Which survey style suits best with your style?
Like many other things in life, not every method of survey suits every goal. There are many varieties of survey style and it is important to find the appropriate one. Surveys can be made using questionnaires or interviews. While questionnaires include more close-ended questions to get a direct response, interviews are more personal and in detail. For more basic purposes such as understanding preferences or likes/dislikes, interviews can be better in more personal and observation related surveys.
Questionnaires can be done both on-paper and online. In our current lifestyle, we are always on the rush to be on time as we are multitasking more and more every day. At this point, online surveys stand out among other questionnaire formats as they are easier and less time consuming. Online surveys are also more economic and environmentally friendly. Just by spending 5 minutes at home or at the office, consumers can fill in the questionnaires and help companies develop. While close-ended questions are preferred more in questionnaires, open-ended questions may also be included. In this case, encrypting the answers will take more time and attention.
Interviews can be in person, by phone or online. While getting detailed and personal information is easier by interviews, there are some disadvantages. First, it consumes more time and money. Second, except online interviews, bias issues may arise. Interviewees may feel like they have to respond in a specific way due to the pressure of social desirability. It means that in order to fit into society, the interviewee may not share the honest opinion. Another very important issue in interviews in person or by phone is the attitude of the interviewer. If the interviewer has a strong opinion about the questions, it is very important to hide them to not to influence the interviewee.
All in all, if a company wants a direct response, i.e. “Do you like our new product?” or “Which flavor of our new ice cream samples do you like more?”, questionnaires may be the better option. However, if detailed opinions are aimed, i.e. “What did our new campaign make you feel about our brand?”, conducting an interview will be more accurate. Other measures to be considered are privacy issues, the social environment of the sample, availability of the target population.