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Online Surveying – Everything You Need To Know

Why Survey?

Getting to know your clientele is one of the most important parts of running a business. Staying relevant, making changes, and giving people what they want is practically impossible without knowing how you are doing. This is where online surveys and other methods of gathering client information come in handy. There are various ways to collect data on your business. Deciding what you are truly interested in will help determine which method to use. Stick around because we have a survey solution that might just be exactly what you need. 

Poll vs. Survey vs. Form


If you have just one quick question for your audience, then a poll is for you. Most commonly used as a multiple choice question, there is no room for confusion. Polls are all over social media; in a tweet, Instagram story, or Facebook post. Can’t decide what day of the week to live stream your show? Use a poll across your socials to see what day your audience prefers!
However, you want to be careful with the type of questions you ask in a poll. A clear question with a few multiple-choice options is ideal. A question that is open-ended or doesn’t include all the options in the multiple choice may alter your results.  


A survey is going to provide you with much deeper answers. You won’t just know if a customer liked a product but how much they liked it, if they will purchase again, and if they will recommend it! The best part of a survey, you can customize the flow of questions depending on the answer to the previous question. For example, if you are running a survey to find out if a customer would recommend your product to a friend, and the client ranks the chances 6/10, you can add a follow-up question with why that is. Or if they answer it with a 10/10, you can skip the why and go right into the next portion of the survey. This is a great feature that Zoho Survey offers, which we will cover at the end.

Streamlined questions that flow together give a higher chance of a participant completing your survey. A survey that contains random questions that the client doesn’t care about most likely won’t get filled out completely, or worse, will have false information. Having survey results is the best way to be able to compare feedback among clientele. Comparable data is the most accurate way to analyze and make decisions based on the answers. 


While similar to a survey, forms are better to collect data rather than receiving feedback. While a survey will contain information that you can compare and analyze, forms provide data that is static. For example, forms are great for lead generation, updating client info, and even collecting orders. Another way to think of the difference is that the information in a form is transactional and the feedback in a survey is one-sided. There are many scenarios where a form is better suited, ask yourself “Are we receiving this data as information or as feedback?”

Common Metrics

While there are numerous reasons for needing to conduct an online survey, the most common metrics are the Net Promoter Score, Customer Satisfaction, and Star Reviews. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The NPS is able to measure the customer experience and predict the growth of the business. On a scale of 1-10 NPS calculates whether or not the customer is a promoter of the business. If scored a 9 or 10 the customer is considered a promoter, scored a 7 or 8 the customer is passive, any score of 6 or below is a detractor. This is a great way to calculate your business’s growth potential. Take advantage of asking another question to the customer depending on their NPS rating. Setting up logic that will reveal another question when the customer is a detractor will help you gain insights into why they won’t be promoting your business. 

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

CSAT is a very common metric that provides feedback on the business’s overall customer experience. Rather than one question like an NPS or Star review, Customer Satisfaction is best-taken advantage of by asking multiple questions to gather a bigger picture of the customer’s experience. Driving questions about the quality of the product or their experience with the customer support team will provide a detailed overview of customer satisfaction. 

Star Reviews

You’ll see star reviews all over the internet. It seems like every business has a star rating that the public is easily able to view and judge a company by. This makes it very important to promote rating your company to customers. While it’s not the best method to collect detailed information, it will give a quick view of what your customers think and provide that to the public. 

Mostly seen on a 1-5 star scale, this is a helpful way to get feedback with a higher response rate. While you can’t pinpoint the reasoning for a rating, it is beneficial to show off your rating to other potential clients. Mainly for external use and not as often for internal reviews due to the lack of details. If running an internal review on a particular department, it would be better to use a survey so that you can ask pointed questions.

Zoho Survey screen to show what a star rating looks like in a survey

How To Conduct An Online Survey – Step-by-Step

  • What are you trying to find out? 
  • Decide what method you want to use (poll, survey, form)
  • Write out the question(s) 
  • Create the survey 
  • Send to customers/participants
  • Set a deadline or timeline of how often to collect results
  • Gather results & Analyze the information
  • Report on the data – Compare answers 

Zoho Survey – Our Favorite Way To Get Answers

An easy-to-use, customizable survey tool will help simplify the way you receive feedback. We suggest using Zoho Survey, it directly integrates into Zoho CRM making it one step ahead of the other survey tools out there. You can create a survey with customized links, images, and fields that get sent into CRM for easy lead management. Check out our full product tutorial here to see how Zoho Survey can benefit you.

Bonus product shoutout to Zoho Forms, if a form better suits your needs, check out our full product overview here.

Billy Bates

Senior Web Developer

Billy is a Wordpress Developer with an eye for design. His knowledge will help our company website and client sites meet their goals. Billy and his young family have just moved to Ashland Oregon, and are looking forward to exploring the area’s amazing beer, wine, and food. He also has a passion for synthesizers and drum machines.

Lucas Sant'Anna


With a background in Operations Research and Data Analysis, Lucas is a Brazilian programmer that likes to get stuff done quickly and reliably. In previous jobs, he implemented industrial job scheduling, fleet management and detailed long-haul route optimization – among other data-driven processes – to reach objectives of increased profit and reduced wasted resources. His goal is to make Zoho fully automated and with more meaningful data for spot-on decisions.