A common question about customer surveys is, “What is the most effective method to survey my customers…telephone interviews or online surveys?”

Both survey methods have their place in B2B and B2C market research. The choice of method depends on the project objectives, the target audience, the timelines and the available budget. The below graphic explains the advantages and disadvantages of using one method over the other.

Looking at the above parameters, it makes more sense for an organization to conduct online surveys when there is a large customer base that need immediate responses, and with a low cost solution.  Also this is the best solution when you want an ongoing feedback process in place.

On the other hand, a “one off” type research project that solicits feedback from a small group of customers may provide more insights when conducting the survey via phone.

The reality is that there are upsides and downsides for both methods, however, when you compare the two methods overall, online surveys win by a great margin.

As you see above, overall low response rate and not getting enough responses to open ended questions are the major downside of conducting online surveys.  Based on our experience on this subject, we have a strong set of recommendations which may help you yield better participation. Please read our previous article on Customer Survey Best practices here.

For phone surveys, other than the few mentioned above, another downside is that customers can get irritated when you call them up while they are in middle of something such as, driving or busy in an important office meeting or eating dinner.  There is high likelihood that you don’t get even second chance to call them if your timing was bad the first time around.

Keeping a company’s three major preferences in mind; speed, cost and response rate, our research to this specific matter highlights the tradeoffs considering one over the other. See below:

We can help you in developing and analyzing your online surveys.  Our Customer Experience experts help you to create effective surveys that address the specific questions you need answered.  Our Data Scientists perform both survey rating and text analysis to give you insights which help you to prioritize your CX actions that have the most impact on your financial goals.

CustomersFirst Now (CFN) has been refining our CX solutions for more than 40 years—working with and for many Fortune 500 companies. We provide the only proven, predictive processthat links Customer Delight to a company’s financial performance.  For more information, contact Kerri Nelson at kerri.nelson@customersfirstnow.com

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