Why do companies conduct surveys? To top it, why do companies pay for participating in a survey? This small write-up will help you understand the basics of survey and the paid form of surveys.
Survey is nothing but data or information collection. This information is processed to arrive at a useful conclusion. This useful conclusion may be in the form of new product or better customer service or larger distribution network. All of this is done to enhance customer satisfaction about a product. Surveys are essentially statistical in nature. The non-statistical approach to people's opinion is termed focus group interviews. Focus group interviews hover around qualitative aspects of people's opinion about a product. Surveys are conducted over a large number of people against very few in case of focus group interviews.
Person participating in a survey is called respondent. Questions are asked her regarding her perception about a product. Surveys try to understand overall perception of the population based on the responses of the people surveyed. The group of people surveyed is called sample.
The findings from the sample are treated to be as though these have come from the whole population. For example, survey about new features in a car will have only couple of thousands of respondents across the country. However, the aggregate response from these couple of thousand of people will be treated as if it had come from the whole car owners’ population in the country.
Surveys are conducted in various ways - paper, email, snail mail, telephone and online. While each has its own set of pro's and con's, paper surveys have been most popular in the past. With so many surveys being conducted by as many companies, participants have started losing interest and involvement in the process. This has offered the impetus to online surveys where people can fill the questionnaire in their leisure time, and can even think of skipping some. There is no obligation and necessity to complete the surveys. The large number of surveys has discouraged people from participating in surveys. This reason alone has resulted into offering incentives to people to participate in surveys. This is where the story of paid surveys start. paid surveys are voluntary in nature - you need not take part in each and every survey. If you qualify, you are paid for taking part. This is a win-win situation for all the three - participant, research agency and the company for whom survey is being conducted.