According to a recent survey conducted by Zoomerang, usage of online surveys among small businesses has surged 118% between 2001 and September 2004.
Other highlights of the survey include:
- Faster and easier -- 69% of small businesses that have adopted online surveys are able to obtain results more quickly and easily. In addition, 65% have benefited from improved insights about their business; and 48% obtain higher-quality results than traditional research methods. "The feedback is instantaneous ... it is honest and demands action," wrote a small business executive in his survey response.
- High "Stickiness" Factor -- 94% of those small businesses that began using online surveys over the past five years continue to use them, indicating a very high "stickiness" factor, or a strong ability to retain users.
- More Meaningful Decisions -- 69% of those small businesses which employ online surveys use them to make decisions about product or service improvements; 49% use them for decisions about new product or service ideas; and 46% use them for decisions about customer contact strategies. As one respondent offers, "Our surveys helped define who our customers are and, once we studied the data, we were able to target our advertising message in a more effective manner."
- Cost and Time Savings -- 56% of small businesses using online surveys have saved time with the tool and 34% have lowered costs. According to one respondent, "We reduced mailing and printing costs by 50%. Results were tabulated more quickly and automatically, reducing staff time by approximately 70%."
- Broad usage across industry -- Users in approximately 20 industries, from telecommunications to health care, employ online surveys. The most recent entrants are those users in entertainment and real estate who adopted online surveys in 2003 and 2004, respectively.
"Simply put, online surveys are gaining popularity among small businesses because surveys help them better fulfill their potential," explained Dana Meade, Vice President and General Manager, Zoomerang. "Now, entrepreneurs can more confidently invest in and add new services to their businesses based on proven demand and expand sales based on customers' feedback.