meaningful returns on client surveys?

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Grace Gorenflo's picture
Submitted by Grace Gorenflo on
This is a great question and something that presents a challenge to many people! While I don't have a specific answer for you, I've put together a few resources that might help. 1. The first is a community forum thread - it might be worth it to follow up with one or people from this discussion: https://www.phqix.org/content/stakeholder-satisfaction-surveys 2. The second is a batch of submissions from the PHQIX searchable database (I used the search term "customer satisfaction survey") -- you might get some ideas from these, and the submitters may be a good resource for you: https://www.phqix.org/content/environmental-health-project-improve-customer-satisfaction-survey-return-rates https://www.phqix.org/content/dare-county-patient-satisfaction-and-community-surveys https://www.phqix.org/content/sexually-transmitted-disease-client-survey-process-standardizing-process-increase-survey https://www.phqix.org/content/department-wide-survey-process-ensuring-every-client-given-opportunity-input https://www.phqix.org/content/northampton-county-improves-client-satisfaction https://www.phqix.org/content/nnphi-kaizen-program-client-feedback-process 3. And finally, I did on search on the phpin network and the results are here (although you need to be a member of that network to access this): http://www.phpinetwork.org/p/se/in/q=customer+satisfaction I hope this helps - and I hope others share their experience! Grace
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Grace Gorenflo's picture
Submitted by Grace Gorenflo on

I didn't realize that my response would not include the spacing I provided, so hopefully this will be easier to view (the asterisks precede each resource):

This a great question and something that presents a challenge to many people! While I don't have a specific answer for you, I've put together a few resources that might help.

1. The first is a community forum thread - it might be worth it to follow up with one or people from this discussion:

***https://www.phqix.org/content/stakeholder-satisfaction-surveys

2. The second is a batch of submissions from the PHQIX searchable database (I used the search term "customer satisfaction survey") -- you might get some ideas from these, and the submitters may be a good resource for you:

***https://www.phqix.org/content/environmental-health-project-improve-custo...

***https://www.phqix.org/content/dare-county-patient-satisfaction-and-commu...

***https://www.phqix.org/content/sexually-transmitted-disease-client-survey...

***https://www.phqix.org/content/department-wide-survey-process-ensuring-ev...

***https://www.phqix.org/content/northampton-county-improves-client-satisfa...

***https://www.phqix.org/content/nnphi-kaizen-program-client-feedback-process

3. And finally, I did on search on the phpin network and the results are here (although you need to be a member of that network to access this):

***http://www.phpinetwork.org/p/se/in/q=customer+satisfaction

I hope this helps - and I hope others share their experience!

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jmenchhofer's picture
Submitted by jmenchhofer on

Thank you!

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Jason Menchhofer, R.S.
Sanitarian/Accreditation Coordinator
Mercer County Health District
Celina, OH
jmenchhofer@mchdohio.org
mchdohio.org

Submitted by gkroberts on

Hello, this is a great question that many health department struggle with. We have recently revamped our customer survey as well and are getting a decent response rate. I think the biggest change we made was to incoporate an automatic text message sent through our electornic medical records system after a patient has left their appointment prompting them to take the survey on their phone.

Our survey is a quick 5 questions, but it is is personalized to location and service received so we can narrow down the results to specific programs. Each question does have a comment field for those individuals wanting to provide more details.

Another thing I often wonder is that patients may not fill out the survey because they may not think their voice will be heard. I wonder if publicly posting 3 positive comments and 3 negative comments and how the agency has addressed those on a routine (quarterly) basis would be a better mechanism for soliciting customer survey responses.. Just a thought.

I don't think offering an incentive will drastically increase your response rate, and it will introduce some response bias which won't help your results.

This is an ongoing challenge so please share what you have learned along your journey!

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Gurleen Roberts, MPH
Director of Quality Management
Cobb & Douglas Public Health
Marietta, GA
gurleen.roberts@dph.ga.gov

Submitted by agoon on

Jason-

We struggled with this for several years until we set this as a specific performance measure for each and every program to achieve at least a 10% response rate for the year (determined by # of completed surveys divided by total number of clients served/visits completed/sites inspected/etc). We posted the results for every program "publicly" within the health department every month, highlighted at each quarterly Employee Forum (our mandatory all-staff meeting), and reported it to the Board of Health quarterly (which all directors attend). This created some helpful peer pressure.

In the true spirit of Performance Management and QI, this set the expectation for performance, but it was up to each program to figure out the best way to accomplish this with their customers. For some, they were able to easily work it into their "check-out" process (e.g., immunization services, vital statistics). Our Environmental Health tried the same technology options you outlined, but none of them worked well. They eventually found that giving the customer the survey with a sealed envelope at the end of their inspection or site visit worked the best. They asked the person to complete the survey while they were finishing up the report, had them place it in an envelope we provided addressed to our QI Coordinator, and asked them to seal it shut. We also give all clients the options of completing the survey online, and we have more and more choosing to do this now (primarily EH clients).

