The web provides a vast platform that small and medium sized businesses can use to conduct market research, product research or the simple task of receiving feedback from customers regarding the services or products they offer. This information can then be used to improve aspects, such as service procedure or customer care relations.
There are many different methods which can be used to conducting a survey online, but we have picked out 6 important ones with brief descriptions below to help you out. Business owners may choose to conduct different surveys according to their budgets and the methods that suit them. Surveys can be done online using the following methods;
6 Web Survey Methods
One way of conducting an online survey involves gathering a number of mail addresses (according to your needs) through your online business mailing list or by visiting mail directories to acquire suitable participants to partake in your survey.
Once your mailing list has been established, the next step would be to create a questionnaire to be distributed to each participant or inviting the participants to follow a link to the survey site where they can answer the necessary questions. Customers can also be prompted to participate by replying their queries and including a survey form for them to rate the speed and accuracy in which their problems was solved.
You do need to be careful with this, as you don’t want to be accused of sending out spam.
The use of online forms
This is the method most eCommerce sites and online businesses employ to get customer feedback about their services, products and customer relations. These forms are usually placed on the services page, testimonial sections or contact segment of your website to persuade visitors to tell you about their experiences while encountering your services.
You can also take the questionnaire format a step further by placing them on social media platforms with the hope of getting people who have come in contact with your services to fill them.
Using Web Forums
There are forums dedicated to most services, products and business niches on the web. Businesses can use these forums by either posting links directing members to their survey pages, distributing questionnaire forms or singling out individual members to take part in your survey.
You can usually find high quality participants in these forums, mainly due to the fact that they have technical knowledge of your practices, which makes their feedback very important in the survey you conduct.
For every survey conducted, a sample of participants must be identified. This allows businesses that deal with customers/clients from different regions to employ ‘snowball sampling‘, which involves; picking candidates from your service areas, providing them with a questionnaire form and putting an incentive in place for the participants.
This method ensures that you get real people from the areas you have targeted to participate in your survey for the larger the sample size, the higher the quality of results you receive.
Conducting a Research
The main purpose of conducting a survey is to receive or get some information pertaining to your business practices therefore conducting an online research by using already processed data which can be found at online libraries, the relevant trade agency’s website or by outsourcing data collection to reputable firms. The collected data can now be analysed by you in a bid to secure the result been searched for.
Using Survey Software
The use of research and web survey software is also a method of conducting online research. This software performs the duties of sorting mail, sending questionnaires and messages through the use of auto responders. Some survey software can also take the data provided, process them and provide you with the results you require in whatever file format you specify. Survey software comes in different price ranges and they have been known to accurately collect and process data.
Advantages of Conducting Web Surveys
The advantages of conducting an online survey for small and medium sized businesses include:
- Low Cost: Due to the availability of ready made resources and online participants, features such as designing a physical questionnaire and moving from location to location to conduct an interview or distribute these forms is eliminated which saves business owners thousands of dollars that would be needed to physically achieve their survey goals.
- Real time Access and Updates: The use of the web in conducting online surveys provides you/your business with instant answers which can be pooled together for processing in no time. This eliminates middle-men and the need to convert file formats from hard copies to soft before the processing stage can begin.
- Convenience of Participants: Web surveys can now be conducted at the participant’s convenience and the need for physically hounding people to fill your forms is no longer necessary for you can send a form directly to personal computers and smart devices which participants can comfortably fill in their rooms or workplaces.
- No interviewer: Online surveys eliminate the middle-man (the interviewer) which gives participants the freedom to answer the questions on your forms without any undue pressure. Your customers will definitely be more inclined to tell you their innermost thoughts if an interviewer is eliminated.
Thank you to my Guest Post Author: Purathini
Purathini is a webmaster at Research Optimus. She also indulges in writing research and marketing related articles.