QR Code Surveys: A Great Way To Reach More Respondents

Philip Cleave
July 18, 2023
Scanning a QR code to access and complete a survey

Whether it’s embedding a QR code for your survey on to product packaging or paper receipts, to copying it onto food menus, marketing literature, presentation slides and much more. The use of QR code surveys is growing in popularity, as it extends the range of use cases for distributing your survey, helping you to reach more respondents and capture their feedback at the point of experience.

Subsequently, if you’re new to QR code surveys, or haven’t used them for a while and need a refresher, there’s never a better time to get reacquainted with them.

What is a QR code survey?

The idea for the QR code survey is based around the original QR code technology concept, which stands for ‘quick response code’. Most people will be familiar with seeing these black and white square barcodes on receipts, product packaging, or printed ads, which when scanned with a smartphone will open up a separate web page or app on your phone.

Therefore, a QR code survey refers to an online survey that is embedded within one of these QR codes. This then allows anyone armed with a smartphone to gain access to your survey, by simply scanning the unique code for it into their phone and opening the link to complete your questionnaire. And the great thing about these QR codes is that not only are they easy to create, but they can be placed anywhere both physically and digitally, so that a respondent can answer that survey anonymously.

Why you should create a QR code survey

Unlike what’s possible with many other survey distribution methods, QR code surveys offer many more innovative ways of advertising your survey. After all, digital channels should not be the only way for people to discover your business, plus sending an individual a follow up survey may not be possible if you don’t have access to their personal contact details.

Here’s some other reasons why QR codes make surveying simpler for everyone:

Feedback collection is seamless

With a QR code, opening and completing your survey is a quick and seamless process for respondents, as they don’t have worry about extra steps such as trying to type your url into a browser, or anything else that could potentially hold them up.

They provide a safe contactless experience

Since the Covid pandemic we have all become more aware of the sheer number of surfaces that we come into contact with on a daily basis and their propensity for spreading germs.

Subsequently, QR codes meet the need for contactless experiences, which for many people nowadays is a non-negotiable requirement.

They can help increase your response rates

By the very fact that QR code surveys are so convenient and easy to use, they’re likely to increase your survey response rates too.

In fact, there are many reports that demonstrate how well QR codes outperform other methods such as direct mail in driving response rates.

There’s no need for respondents to register or sign in

The more obstacles you put in the way of respondents, the less likely they’ll be to complete your survey.

Consequently, with no requirement to register or sign in, QR codes help to remove a critical additional step in responding to your survey.

Users simply scan your survey’s QR code with their mobile device, then tap and complete your survey – often in real time.

Popular use cases for QR code surveys

QR code surveys allow you to collect point of experience feedback at customer touchpoints that are traditionally more challenging to assess.

This makes QR code surveys particularly valuable for the following use cases.

Product or service experience feedback

The versatility of QR codes helps you to easily gather feedback on experiences as they happen.

Printed receipts

It's simple to initiate the purchase feedback process with a receipt by simply adding a QR code survey to the bottom of it.


QR code surveys are ideal for posting on flyers or signs, which people can scan as they leave your store or venue. For example, a drive-in fast-food outlet could place QR codes on signs which customers in their cars could scan and provide feedback to on their way out. In fact, QR code surveys could be placed on signage or posters at any brick-and-mortar locations, to gather on-the-spot customer service feedback following an in-store interaction.


Again, in locations such as restaurants it would be easy for owners to gather feedback from their customers about the quality of their food and service, by simply printing a QR code link to their survey on their food menus.

Assembly instructions

Similarly, a QR code survey could be easily added to something as diverse as a manual, to help assess in real time if customers are having any difficulties with assembling a product.

In fact, this would help you to look more proactive, as you could get someone to reach out and help them at this point, rather than waiting for that individual to phone your support desk.

Product packaging

To enable customers to get more general information about the product they were looking at, you could also Include a QR code survey on your product packaging.

Conference and event feedback

A location such as a conference or exhibition is also a great place to use a QR code survey.

Consider the scenario where you’ve just finished a presentation and you can see there are mixed reactions from the crowd. At this point, it’s likely you’ll want to get their feedback, so you can get a better idea of what they’re really thinking.

While you could provide a link to your survey on a slide, this would still require the audience to go through the trouble of typing that URL into their mobile browser. However, if you embedded a QR code survey into your presentation, all the audience would have to do is open their phone camera and scan the code to access and complete your survey.

Here are some further ways to incorporate QR code surveys in this setting:

Presenter slides

Besides capturing general feedback on your presentation, QR code surveys can enable you to add an interactive element into your presentation. For example, if you were presenting on customer service and wanted to grab the audience’s attention with some data, you may present a question to them early on such as:

“On a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rate your last customer service experience?”

You could then present this information later on in your presentation to help maintain audience engagement and interest.

Printed banners

To help increase the reach of your feedback surveys, you could print off your QR code and place it on conference banners and posters throughout the venue.

These could be located in the reception area or exit points to the venue, in order to provide a great opportunity to ask visitors questions about the conference in areas including exhibitors, seminar content, speakers, as well as their views about your venue’s facilities and catering.

Printed ad and marketing material feedback

By their very nature ads are at their most effective when they initially capture someone’s attention. So, if you can’t ask for feedback right there and then, your chance to understand whether your marketing material is resonating well with your customers vanishes.

Here are some common marketing materials for QR code surveys:

  • Retail catalogs, brochures and newsletters
  • Flyers, posters, and ads in subway stations or at bus stops

Commercial space and facilities services feedback

Another great use for QR code surveys is to display them in prominent areas of buildings to gage the level of cleanliness and maintenance quality of areas like station forecourts, toilets and other heavy footfall public areas.

QR code survey best practices

Having created the QR code for your survey, which SmartSurvey customers can easily do in our ‘Using a QR code to distribute a survey’ help guide and embedded the image to any physical materials you want to link to your survey, you’re almost ready to go.

However, before you do that, there are just a few best practice tips you need to consider:

Clearly state what scanning your QR code will do

Given that QR codes have many application uses, you’ll want to let your customers know that your particular code will take them to your survey.

For example, you might want to say: “By scanning this code with your phone camera you will be taken through to a two-minute survey to rate your experience.”

Include a user-friendly link to your survey

Another way to prime your respondents about what to expect is to put the link version of the survey under your QR code image with readable URL text. Doing this will also ensure that people who aren’t familiar with QR codes can still provide feedback.

Test your QR code to make sure it works

It’s also prudent to fully test out any links before you make them live including QR codes.

With printed materials, make sure your QR code is rendered correctly and can be easily scanned. While the codes do allow for a degree of distortion, an overly obscured or damaged QR code will not work correctly and could lead to a poor customer experience.

Final thoughts

We hope you found this piece useful, and if you weren’t already familiar with QR code surveys, you’re now better informed about their benefits and confident about where and when to use them.

From email, web and SMS to distribution via social media and offline mode. While these existing channels already offer you lots of benefits and strengths for targeting different audiences, the QR code brings a whole new dimension to your survey distribution process, while extending its reach to new audiences. So, for those reasons alone, if you’re not already using it, the QR code survey is a well worthwhile tool that you should add to your portfolio of survey distribution channels.

Start creating great QR code surveys today

If you’ve got some great survey questions and ideas for materials and places where you would like to embed your QR code survey, then you’re already half-way there. However, you still need the right survey software to get you started. Fortunately, we have the right survey tools to help you with that.

Find out more

Get started and create your first survey

If you would like more information then please get in touch.