Do you need general information or detailed opinions?
There are pros and cons with both polls and surveys but in order to choose what is best for your company, you need to first define what type of answers you are looking for. General, or more detailed?
A poll is a more general way to find out about the direction your market seems to be heading, or which way the political winds are currently blowing. With just one question and multiple answer alternatives, you can get hundreds or thousands of potential stakeholders to point you in the right direction. If you want to know if teenagers will be interested in your product – this is how you will find out!
A survey, on the other hand, is more detailed. Therefore to a larger extent asking for personal comments and views. And will most likely be directed to a specified group of persons, for example, former customers or current employees. If you want to know if your employees are happy with their work situation. Have any hopes to advance in their careers or if they feel mistreated by someone in their workplace, a survey is a way to find out.
Another difference is the time you need
A poll generally consists of only one question and you can complete it in seconds. You click the mouse or tick the box and voilá! You´re done.
A survey requires a little more time from the participants. There may be few or many questions involved but they will definitely require more thought. Some will also ask you to express things in your own words rather than just ticking one of five boxes.
The same thing goes for those who will view and identify the results of your investigation. A poll can be marked quickly and the answer will often show directly on your screen. A survey will be analysed carefully to lead up to a result presented in diagrams or words, depending on the type. However, the latter will also (at least this should be the intention) result in a change, improvement or development in a specific context.
The analysis of a survey may be difficult and require professional help. There is help available, so please relax. Companies like Netigate specialise in these things and they will gladly guide you through the whole process of survey conduction. And guess what – it will be worth it!