When searching for the best online survey company, there are a variety of factors organizations should consider.
As you look for the best third-party market research firm ask about factors such as:
- Sample sources used to find survey respondents
- Experience in your industry or sector
- Process for survey programming and cleaning
- Available reporting options
- Level of consultation throughout the report
It is important to not only collect feedback from target respondents but to have a research partner who understands the intimate breakdown and cross-tabulations of the data.
Before making your choice of partner, our national online survey agency shares five things for your team to consider below.
1. Sample Sources Used to Find Survey Respondents
An online survey is only as statistically reliable as the quality of respondents who complete the questionnaire.
For this reason, it’s important respondents are best representative of your target customer or market (depending on the objectives for conducting the market research).
If not, the answers or feedback received will be unsuccessful in making a positive impact on your organization.
When speaking with different online survey firms, ask about their process for finding survey respondents.
What should their response be?
The best online survey companies have various sampling sources to rely on when fielding market research.
For example, Drive Research, our online survey company, relies on online panels, paid social media advertisements, grassroots efforts, and more.
Depending on the criteria of your target audience, we will make the best recommendation for sampling options based on past studies.
We have seen great success with recruiting survey respondents through organic and paid social media advertisements.
This recruitment process allows our online survey firm to use behavioral and audience targeting to find real people (not fake online bots or professional survey takers) who match any kind of criteria, to take our surveys.
2. Experience in Your Industry
Market research can benefit any kind of business, in any kind of industry or sector.
With that being said, there are third-party research companies that only specialize in a few industries such as healthcare, finance, or retail.
An online survey supplier who specializes in your industry will have the best-constructed approach for your company and provide maximum results.
Having worked with other clients in a similar industry as yours allows the research firm to surpass any challenges of entering a new space and replicating where they have seen success.
This can range from qualified online survey companies having the knowledge in:
- The type of questions to ask based on your objectives
- The best length for the survey
- Where to find survey respondents that match your criteria
- The recommended reward for respondents
It is okay if the firm doesn’t only specialize in your specific industry, but perhaps a variety of sectors and B2C or B2B organizations.
As long as they can speak to past projects or clients who they have worked with within your space, your organization should feel confident moving forward with your online survey project.
Take a look at the list of market research clients or testimonials on the market research company’s website.
This will give you a better idea of what type of organizations they’ve worked with before.
If it appears that there are many different brands, the chances are they have worked with a similar organization to yours – even if it is not branded on their website.
3. Online Survey Programming and Cleaning
Another critical part of the success of an online survey is that it is mobile-friendly.
Smartphone growth is rapidly growing. It is estimated that 85% of people own a mobile device, and over half of these connections are smartphones.
For this reason, it is important the online survey company is able to design a survey that is optimized for all mobile devices to assure the respondent experience is the best it can be.
This can go a long way in having a high survey completion rate.
Another great question to ask a potential research partner is their process for cleaning the survey data.
Especially with online surveys that garner hundreds of responses and/or offer a reward, survey data cleaning ensures the quality of your results is completely accurate and trustworthy.
An online survey company should take the time to comb through responses to check for duplicate responses, speedy survey takers who rush to the end, straightlining, and review open-ends for nonsensical responses.
Watch this short video for more survey cleaning tips recommended by our market research firm.
4. Available Survey Reporting Packages
If outsourcing an online survey project, many organizations aren’t aware of the different reporting packages available to them.
Some online survey firms may only offer a one size fits all approach to their reports, but Drive Research understands every business is different and so is their reporting needs.
Our New York online survey company offers a unique approach to our market research reports. Clients can pick and choose from a list of reporting options for their online survey results.
Survey reporting options include:
- A topline or executive summary
- An infographic (traditional and animated)
- Respondent personas
- Recommendations for next steps
- Appendix of question by question results
- Industry reports
No two online survey projects are the same. The same should be said of a market research report.
For the most part, many of our clients choose between a topline or a comprehensive report.
5. Actionable Recommendations and Next Steps
When fieldwork for an online survey is complete – the fun is just getting started.
When on the hunt for an online survey partner, look for one that is just that: a partner.
Does your online survey vendor stop with the data and findings? They shouldn’t!
Your organization should look for an online survey agency that does more than just deliver the results, but explains the data in a way that makes sense and is easily digestible.
This also means looking at the survey results from all angles. For example...
- Did answers differ from male or female audiences?
- How do top sources of awareness change for younger age groups vs. older age groups?
- What respondent persona is most likely to consider your products or services?
The major benefit of hiring an online survey company is to have a team of experts you can rely on to help interpret the research.
The research firm should be able to confidently suggest the next steps and marketing strategies based on their interpretation of the results.
If your team can’t understand what they are reviewing, how can you use the online survey results to make data-driven business decisions?
Drive Research believes market research is much more than facts and numbers. It’s very important that we help our clients turn this data into insights and then into action.
Of all the market research methodologies available, an online survey may be the most cost-effective, yet delivers reliable data in as little as two days.
For a small cost, a notable online survey research firm can provide your organization with the strategic insight you need to make important business and marketing decisions.
Drive Research is a national market research company located in New York. Interested in receiving a proposal for a project with our online survey company?
Reach out through any of the four ways below.
- Message us on our website
- Email us at [email protected]
- Call us at 888-725-DATA
- Text us at 315-303-2040
A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.
Learn more about Emily, here.