Different Survey Methods – A Comparison

Customer Satisfaction Survey Methodology Comparison Table

Standard for Response Rates

At least 50%

Reason

Low rates generate disproportionate responses from “far end of the spectrum” customers. Also makes it impossible to target high revenue accounts.

InfoQuest

Paper

Telephone

Web

InfoQuest’s worldwide average response rate, from hard to reach decision makers, is over 70% Response rates for paper-based  surveys are between 5% and 8% Perhaps 50% for a very short survey (5 minutes max); rapidly declines as time requirement increases Response rates for web-based surveys are between 5% and 15% and are dropping

Standard for Number of Questions

30 – 60

Reason

Less than 30 fails to provide sufficient actionable info.  More than 60 depresses the response rate.

InfoQuest

Paper

Telephone

Web

36 – 60 One page max. 5 minute survey allows 10 – 12 questions, after which the response rate rapidly contracts. 36 – 60

Standard for Candor

The presumption of anonymity is vital.

Reason

If identity is presumed to be known, majority of respondents will withhold critical comments due to concern over ramifications.

InfoQuest

Paper

Telephone

Web

Customers tend to assume anonymity, but each box is coded to enable fully attributable feedback. Forms often not considered valid without customer’s signature.  Most contain bar codes or letter codes that are assumed to be identifiers. None.  Identity of respondent is unquestionably known. Use of security access codes leads to presumptions of traceability.

Standard for Delivery

Need assurance that survey will make it to intended participant.

Reason

If you can’t get a survey in front of a customer, you can’t get a response.

InfoQuest

Paper

Telephone

Web

The InfoQuest box is expected by your customer due to pre-survey validation call and confirmation of address.  95% reach the intended participant. They are often filtered out as junk mail. Secretarial and voicemail guardianship is high and accessibility is low.  Leads to poor hit rates and many call-backs. Access provided via e-mail.  Increasingly difficult to get past spam filters and internal firewalls.

Standard for Acceptability

Must be something that customers will be interested in doing. Must be some kind of benefit to customer.

Reason

Business people are too busy to devote time to things that waste time or hold no promise of enhancing the customer relationship.

InfoQuest

Paper

Telephone

Web

It comes in a box.  It’s fun, unique, tactile and engaging. Unengaging, souless, regarded as a process.  Often associated with junk mail. Time consuming, highly intrusive, almost universally disliked.  Often associated with telemarketing. Overused and unimaginative.  Seen as a paper survey on a screen.  Often associated with SPAM.

Standard for Customer Benefit

The age-old human need “What’s in it for me?” must have a beneficial response.

Reason

People are busy and they are deluged with surveys. If there is not something to create visibility and interest, most people will have better things to do with their time.

InfoQuest

Paper

Telephone

Web

An offer to share results produces interest in process.  Delivery of a unique survey stimulates further interest. Average response rate is 5 – 8%.  If there is a benefit, very few customers see it. Seen by most people as something to be endured, and only if they are unable to escape it. So overused they are no longer taken seriously.  Response rates have been falling for years.

Standard for One Provider

All international survey work should be performed by a single company.

Reason

Few research firms have global capacity and must subcontract international work, thereby sacrificing oversight and control.

InfoQuest

Production centers and capability in The Americas, Europe and Asia.

Paper  Telephone  Web

Have you ever called what you thought was a local help line, only to find yourself speaking to someone you could barely comprehend, located on the other side of the world?

Is that who you want contacting your customers for you?

Contact InfoQuest to start organising your survey

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