Various Survey Methods for Small and Medium Businesses
Unlike large corporations and consumer marketing research organizations, small business entities are much closer to their customers and in turn have small target audiences for conducting feedback studies.
Hence these organizations can leverage multiple survey methods instead of depending only on online surveys software tools.
Survey Methods Surveys can be conducted using various methods.
Apart from Online Surveys, Telephone surveys, Mailed Paper surveys, In Person studies, Tradeshow / Kiosk surveys, and Registration Card research are popular survey methods used by businesses.
Telephone Surveys Telephone based surveys are used for a long time by all sorts of businesses.
Obviously, if the businesses have the telephone numbers of the potential survey participants, they can easily reached by telephone for brief surveys.
Hence telephone surveys are widely used for Customer Satisfaction Surveys as the organizations have existing relationship with the interviewee.
However, the popularity and usage of telephone based surveys have gone down significantly because of the proliferation of unwanted telemarketing calls and wide usage of answering machines in offices and homes by the consumers.
Also, regulation such as Do Not Call (DNC) registry requires strict adherence of rules.
Paper based Surveys Paper based surveys could be: (1) mailing research questionnaires via snail mail, (2) in person surveys where the paper is handed over to the survey participants for filling up the answers and (3) magazine registration / feedback cards.
This is one of the least intrusive methods, as the survey participants can answer the survey questions at their pace without any interruption from the survey conductor.
Small and medium sized businesses will have better opportunities to interact with their local customers and leverage paper surveys at such instances.
Tradeshow / Kiosk Surveys Some small businesses do participate in events such as industry trade shows, where they would be able to meet with their customers, partners and prospects.
Generally kiosk based method is costly as they need to hire the kiosk and associated accessories and services.
However, online surveys can be substituted for kiosks with the easy usage of online survey software.
Even a laptop computer with an internet connection is sufficient to conduct customer surveys in kiosk mode.
The questionnaires are accessed via internet browser.
Online Survey Software Questionnaire responses collected via all the above methods can be consolidated using the online survey software.
This saves lot of time in terms of data aggregation, tabulation and analysis.
Advantages of Online Surveys Conducting feedback research using an online software tool is a simple process.
The costs are significantly lower.
Generally, there is no need for any long term contracts for the software.
The monthly subscription fees are very low and affordable for small businesses and professionals.
Even free online survey builder tools can be leveraged at early stages.
Another advantage is that survey studies can be organized in more than one method and all responses can be consolidated in the online survey system.
The answers can be entered manually entered into the system from all methods.
The responses and summary results can be viewed online immediately in real time.
Since the invites to the potential participants can be emailed, there are significant savings in terms of time and investment.
Small and medium businesses can leverage their strengths and use feedback mechanism in various methods in order to understand their customer requirements as well satisfaction levels.