Carolyn Browne Tamler

has helped hundreds of businesses and organizations with her thoughtful facilitation and research services. She also writes colorful and compelling articles about new business initiatives! Would this help you? Call Carolyn today!

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    8-9-12 Why do a survey?

    The essential purpose for conducting a survey is to gain information to help with planning and marketing decisions.  Whether your business involves a product or a service, having reliable information about who your customers are and what your customers want is essential.   A survey is an objective tool for obtaining this information through asking questions to a sample of your current or potential customers.

    There are two basic types of surveys: self-selected and statistically valid random sample. 

    A self-selected survey is a written questionnaire distributed through the mail, a newspaper or magazine, or on the web (Survey Monkey) or simply left at a counter for someone to complete.  In each case, the respondent chooses to participate (i.e. selects himself or herself).  This is not a survey that can generally be used to project what your entire population wants, but it does tell you what people want who care enough to respond to your questions.

    A statistically valid, random sample survey is based on scientific principals that make it possible to predict the responses of a total population, within a given error range, based upon a random sample of that population.  The key here is that proper random sampling techniques must be used to assure that everyone in the population has an equal chance of being selected for the survey. 

    If you're not planning to make use of the information you are getting from the survey, there is no point in doing it.

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