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Online Surveys Have Their Benefits

Aug 17, 2007
If you've ever opened your e-mail box to find a host of letters requesting your participation in online surveys, you're not alone. But, how do these things work? Do they really benefit anyone? And, why should you participate?

Let's answer some of those questions.

First, let's look at why online surveys are conducted. If the truth be told, online surveys are quickly becoming the market research tool of choice for many companies. With national and state do not call lists making telemarketing difficult, the online world opens up a whole new way for companies to find out everything from people's buying trends to their preference in laundry soaps.

While junk mail filters might eliminate some surveys from arriving at their desired destinations, the companies in question aren't risking violating laws or bothering people during the dinner hour with unwanted phone calls. Considering their basic nature, online surveys are less invasive than telephone calls, too, making them the friendlier choice for gathering information. Also, since they are taken at participants' leisure, they provide respondents more time to consider each question.

Online surveys work like any other information-gathering tool. This means, in a nutshell, they provide companies with information they can use to tailor products and services to customers. How well they work depends, of course, on the response level and the truthfulness of the answers provided. If, for example, 10,000 online survey requests go out and only 10 people respond, the resulting data might not be that great. But, if 10,000 surveys go out and 1,000 come back with truthful answers, a company might be able to glean good information about its products or services.

So, how exactly do online surveys help the people who respond to them? It's simple, when companies reach out for information, they are looking for the truth from their customers. If, for example, an online survey requests information about scented laundry soap fragrance requests, it's possible your suggestions might make it into an eventual product. Or, a product that isn't working so well might benefit from tweaking customers desire. The power of online surveys should not be discounted as many companies and agencies use these to alter and/or guide their programming, product and service plans, resulting in better products for customers.

Taking part in online surveys generally is a pretty easy prospect, too. All that's necessary in most cases is that a person be a consumer of products and services. Since this pretty much describes the entire human population, just about anyone is eligible to have their opinion count in an online survey. Of course, not every person will be eligible to respond to every online survey. This, however, doesn't mean there aren't ways to make your opinions count.

Online surveys come in all lengths and cover just about any kind of product or service imaginable, too. They can be quick hits that help their creators find out if a company is doing its job, or they can be in-depth pieces that try to determine what goods people would like to see made available on the market. The possibilities are almost endless.

They might seem a little informal, but online surveys are great ways to make personal opinions about everything from television programming to dog food brands count.
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