Online Surveys: Characteristics, Advantages, and Disadvantages

Customer satisfaction online surveys form

What are Online Surveys?

An online survey is a structured questionnaire that your target audience completes over the internet, usually by filling out a form. The length and format of online surveys can vary. The information gathered is stored in a database, and the survey tool used usually includes some level of data analysis.

One of the most popular methods for gathering information is through online surveys. Organizations utilize online surveys to get useful information and comments on new products or services, existing feature enhancements, marketing strategy modifications, and so on. 

With the advancement of the internet, an increasing number of firms rely on data collected and evaluated from online surveys to make critical changes in their operations. Organizations must select an advanced and efficient online survey tool for efficient data collection.

What are the characteristics of online surveys?

 1. Purpose of the online survey:

This is the most important characteristic of online surveys. Your surveys must have defined purpose or goals. The exact objective of the survey must be decided upon before conducting the online survey so that the measured results can be used to improve products/services, customer service, or any other pre-determined goal.

2. Accurate research design:

To get useful results from an online survey, you must do thorough research before designing a survey. You must watch out how you will collect information from your audience and analyze the gathered information. You can decide on the type of research design by the problems you might be facing. Once the research problem is identified, you can then choose from a variety of research designs: Cross-sectional, longitudinal, experimental, correlational, etc

3. Combine different question types:

You can create a useful survey with a carefully chosen balance of some open-ended and closed-ended survey questions. An online survey’s questions should be efficient in collecting the essential information from your target audience. Some survey question types that you can use include Multi-choice questions, Dichotomous questions, Matrix questions, Likert Scale questions, etc.

4. Precisely defined target audience:

After you’ve done your survey design research, It’s time to establish your target audience. The target audience is a representative sample of the target market. That is to say, the survey results can be applied to the entire target market. You have the option of selecting a sample based on demographics, profession or knowledge, or experience.

5. Collection and analysis of survey responses:

Including the appropriate survey questions and distributing the online survey to the right demographic can result in productive outcomes only if you thoroughly analyze the survey data for the benefit of your organization will you get useful results.

6. Transparent reporting of survey responses:

The research reports prepared to utilize data from online surveys should be presented to all of the organization’s stakeholders so that everyone is aware of the information obtained from the surveys. The respondents should also be aware that their inputs are being adopted by the company; in this way, they will have confidence in delivering constructive feedback.

What are the advantages of online surveys?

• Faster medium to reach target audience:

Online surveys, in contrast to other survey techniques such as paper surveys, are far more convenient and may reach a large audience in a short amount of time.

• Analyze the data in Real-time:

Following the collection of data, researchers must analyze the data in order to take immediate action. You can analyze the data collected using online survey software. Learn about the survey’s responses and impressions. Some tools can assist you in evaluating the outcomes of your survey on a daily, monthly, or weekly basis.

• Saves a significant amount of time :

Not only does it save a researcher time while creating and distributing a survey to users, but the users also do not have to spend much time filling out the survey or questionnaire. As a result, both sides benefit greatly.

• Cost-efficient: 

Online surveys are substantially less expensive than traditional survey methods such as telephonic or pen-and-paper surveys since they use fewer resources.

• Genuine feed-back : 

When conducting an online survey among a target audience, researchers allow the respondents to respond anonymously. Because online surveys are anonymous, respondents are more likely to be honest and sincere while providing comments.

• Minimum errors:

You don’t need an intermediary to get direct feedback from the participants. As such, the chances of miscommunication and misunderstanding on the part of the participants are very low.

What are the disadvantages of online surveys?

Everything that has an advantage also has a disadvantage. The same may be said for online surveys. After learning about the benefits of surveys, it’s time to learn about their drawbacks.

• Limited reach in certain situations :

There may be times when you are unable to contact your respondents because they are not available online. In such cases, you would be unable to complete your survey’s objective.

• Issues of audience participation:

When viewed from the respondents’ angle, they are usually bombarded with lots of irrelevant pop-ups and offers online. It’s possible that they’ll miss the surveys or completely disregard them in the midst of the chaos.

• Questionable data reliability:

Online surveys are conducted in the absence of an intermediary or interrogator, as such, the feedback received in many circumstances may be regarded as questionable.

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