tabsurvey blog

Survey methods for better strategic fit

The two sides to business feedback (Part 2)

Last article gave an account of the two main approaches to surveys; namely, push and pull. Today’ blog will focus on getting the mix right for you and your organisation. We give you four essential questions that, when answered, will give you a clearer view of your best fit in terms of survey methods.

Getting to the right mix is not a one solution fix for all companies and will change along with context. Rather, it is a roadmap to understanding important factors of influence. What is a best fit for your organisation will likely fail for others. So, factor in the difference, take what you can use from the questions below and find your ideal fit!


#1 What information are you seeking?

Whether you want to understand customers, satisfaction or a needs assessment, the survey methods used needs to reflect it. If your aim is to understand those who walk out of the store empty-handed, then there isn’t a lot of reason to get feedback from the vicinity of the cashier, right?

Similar, if your goal is to develop the new hot product, then a quantitative survey might not be the best way. Survey methods like focus groups and in-depth interviews work better. Setting the focus of the survey is crucial for viable data

The first step in strategising your survey methods is to formalise what information you need. This single point will allow  you to figure out where you need to go and navigate the path of least resistance. What survey methods will support the information you need?

Solution: chart the information you need and plan how to get it in its best format. Are there any survey methods that work better – and under which strategy?


 #2 How long is the timeframe for collecting data? (duration)

The duration has a major impact on which of the two strategies is most cost efficient. To pull customers to your feedback system requires a large initial workload. You need promotions, planning, hardware and software. In contrary, pushing can require minimal upfront investment but demands a continuous workload for the duration of collecting feedback.

If you are planning a one off survey to scratch an itch, then pushing the survey will often be the better alternative. Setting up promotions/advertisement will most likely have too high cost on only a single survey. On the contrary, if feedback is recurring, then a system to attract feedback might be less labor intensive.

Solution: project whether you need feedback continuously or if it is a one off event. Is the feedback short- or long-term? Single or multi use? Answering these will get you closer to the answer.

continuous feedback


#3 Customer relationship:

Are you a small business owner or manager overseeing customer care? Are you working B2C or B2B? Do you have few large or many small accounts? Depending on the situation you are in, customer dialogue and relationship differs.

Some companies have very strong ongoing ties to buyers and future prospects while others have a more arms-length relationship. In general, the higher a number of customers or potential clients that you have, the more effort the company has to spend and hence the further the distance between the two there normally is.

Similarly, if you have a large elusive customer base across the globe; reaching customers for feedback through push carries a tremendous workload. From this viewpoint, a pull strategy works more cost efficient. This is particularly true for retail chains and similar global setups.

However, if you can easily define and reach customers, then you can get a large quantity of surveys out that feel more personalized. A good example is online stores that sends after-purchase emails that thanks for the purchase of X,Y & Z and asks for rating the service.

Solution: Map your relations with customers and the touch points where customers interact with your brand. Are there many customers? How does the brand normally interact with customers? How easy is it to reach customers? – Plan the best-fit approach to data collection from a communicative viewpoint.

Remember to take into consideration the way your design your survey. Communication is crucial for surveys.


#4 Population target preferences

The final factor to reflect on is from whom you collect feedback. In the first question, you mapped out the desired outcome of your survey. Now try framing who you collect data from, who are they? What channels do they prefer? How would they like to send feedback?

This will help you:

  1. a) Set a good advertisement for pull survey from the targets preferences
  2. b) Select the optimal channel to push the survey in a way that gives the largest number of feedback.

Imagine that your target is of the older generation – Could you succeed with a QR survey or other smartphone media? Maybe, but most likely scenario will end with low number of responses.

As a rule of thumb the younger the target, the more technical a channel is preferred and vice versa.

Solution: Map the target group for your survey and understand the segment. What media do they use? What will drive them to give feedback? Which media is the target most comfortable with and which strategies fits the method – push or pull?

The more comfortable the target feels with the chosen media, the less intrusive a push survey will feel. Hence, you can create a better dialogue with your target by choosing the best media channel.

Similarly, finding the most comfortable media will for pull survey yield higher response rate – which is the name of the game for both survey strategies.


How to use tabsurvey in your survey strategy:

A great survey tool should support both push and pull strategy and focus on data collection. You might find that your ideal fit is a combination of both, and as such need methods from both sides.

Tabsurvey’s primary focus is providing seamless data collection for companies while providing a great user experience for any who provide feedback. Our solution provide two distinct arenas for collecting feedback;  physical and online.

Our physical solution is ideal for any who wish to go with a pull strategy. It work perfectly as a in-store survey solution for one store or across the world in a large chain store. It even works across numerous languages with data collection centralised in one database.

survey methods



Our online solution allows for a much more push oriented strategy. You can create a survey and push it onto Facebook, via email, onto your homepage or embed it into a QR code. The possibilities are as numerous as you can come up with.

You can go with one or the other. You can also combine them both, depending on your needs.



Todays article features four essential aspects of survey strategy. These four deal with the underlying factors of your measurements and move beyond simple facts to attain the best strategy for your company and needs.

One crucial question you need to address is at what degree is push and pull optimal for your company and what survey methods fit your needs? There is no perfect answer to this question as it varies from company to company.

So simply put: “What is best for you?”

Stay tuned for more articles


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