Why We Should be Conducting More Street Surveys

Why We Should be Conducting More Street Surveys

Have you a spare minute? Would you mind filling this out for me? I’m sorry to bother you but this will only take a moment?

All sound familiar? These are often the go-to conversation starters for many a survey collector. Carrying out street surveys is a tough job and one that isn’t for everyone but it is so important as a society that we take part and don’t see it as an inconvenience.

If you are conducting research, any interaction with people is an opportunity to gather information. You may be that annoying person on the street who is trying to take a few moments out of everyone's ‘precious’ time but it’s important. Your job is not only to secure their opinion but convince them that it is for their own benefit. It may be a survey for a building proposal, challenging a recent bill Government has passed, drumming up support for a local politician or simply feedback on a local facility, surveys are excellent resources for all kinds of research.

Some people think that surveys have automatic connections to donations and this isn’t the case, surveys are knowledge banks and it costs people nothing yo donate. Surveys are easy to develop, especially when using advanced survey software solution such as Voxcitio. Street surveys have seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to hand-held mobile devices and tablets being made more affordable. The days of people writing an answer on a piece of paper have been replaced by the click of the button, which is even more appealing.


Figure out exactly what you want your customers to tell you. For instance, you may want to find out whether they are satisfied with your service. So ask them. Do not gather any extra data if you aren't sure exactly what you are going to do with the results. If it from a Public Consultation point of view, ensure the questions are straightforward and not leading.

When doing street surveys, we have two pieces of crucial advice:

  • Don't invade personal space. Don't start talking while you are moving towards people. Position yourself in the way and ask as they walk into your personal space to seem less intimidating.

  • Give yourself some legitimacy. A badge or uniform that represent the people or cause you are conducting surveys for should do the trick here. Having a table that people could go to and take the survey with lots of nice prizes that looked really official would also help entice people.

Calculate The Risk

Surveys take time and money. If the cost to conduct it is more than what you will gain from it, then your survey may not be worth running.

Therefore, if you can’t determine the ROI with at least some accuracy, then there’s no incentive to take action on what you learn.

This means that all of your questions need to be tied to specific learning objectives. Without this connection, you may find yourself unable to act on the data you collect. This makes your survey just an expense, with no return on the time and money you invested in it.

As you can see, there are many other factors that we haven't even touched on when considering enacting street surveys.

If you are interested in learning more about Voxcitio, why not arrange a demo below.