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Survey Techniques
Online Surveys
The contemporary online survey is no longer a boring scrolling through pages with complicated, and let’s be honest, often annoying questions written with outdated fonts.

Modern online surveys are conducted not only through browsers but through social media networks, applications, interactive platforms, etc. Today you can fill in a simple questionnaire on your portable device while standing in the queue or commuting on the bus to your office. Online questionnaires are multipurpose and come in a variety of forms. They can be used to gather information about customers, to focus the attention of target audience on a certain product of service, to educate customers or just to transmit a marketing message or share data with consumers. They became an indispensable and convenient tool of implementation of marketing strategies and conducting researches.

There are several ways you can distribute an online survey with CoolTool – via email invitation, via online panel, via social media or website link.
Online Surveys via Email Invitations
This is one of the simplest ways of getting information from the clients. You create a survey and invite your customers to participate through email.

Try writing a catchy text or come up with a reward system in order to make your clients thrilled about making their way through your questionnaire.
Online Surveys via Online Panel
If you want to get certain kind of information from a particular target group, one of the best ways to do it is to recruit a sample from an online respondent panels using a number of criteria.

For example, you want to know what young mothers think about diapers which you company started selling recently. So for this survey, you would probably choose woman aged 20-30 years old, who has children up to 3 years old and are actively following trends in a sphere of child’s hygiene. Such profiling helps to get most relevant and accurate information from customers.
Online Surveys via Social Networks
We all like Facebook surveys. At first sight, it seems that such surveys are made to entertain people.

Though their main purpose is to get access to the personal information contained in the account of the network user (sex, age, education, employment, interests, etc.). Such information appears to be very useful while tailoring marketing strategies aimed at particular types of customers.
Online Surveys via Website
The most traditional type of online survey is a website-based one. It helps to get information about consumers and customers and is also a good way of attracting traffic to the site.

Such surveys are also very useful when you want to get feedback from customers on their experience of interacting with particular service or product proposed by your company.
Offline Surveys
Offline surveys allow you to collect data without Internet connection. You can collect responses by setting up survey kiosks at malls, stores, airports or have an interviewer collect it for you.

All you need to do is to download a free CoolTool Android App from the Play Market. Upload your questionnaire to the App and start collecting responses. All of your data will be synchronized once the Internet connection is back on. In case you had your Internet the entire time all of the data will be stored automatically in a real-time mode. The results will be delivered to you in an automated report.

Offline surveys are often used in contests, when people are invited to compete for a prize, or while promoting particular events. Such surveys also allow to attract the attention of target audience not only in online world (on websites, through online advertising, in social media networks) but offline (on streets and in public places) as well.
Which Survey Technique to choose?
In order to find the right surveying technique you always ask yourself three simple questions – why, whom and how? These questions will help you to define the purpose of your study, your target audience, and resources available to conduct a survey.

In order to find the right surveying technique you always ask yourself three simple questions – why, whom and how? These questions will help you to define the purpose of your study, your target audience, and resources available to conduct a survey.

If you already have a database of respondents all you have left to do is to figure out some engaging questions, compile a survey and send a link via email to them. Don’t forget to accompany this link with a catchy message that briefly explains the purpose of the survey.

If you don’t have a database of respondents and you have no time and human resources to create compile it, then just recruit professionals to do it for you. There are multiple companies available at CoolTool Marketplace, which are ready to recruit survey participants for you depending on your criteria and goals.

If you want to conduct a survey among your employees use a survey that measures employee satisfaction or performance. It will serve a decent ground for improvement of working environment and enhancing productivity of your colleagues. With your free account at CoolTool, you can download an employee satisfaction methodology from CoolTool Marketplace. So why not to drop an email to your employees with an invitation to participate in the survey? They will definitely complete it during morning coffee, or while eating sandwiches at lunchtime.

If you want to approach social networks users with a survey you are in luck. Social media networks are Holy Grail of people eager to participate in online surveys. Furthermore, access to personal data of subscribers makes it easier to profile a specific target group and adjust your survey in such way so as to be able to get most accurate and important information from participants.

If you decide to opt for a website-based survey you are aiming for those who already got interested in products and services of your company. You can create an action button on your website or provide users with a link which will lead them to your survey. Website-based surveys are also quite helpful when your company prepares an event and tries to engage visitors of the site to share their ideas on how to make it better.

What if I decide to mix Offline and Online tools in my survey?

Sometimes you really need to organize a massive survey and engage as many people, as possible. In such case, the best thing to do is to mix offline world with online one. Put a QR code on the box of your product or print it at outdoor advertising stand, ask people to scan it and take part in your survey. If done right, it may attract thousands and thousands of survey participants.
Survey Scripting
Good survey is more than just a bunch of questions to be answered. Our system offers tools, which allow embodying any logic of the survey.

