Survey Comparison Websites

A survey comparison website would compare different providers and different methodologies so that anyone who is looking to conduct a survey is pointed towards a solution that is right for them.

If the survey comparison website worked in the same way as other comparison websites (such as those for flights, insurance or even CRM systems) then the choice that you the customer would have would be between those providers that had signed up to the scheme and had agreed to pay the comparison site a commission fee of anything up to 15%.

At the time of writing, we are not aware of any comparison sites that are available for surveys. However, we found the exercise of assessing our capabilities and deliverables against those of our competitors to be quite interesting. Not many organisations have a truly unique USP (unique selling point or proposition); but we have three.

It needs to be explained at this point that InfoQuest only conducts B2B customer satisfaction surveys, and that our clients usually have key account managers and often have international customers.

Capabilities and Deliverables

We have asked around, and the three main deliverables are response rates, number of questions, and the attribution of feedback. Other deliverables include benchmarking and candour. Speed is very important but is inherently linked with the number of questions and the response rates.

Response Rates

InfoQuest has an average worldwide response rate of over 70% (based on posing up-to 62 questions and statements).

Web, e-mail and paper-based surveys currently have an average response rate of between 5% and 15%.

Telephone surveys are more difficult to measure. There is a direct correlation between the length of the survey and the drop-off rate. With a small number of questions and a survey lasting less than 5 minutes, high response rates of 50% to 60% can be achieved. There are stories of even higher rates. However, when the length of the survey is increased two things can happen. First, if the interviewer declares at the outset that the survey will take around 20 to 30 minutes then the response rate will drop to between 10% and 20%. Secondly, if the interviewer is not asked how long it will take, or gives an unrealistically short estimate, then drop-offs will kick in at around 9 to 10 minutes and will escalate dramatically during the 15 to 20 minute period. A note worth remembering is that if this is a customer satisfaction survey then any drop-off at all should be viewed as bad PR and bad for business.

Number of Questions

InfoQuest can pose up-to 62 questions and statements without the response rate being affected. The critical factor here is time. The InfoQuest survey is designed to take less than 5 minutes.

Web, e-mail and paper-based surveys have no limit to the number of questions.

Telephone surveys should be kept short (see above).

Attributed Feedback

InfoQuest attributes all responses.

For other firms, look to see if they belong to the MRS, ESOMAR or MRA. These are all trade associations and they have similar codes of practice. They all insist that their members do not attribute feedback without the express permission of the person being interviewed or surveyed. In consumer surveys and political opinion polling this code of conduct makes sense. However, in B2B, where people buy from people and customers all have different needs, wants and situations, not knowing who said what nullifies most of the usefulness of the survey.

Benchmark Scores

InfoQuest has benchmark scores for all of the question sets in its library, built up since 1989.

Some firms that offer the NPS (Net Promoter Score) offer benchmarking for their one question.

We are not aware of any other benchmarks specific to B2B customer satisfaction.

Candour

Tests have shown that InfoQuest’s white box delivers a very hight standard of candour.

Respondents are becoming less and less trusting of web-based surveys.

Telephone surveys suffer badly from the Cassandra phenomenon – where half of respondents will wear rose-tinted spectacles to avoid conflicting with their account manager.

Cost

Most of the information we have on our competitors’ pricing is all hearsay. Some Survey Monkey surveys are free. Client Heartbeat have a rolling monthly fee. Here at InfoQuest we have a price list – cost being dependant on the numbers of customers, questions, management surveys and languages.

For further information please contact John Coldwell on +44 (0)1 484 868 390

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