Is an Online or Paper Customer Survey More Effective?

Online and paper customer surveys can be effective in the right circumstances. Paper surveys are effective in reaching customers when you don’t have telephone or email contact information, but they are expensive and time consuming. You must consider the cost of printing, folding, and mailing when you undertake a paper survey. In addition, you will probably only receive a 10 percent response rate at best, so you will need to consider the size of your population carefully to ensure that you receive enough responses to draw valid conclusions.

An online customer survey is quick, easy and inexpensive to deploy. You may see a high response rate – in some rare cases, as high as 35 percent. Online surveys also enable companies to respond rapidly to negative feedback, which can result in high customer satisfaction. However, you only reach the portion of your customers that have Web access and have provided you with their email address. This may or may not be an issue depending upon the population you are surveying.

One problem with an online customer survey could be poor design or incorrect interpretation because of a lack of expertise in survey creation. The data may not provide much value and may even be detrimental in this event. The best customer survey is the one designed and interpreted by an experienced team of professionals.