You can customize your survey using preset filters, randomization of survey sections and questions, display and hiding of particular questions depending on preceding answers, etc. All aforementioned tools are available in our system immediately. But if you need more, we have something to offer you as well. This is survey scripting - a tool designed for smart customization of surveys through coding.

You need scripting if you know that sometimes logic of the survey might get so complicated that simple filters like “display this question next if the respondent answers “Yes” ” and “display another question if the respondent answers “No” ” just cannot meet your demands regarding the structure and contents of the survey. Especially when we talk about surveys with open-ended questions or with answers far more complicated than simple “Yes” or “No”.

As a survey scripting tool “CoolTool Survey Scripting Engine” allows you to guide every respondent through the survey and adjust it depending on his/her previous answers. This way every participant acts as a co-author of the survey and goes through a unique user experience.

If you know how to code and feel eager to create your own survey with the help of our Survey Scripting Engine then just go for it. Our definitive guide on how to use this tool will assist you in getting through lines of code. Should you require some assistance in creating a survey with the help of “CoolTool Survey Scripting Engine”, check out CoolTool Services section at a marketplace and find a professional to do the questionnaire scripting for you.
Survey Solutions
Mystery Shopping
This solution gets you the perception of what an ordinary customer sees when he or she enters a shop to buy a product.

Mystery shopping is useful when you want to find out if your product stands out from the rest, how your staff is performing, and whether the service is up to the standard. This methodology is also known as a “Secret Shopper”.

The person who acts like a secret shopper gathers the necessary information about the product and/or service for you. A mystery shopper is an inconspicuous part of a crowd, so it is hard to notice him or her, which makes the results more precise.

A mystery shopper takes notes of the following matters:
• Number of employees and their attitude
• Greetings - whether the staff is friendly enough
• How the products are presented
• Overall cleanliness of a store
• The quality of service.

The price of the survey depends on the amount of information you want to get. A “mystery shopper” provides the data, which then goes through quantitative or qualitative statistical analysis. After this you get the results, which create a base for your decision on what should be improved.
Employee Satisfaction & Engagement
There is one simple rule – an effective employee is a satisfied employee. This methodology is extremely helpful when you notice a decline in the effectiveness of your employees’ work and you need to learn how your employees feel.

Successful business is impossible without engaged employees. So you need to know what your employees think and how they feel. An engaged employee is more motivated, and this in turn positively influences your customers, as an employee tries to meet all their demands.

By asking your employees the right questions you will be able to find out whether you have to adopt measures to make their work more productive. You can find examples of Employee Satisfaction and Engagement methodologies at CoolTool Marketplace.
New Product Development
New product development methodology is necessary for the business to understand what kind of new product customers really want and what product features, like packaging, design, name, logo, it should have to be in demand.

This methodology predicts a set of clients’ expectations and desires, which are then sorted according to customer’s priorities. This survey is conducted when a company offers a new product and it usually includes interviews with the existing customers. Such surveys are usually based on customer’s experience with current products. This survey is important for the product development team because it is the bridge that connects designer’s ideas and customer’s expectations.
Customer Segmentation
This methodology identifies groups of customers who are interested in your products and services.

Groups are identified using different approaches such as behavior, demographics, purchase case, usage, etc. The results are important as they will tell you which markets you should focus on. Some companies decide to produce only one product for an entire market and other companies try to customize their product according to the needs of each particular customer (a good example is Nike website, where you can customize shoes to make the pair you want).
Advertising Effectiveness
This methodology will show you how efficient is your advertising.

The research includes two stages: pre-test and post-test. Pre-test shows the effectiveness of your advertising based on customer’s feedback and response. Post-test is a continuous monitoring of brand awareness and product consumption. Some methods of post-testing may be time-consuming as they include tracking over time to check the results of the advertising.
Supply chain management
Management of goods and services flows. The process controls the movement of raw materials and products from the origin point to the final destination (point of consumption).

Nowadays, when outsourcing is very popular, supply chain management is extremely important. You want to provide your customers with products as fast as you can. You may need to conduct a survey to understand where you can gain another hour or even day in terms of transporting goods. Moreover, when you focus on supply chain management, other companies, which work with you, won’t waste their time on it. It is necessary to understand where you lose your time and fix it, as it directly influences your income. This quantitative research methodology is perfect for large companies, with many companions.
Customer Satisfaction
This methodology is one of the most popular among companies, and it is easy to understand why. It tells you if your products or services meet clients’ expectations.

Customer Satisfaction is a simple solution that gives you a very important information. The data you collect will help you to understand if you need to change something about your product or service. It also tells you how satisfied your customers are. When sales indicate your current success, satisfaction may indicate your future success. Quite often, customers are asked to rate a product or service on a five-point scale. A person, who gives you five stars, is likely to become a loyal customer and those, who give you one star most likely won’t buy your products or use your services. Everything is simple and results are quite precise.
Net promoter score
This methodology indicates if a person is ready to recommend your company or not.

