Surveys are about understanding your audience and consumer to get feedback to improve service offerings. There are several ways to conduct surveys to get consumer feedback. With the advent of technology, there has been a sea change in how surveys are conducted, but the basic process remains the same. The blog describes the common survey methods in brief and ways to process to use each survey type.
Interviews or Paper Surveys
One of the most prevalent ways to conduct surveys was via in-person or home interviews, but this is rapidly changing, and various survey methods are quickly overtaking them. However, interviews and face-to-face surveys are still common since researchers prefer paper surveys because they are well-established. In addition, paper surveys are still preferred for some types of surveys, such as those that need in-depth discussion or investigation. The anonymity of the computer screen may be more comfortable for certain interviewees than being interviewed face-to-face. On the other hand, good interviewers can relax candidates and get honest responses.
Surveys conducted in person or by technology in a focused group are known as “focus groups.” They include discussion of specific concerns in small groups. An individual moderator is normally in charge of the group, often small yet diverse. A focus group may be used to test out new ideas or to facilitate a discussion on a contentious subject.
While the moderator takes notes, a focus group survey is intended to encourage individuals to chat, participate, and argue about a product in a group environment. To conduct a survey in this manner, a professional moderator must be hired and compensated. In addition, a location must be identified, and the public must be enthused about attending.
A panel survey is a good way to get people to answer because people have agreed to be part of a panel to answer the survey. It takes a lot of hard work to create a representative panel, but once a panel is constructed, it provides advantages in getting reliable and quick survey responses. In addition, you can choose to filter responses based on several factors to make sure your message reaches the people you want it to.
One has to be careful in taking panel surveys; if representativeness is not maintained, one can get biased data. Further, it is also important to keep adding members to panels to account for attrition.
Telephonic surveys are another popular method for conducting surveys. Computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) software can be used to conduct telephonic surveys. CATI gives the interviewer a questionnaire that moves through all questions in a loop. With the advent of mobile telephony, telephonic surveys also provide unprecedented reach even in rural and far-flung areas. Telephonic surveys also pose challenges because many people don’t want to take surveys over the phone or don’t answer calls from unknown numbers.
One can also use technology and conduct telephone surveys with IVR, or interactive voice responses. IVR means that there is no interviewer i.e., in place of that, users answer prerecorded questions by typing in numbers on their touch-tone keypads instead. If a question is open-ended, the interviewee can speak, and the system will record what he or she says. IVR surveys are often used to determine a customer’s thoughts about a recent service.
Mail-in surveys are shared via snail mail i.e., these are sent right to the doorsteps of people who have answered. Before the internet, mail surveys were often used when people were spread out across the country, and other than the cost of shipping, mail-in surveys were very cheap.
With the advent of technology, they have taken a back seat but are still relevant. They may seem more personal because they are sent to a specific person and their home address, making them seem more personal. This level of personalization may get the recipient to take the survey. Further, they are good for surveys that last a long time. Most people have short attention spans and will only spend a few minutes on the phone or taking a survey on the internet. However, a mail-in survey can be done at any time. They can finish parts of it, put it away, and come back to it later. It leads to a good response rate for mail-in surveys.
These surveys are done in a real place with a computer screen. One probably has seen them in storefronts, hotel lobbies, hospitals, and other places where people work. They can be found almost anywhere a researcher or marketer wants to get information from clients or people who pass by these days. Kiosk surveys give quick feedback after purchase or meeting and are canvassed to people for their answers while they can still remember what happened to them. Further, in the case of Kiosk surveys, responses can be more trustworthy because of their propensity to share the experience.
Online surveys are one of the best ways to get information. They can be used for almost any purpose and easily changed for a specific group of people. Online surveys come in a lot of different shapes. You can send them to people, put them on a website, or even promote them online.
As a bonus, the internet makes it very easy to reach many people, as well. It also makes it easy to get to a small group of people. Many businesses need responses from people worldwide, and online surveys fit the bill. Once completed, the data is sent back to the database server through electronic transmission in an online survey. Researchers and field supervisors use the shared data to tell field managers and researchers about any problems during the enumeration process.
Further, reports from the database are made automatically and sent to the person in charge of the project. The reports can be further shared widely with the target audience through the link, email, or social media.
Kultar Singh – Chief Executive Officer, Sambodhi