There are a number of factors that should be considered when determining the correct deployment methodology. For example, you should consider the population size because how the survey is deployed will impact the response rate. You also need to consider accessibility of the survey and the type of contact information available for the population. Surveys may be deployed online, by telephone, or paper.
Online Surveys – Online data collection methodologies are fast and generally less expensive than other deployment methods. An online survey may be accessible through a computer, smartphone, or tablet with internet access making it simple for people to respond. The ability to send announcement, invitation, and reminder emails bolsters response rates. Online or paper reports are available almost immediately.
Telephone Surveys – Telephone Surveys are available for those instances where paper or online deployment is not possible or preferred. Whether telephone surveys are used for preliminary interviews to determine survey content or as the survey itself, you receive quantified data against which you can benchmark internally and externally. Telephone surveys are especially useful for highly mobile populations who may not be able to be surveyed otherwise. Because telephone surveys typically have a higher response rate than online and paper deployment methodologies, they are an excellent choice for small populations.
Paper Surveys – Paper is the most universal deployment method and is generally easy for respondents. A paper survey may be handed out to employees/customers or each survey may be placed in a pre-addressed, postage-paid return envelope. Participants remove the survey from the envelope, reinsert the completed survey into the envelope, and mail it back for processing. This process assures confidentiality and increases participation.