A customer is asked how likely is he to recommend your company on a ten-point scale, where 10 means “I will definitely recommend” and 0 is “I definitely won’t recommend”. According to their answers, customers are divided into 3 groups: those, who gave 9-10, are “promoters”, 7-8 “neutral consumers”, and 0-6 “detractors”. Promoters can become the force, which moves your brand forward. A customer can tell about your company to his or her friends and they may become your customers, who will tell their friends about your company and so on. This methodology is easy to conduct and it helps to identify your promoters, which in turn allows you to build a unique marketing communication strategy for them to spread the word. And we all know that people often tend to trust their friends more, than advertisement.
Customer feedback
This methodology shows how satisfied your customers are.

A customer is asked to answer a couple of questions. Usually, in a form of a short survey without open-end questions, which makes it not tiring for consumers. Such surveys are easy to prepare, but it is important to remember that people do not like wasting their time on surveys, so you should keep it as short as possible.
Introduction to Surveys
Why use Online Surveys from CoolTool?
Online survey solution is a go-to tool for any researcher. From questionnaire design to primary data analysis, you have the best professional survey tools at your service.

Vast choice of question types:
• Single, multiple choice answers
• Open-ended questions
• Various rating questions
• Questions with multimedia
• NeuroLab questions – website usability, product shelf placement, video and advertising.

Customizable designs:
• Use 15 stylish, responsive questionnaire design templates
• Create your own questionnaire design.

Multiple data collection methods:
• Online – PC, laptop, tablet, mobile via email, link, button, social network, QR code, CAPI, CATI, etc.
• Offline – survey kiosks
• NeuroLab – eye tracking, EEG, emotions measurement, mouse tracking.

Cloud-based solution:
• Effortless access to results in a real time
• Easy export of raw data to SPSS, Excel
• Convenient automatized reporting system
• Fully editable reports in PPT and PDF
• Sharing options
• All survey tools are available whenever you want, wherever you are.

Even more, using CoolTool you can outsource tasks at any stage of your research, which allows you to concentrate on tasks you enjoy and know how to do.
Why are online surveys more effective than traditional?
Telephone and paper surveys have lost their relevance. Online surveys are a better option as everything is done in a real time. Among their main benefits are low costs, convenience for the respondents, and flexible design.

Online surveys become more and more popular every day, and the reasons are pretty obvious. An online survey is easy to compose, edit or modify according to your constantly changing business needs. You don’t have to print it out – so you can save money and take care of the planet. You don’t need an interviewer like with a telephone survey, so again overall costs are kept low. And most importantly, you can get and interpret data extremely fast.

Online surveys are incredibly efficient, as you can get data in a real time. They are also cheaper and easier to manage. Online surveys make it really easy to reach your customers at any time.

People are always online – in cafes, malls, shops, streets, at homes, etc. This gives unlimited access to your target audience, which was impossible with a paper-based survey.

Online surveys are easy to launch. You don’t need to wait for the survey to be printed or for results to come in. Survey can be launched just in a few clicks.
What is a good questionnaire?
Questionnaire is an integral part of a market research. It is a handful tool used to gather information, which then can be used to introduce some changes and tweaks into your marketing strategy.

A really good survey questionnaire is the one that provides accurate and trustworthy outcomes. Keep your questionnaire short. Otherwise, respondents will simply ignore your survey or provide inaccurate answers. At the same time, your survey should have enough questions to give you a full picture of what customers think about your company, service or product.

A good online survey should be mobile-friendly, as more and more people tend to use mobile devices as their main form of access to the network.

Surveys should be eye-catching and interesting. Avoid using large, complex tables. Remember, a survey has to be not only well-structured but also well-designed.

You can use elements of gamification to make the survey more fun and engaging. However, don’t overuse this technique.

Nowadays, you can simply download a perfect free survey template at the website. Also, you can hire a research company or a freelancer to construct a survey for you. If you feel like you need questionnaire assistance, use services of experts from CoolTool Marketplace.
How to create an effective questionnaire?
When constructing a questionnaire think of a well-structured questionnaire, as it is proved to be most effective.

A well-structured questionnaire constructed by following guidelines:
• Demographics questions like sex or age should be asked at the end
• Scales shouldn’t crossover. You can’t include the same value in two scales. For example, you ask a respondent to indicate his age. You have one option saying 18-20 and the second one saying 20-25. A person who is 20 years old won’t know which option to choose. To avoid this ambiguity, make one scale say 18-20 and the second one say 21-25
• A questionnaire shouldn’t be too long and time-consuming. People will simply skip some questions and provide you with the hit-and-miss answers. Remember, nobody likes monotonous tasks
• Questions should be short and clear so responders won't get confused
• Provide enough options to choose from for each question
• Avoid recalling previous questions. Don’t force the respondent to memorize previous questions, it’s tiring.

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