In this era of constant information, businesses can’t afford to plan or make decisions without weighing the data. But where does this data come from? Surveys are one of the primary methods for gathering important information businesses need. Small and large organizations require surveys to collect customer feedback, get insights about employees, understand the market, and much more.
Thanks to advancements in technology, any company, regardless of its size, can now conduct surveys remotely via mobile apps, web, telephone, or email without worrying about huge costs. But what happens if you need boots on the ground to interview real people? How do you minimize the costs of a face-to-face survey?
Read on to learn how you can save resources in this area when you have a tight budget.
Ditch Paper Surveys
Since the 1800s, when the first known census was done with pen and paper, the paper method has remained the go-to data collection option. Things have changed over the past few decades as researchers turn to the telephone and internet to conduct surveys.
But for field interviews, pen and paper are still common, as many organizations believe this method is cheaper. The truth is, paper-based methods have smaller upfront costs, but in the long term, the costs can be enormous.
Whenever you need a survey, you’ll have to buy papers, pens, copiers, and ink, print the questionnaires, transport the bulky documents to the field, and, after the survey, hire people to enter the data into a digital system. Not to mention you will still have to find storage for the papers and a way to keep them safe.
Instead of using pen and paper, consider conducting Tablet Surveys in the field. Today, you can easily find low-cost, but powerful survey tablets which will drastically cut your expenses and boost your data quality ten-fold.
Don’t Take Bulky Laptops Into the Field
After realizing the high cost of using pen and paper, some organizations decided to use laptops to conduct field surveys. Although it’s a move in the right direction, using laptops still has its cost disadvantages. First, rugged laptops come with a hefty price tag. Not to mention, the portability of a device is everything in the field. Laptops are heavy, clumsy, and have a shorter battery life than other mobile devices do, meaning your survey takes longer to get done.
The smaller and the lighter a gadget is, the more ground the interviewer can cover, allowing the project to be completed sooner. Instead of a costly and heavy rugged laptop, consider quality but cheaper survey tablets designed to be used on-the-go. You can quickly swipe to find the ideal questions, simply touch the screen to input responses, and even record audio and video responses. Again, tablets are more convenient and discreet to carry around.
Create Shorter Questionnaires
When it comes to effective surveys, the longer the questionnaires are, the lower the response rates will be – as well as more expensive. Plan to ask all your questions within the first 15 minutes because, after this, the quality of responses begins to take a hit. A lengthy survey not only means it will take more time to administer questions, but it also means you will need more resources to analyze the data.
Stick to need-to-know questions and strip out anything unessential, confusing, biased, or whose responses can’t be acted on in your targeted customer surveys. Fortunately, the latest interviewing technology allows you to filter through questions quickly and only ask the relevant ones based on the respondent’s previous answers, mood, and other factors, thus saving time and money.
Adopt the Latest Technology In Your Next Survey
There are many methods you can use to cut survey costs. But some, such as reducing sample size and using data from another organization’s survey, may increase margins of error and lower the quality of your findings. For high-quality data and insight, adopt the latest technology in your face-to-face surveys for the best results.