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Types of Survey with Examples

Transform your insight generation process

Use our in-depth online survey guide to create an actionable feedback collection survey process.


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Survey research is the most common and widely used tool for quantitative market research. Surveys are used to gather insightful data from the target audience for our market research or consumer research.

A formal list of questionnaires is prepared & deployed to the respondents for them to share their feedback/opinions. Researchers use a non-disguised approach so that the participants of the survey know exactly what they are answering.  

When administered correctly, surveys provide meaningful insights in the form of quantitative or qualitative data. This data is then analyzed by organizations to make accurate decisions. 

The types of surveys can be classified on the basis of frequency of their administration or the way in which they are deployed. In this article, we will explain various surveys used by researchers. 

What are The Different Types of surveys?

The types of surveys can be classified into different ways depending on the frequency of administration or the deployment method. There are still other ways of classifying surveys, such as random sample surveys and self-selected kinds of studies.

Online surveys

Online surveys include a set of structured questions that respondents complete through the internet. This is generally done by filling a form. Online survey tools are becoming increasingly popular because it is an apt way to reach out to the participants, it is less time consuming and is also cost effective as compared to traditional paper-and-pencil surveys. The data collected can also be stored in the database and be used for later evaluations by experts.

Sometimes to increase the response rates on surveys, businesses offer incentives to respondents for participating in online surveys. These incentives include gift cards, discount coupons, free airline miles, etc. Research studies that include rewards for participants are a win-win situation for both parties involved as companies get valuable data for their market research, while respondents also stand a chance to receive a reward for their time.

Paper surveys

This survey uses traditional paper and pencil methods to collect data. Many researchers believe paper surveys to be outdated methods of conducting surveys. however, they come in handy when used for field research. These surveys can be conducted in areas where computers, laptops and smartphones aren’t available. 

However, these surveys are expensive and time consuming. They also use up human resources and can be exhausting to conduct.

Telephonic Surveys

As the name suggests, telephonic surveys such as Voxco’s CATI survey software are conducted over the telephone. Respondents are asked to answer questions that are relevant to the research topic. The questions are asked by the researcher. These surveys are also time consuming and can sometimes cause confusion. A lot of the success of these surveys depends on the number of people answering the phone and investing the time answering each and every question.

One-to-One interviews

One-to-one interview method includes the researcher gathering information directly from the respondent. This is a qualitative research method. The questions framed and asked by the researcher depend upon their knowledge and experience. Relevant questions lead to deeper insights from the interview. Interviews last anywhere around 30 minutes to a few hours.

Types of a survey based on the frequency of deployment

Retrospective surveys ask respondents to answer questions on events from the past. By using this type of survey, researchers can collect data on past events as well as beliefs of the respondents. This is both cost-effective and not as time consuming as longitudinal surveys and is a useful market research tool.

Online Surveys

Random public opinion/attitude type of survey research

When agencies need reliable and projectable data regarding the attitudes and opinions of the population or at least a portion of it, it is recommended to conduct valid surveys that are randomly sampled. One advantage of telephonic surveys over in-person interviews are recommended that they are less costly and easier to conduct. They also act as a relevant tool for collecting information.

Your sample size decides a margin of error, usually set at a certain confidence interval. Telephone surveys with a randomized sample should provide inferences and information about the population. Despite having a statistical margin of error, random sample surveys provide the most democratic process of research that exists. This method is the most reliable way to learn the opinions of the entire community.

Random sample surveys are not recommended to be used for the purpose of educating customers or people about certain issues. It is also not appropriate to use when it aims to ask what people will do at a future point, e.g. voting behaviors. However, these surveys provide an accurate image of the person’s beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors at the present moment.

  • Self-selected type of survey research – Newspapers, mail, Internet, written questionnaires:

A self-selected process of survey studies is recommended when agencies want to assess political opinions. A written survey can be designed and distributed to different places, emailed directly to people, or published in newspapers or local newsletters.

There must be caution in reporting self-selected surveys as it only consists of people who chose to respond. Generally, only people who have strong political opinions choose to participate in political studies. Apart from this, self-selected surveys can be an effective tool to collect data from the public. 

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Types of surveys with examples

Researchers need to use the right questions as well as the right medium to administer their online surveys when they are conducting survey research. Voxco helps researchers to create and administer different kinds of questionnaires, polls, and even quizzes. Some of these survey templates include:

  • Customer survey templates: In market research, customers are deemed as the most important part of the organization. It is a known fact that satisfied customers will help your organization grow directly by remaining loyal to your company and also by becoming an advocate for your brand. These two survey templates help you assess your brand’s value and how likely are your customers to recommend your brand to others.
  • Market research templates: These templates are useful in collecting feedback about the elements that contribute to the growth of your business directly. They include; vendors, clients, the experiences of both, etc. It also generally helps people research the marketing strategies being popularly used as well as how well they are working.
  • Community survey templates: Community survey templates can be administered to members of associations or foundations to get feedback regarding the various activities conducted within the association. This helps understand the member’s experiences and collect feedback regarding what kind of programs add value, feedback on previously held events, etc., and more.
  • Human Resource survey templates: The human resource survey template can be used to assess the satisfaction levels of employees working for an organization. This template helps in gaining insight into the culture of the organization and how satisfied your workforce is working in that culture.
  • Industrial survey templates: Experts design the industrial survey templates to assess data from different industries. This in-depth data is used to study industries such as event management, hospitality, transportation, etc. are doing in the market. It also tries to study the growth of certain industries from the view of the consumer.
  • Academic survey templates: This template is used by educational institutes. It helps them analyze the feedback they receive from students on the courses offered and if they are proving to be helpful for the students or not. This questionnaire is also used to assess how students are responding to the efforts taken by the teachers, and parents.
  • Nonprofit survey templates: Nonprofit surveys are used to collect information as well as feedback given by various donors, stakeholders, volunteers, and other people working with the NGO.

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