Advantages And Disadvantages Of Census Surveys

Despite all your survey sampling options, some surveyors still want to send email survey invitations everyone on their house list and think it's the better option. For those who insist on conducting a census instead of a sampling, here are some pros and cons:

Pros:

Increase confidence interval. Conducting a census often results in enough respondents to have a high degree of statistical confidence in the survey results. If you have a population of less than 1,000 individuals, you may often need to survey everyone to achieve statistical confidence.

Maximum chance of identifying of negative feedback. If you're using online survey software, such as Cvent, you can set up email alerts to notify the surveyor, customer care department, sales team, etc. of negative feedback and contact the customer to make the situation right. By acting on negative feedback immediately, organizations have the chance to improve their customer satisfaction ratings.

Everyone is invited. For annual measurements, such as customer satisfaction survey, it's important to give everyone the opportunity to provide feedback.

Cons:

Limits other possible survey opportunities. Organizations cannot ask the same people to complete a survey time and time again. If you email your house list a survey, you have to respect their time. If you decide to conduct a census, be sure to evaluate other survey projects that are in the pipe line. You may decide a census isn't worth having to put a hold on other survey projects.

Declined response rates. The more times you try to survey your entire list, the lower the response rate will be each time. Census surveys tend to be longer than the typical survey. Your respondents will remember that the next time you ask them to complete a survey. When you do conduct census surveys, remember some of the best practices for email marketing such ask telling the respondent how much time they should expect the survey to take. Lying on a longer survey is going to hurt your response rates for future surveys.

When weighing the advantages and disadvantages of census surveys, be sure to keep in mind the survey goals and other survey projects in the pipe line. If you've decided that maybe sending email survey invitations to everyone for a web based survey isn't a great idea, you can review some of our past posts on probability and non-probability sampling options.

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