Let's face it—no one enjoys filling out surveys. How many times have you received an email survey with the subject line "We value your opinion" or a similar trite expression? And how many times have you actually filled those out? Not many, we're betting—and that's because most people regard surveys as boring and tedious, offering no value to them.

For B2B marketers, that can pose a real problem for collecting customer preferences and opinions. How can we improve our product or service if we don't know what the customer is thinking?

For the most part, empathy and relevance are key to breathing new life into your customer research tools. It's possible for empathetic marketing, one of the top buzzwords of 2017, to make its way into something as yawn-inducing as a customer survey.

Here are five tips for getting better survey response rates and higher-quality responses.

1. Set the context

Instead of copying and pasting the usual company spiel into the body of your survey email, really think about who your customers are and why they would want to fill out a survey.

Mia Mabanta, marketing director at news service Quartz, received a total of 1,797 responses for its 65-question Global Executives Study—a 55% completion rate that is significantly above the average.

"People in charge of companies get asked for things every day, nonstop. If some outside entity is going to try to steal away precious minutes that could otherwise be spent pursuing business objectives (or personal ones, for that matter), it had better give a good reason for doing so," says Mia.

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image of Alissa Warne

Alissa Warne is marketing manager at Dassault Systèmes, a global 3D-software company. Alissa focuses on B2B customers in the mining sector and can be contacted at www.alissawarne.com.

Twitter: @alissa_warne

LinkedIn: Alissa Warne