All programs created a standard script that they use when asking the client/customer to complete the survey to closely mirrors the statement we have at the top of our survey "It is our goal to consistenly provide excellence services to the residents of Henry County and northwest Ohio. Your feedback helps us improve our programs and practices. Your answers are anonymous."

Once everyone was consistently meeting the 10% mark (which took several years), we took this off our list of emphasized performance measures, but we continue to track it monthly so that we can alert a manager if they are dropping below the 10% mark (so they can take corrective action). It also appears in the monthly statistics report that we provide to the Board of Health.

We started by requiring all programs to use the same survey tool so that we created consistency across the entire agency. We have also refined the survey tool over time. Just last year (5 years after first introducing client/customer experience surveys), we started customizing the survey for individual programs. However, we still require everyone to use several specific questions that reflect our Service Pillar goal of consistently providing courteous, respectful, and timely services to [internal and external]customers.

Feel free to contact me directly, Jason, if you'd like to discuss further.

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Submitted by DrawdyLX on

Our CHD struggled with receiving just a few comment cards each month for years.  We put a major focus on increasing customer survey response rate over the past year, converting to an e-survey system using I-pads.  An I-pad with the survey is given to each customer at checkout, and the customer must either accept and take the survey, or decline to take the survey.  We track both offer rate (the percentage of clients offered the opportunity to take the survey - which should be close to 100%) and response rate (the percentage of clients who've taken the survey).    This has increased our customer survey responses to more than 1,000 responses per month.

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Lynne Drawdy
DOH-Manatee
407/928-1288

Grace Gorenflo's picture
Submitted by Grace Gorenflo on
Hi Lynne, What a remarkable story to tell! Could you please let us know the cost of the I-pads, your most recent numbers for the offer rate and the response rate, and any advice to others who may wish to adapt and adopt this practice? Thanks! Grace
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Submitted by DrawdyLX on

The I-pads were approximately $400 each.  We bought one for each station that checks-out customers (seven total throughout the health department).  There were concerns that these might walk away, but we've had this in place in our clinic for close to a year and haven't lost or had any trouble with the I-pads.  In January,  the offer rate in the clinic  (% of clinic clients offered the survey) was 67% (796 surveys offered).  Of those offered the survey, 98% completed the survey (response rate).   We've since transitioned to e-surveys in all other programs, and we've seen a month by month increase in offer rate and response rate.  In July, we will make this a performance standard for these staff.

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Lynne Drawdy
DOH-Manatee
407/928-1288

jmenchhofer's picture
Submitted by jmenchhofer on

Thank you all for the great information and ideas!  I have recruited a team of staff members to address this issue, and we will be meeting soon.  I'm looking forward to sharing your ideas and working together to find a good fit for our health department.

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Jason Menchhofer, R.S.
Sanitarian/Accreditation Coordinator
Mercer County Health District
Celina, OH
jmenchhofer@mchdohio.org
mchdohio.org

Submitted by DrawdyLX on

Just received our February data.  The clinic offer rate increased to 82% (82% of clients seen in the clinics were offered the opportunity to take the survey) and the response rate to 98% (98% of clients offered the survey completed the survey). 

 

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Lynne Drawdy
DOH-Manatee
407/928-1288

Submitted by jgoodern on

agoon-

Thank you for sharing the details of your process.  Do you attempt to collect surveys for all clients, all year round? Who tallys the survey data, each department or one central person?  Would you be willing to share the standard survey tool you required all departments to use before adding program specifics?

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Submitted by Vaishak on

This is indeed a nice question and has elaborated clearly.
I'll be precise on what you have asked and hope that it matters you in approaching your end goal. 

Brew Survey allows you to collect feedback from your customers on phones & tablets. It is designed intelligently to provide a consistent user experience on mobile phones & tablets. You can create surveys in multi-screen (one question per screen) presentation format. This helps customers to focus on the question at hand and also allows you to brand survey with your logo.

FEATURES
* Remotely manage surveys and results from the dashboard
* Customized feedback forms
* Add your own logo to create custom branding for the surveys
* Custom start screen with survey name, description, and logo
* Auto feedback submission when customers leaves the survey midway
* Export responses in CSV
* Supports portrait and landscape mode across all devices
* Get survey results in real-time on the dashboard
* Advance survey performance analytics like average time to complete the survey, survey completion ratio, GPS locations of responses collected etc.
* In offline survey mode collect data and securely sync it when device get an internet connection

Hope this helps you, try conducting free surveys by downloading the app.

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