The words “survey,” “questionnaire,” and “assessment” are bandied about a lot in the business world and often used interchangeably. But there are differences between each term. So whether you are a language guru or you want to know what the right term is for the tool you need for your business, read on! Below, we’ll dive into the differences and show how you can utilize them to grow your business.

The Basics – Surveys, Questionnaires, and Assessments

First of all, what is a survey? A survey is like a one-way street of gathering data – you’re surveying people to obtain information. Therefore, any means of collecting information from a population can be considered a survey. (Something to remember here is that feedback is NOT given with a survey!)

A questionnaire is a distinct type of survey. As the name implies, it specifically uses questions to gather targeted information or data from people. Questionnaires have more structure to them and are typically used with assessments or other types of research.

As you may be thinking – yes, an assessment is a type of questionnaire! An assessment allows you to create a customized group of questions across various types. But unlike surveys and questionnaires, you’re communicating and engaging via a two-way street! Agolix specializes in this two-way communication tool, and our assessment software is made to help you provide instant feedback to clients, as well as beautiful personalized reports! Assessments are also the only one of these three to provide feedback to those taking it – making them an incredible engagement marketing tool!


Quizzes and Questionnaires for Gathering Data

Let’s take a look at when you might use a survey. One such example could be in an academic institution as a teacher or professor. You’re looking to gather information from a new group of students. How familiar are they with the subject you’re teaching? What are their demographics? How much time are they spending on homework per week? Why not gain some valuable insight through a simple survey – and plan from there!

A questionnaire could take things a step further. If you’re still looking at the academic example, you could use a questionnaire to help create new lesson plans. How much do your students know about a topic? Where do you start from? 

If you’re working in a large company, the same use case applies. What is the level of understanding your employees have on a topic? Work in HR? How is morale? What are people feeling?

Agolix by Assessment Generator now includes AI question generator

Assessments for two-way communication

    Finally, how would you use an assessment in your real life? 

    If you’re a career coach, you can create an assessment that asks respondents to rate their satisfaction with their current position and use those responses to automatically provide a customized report showing what their ideal careers might be and how you as their coach can help them achieve their goals.

    As a life coach, you can score a respondent in different areas of their life (for example, finances, relationships, family, etc.) to help identify areas where they can work to improve and suggestions for how to do that.

    Offering an assessment like this does several things:

    • Places your brand in front of the respondent, and encourages them to take their next steps in working with you.
    • Your expertly written questions and feedback demonstrate your expertise in your subject matter, enhancing your credibility.
    • The report you provide, which is automatically generated by Agolix at the conclusion of the assessment, represents something of value that you’ve given them for free. This leverages the reciprocity principle of marketing – your respondent will want to “return the favor” and will be more likely to engage with you.
    • When you next reach out to the respondent, it won’t be a “cold” contact – you’ve already interacted with them via your assessment and the report, and it gives you an opening for personalized communication based on their responses.

    Assessments and the feedback provided by them truly allow you to shine in your zone of genius. What could be better than that?! That’s why we wholeheartedly recommend our assessment software – it allows for greater engagement, retention, and personalization!

    Are you ready to get started creating an assessment for your business? An assessment, like a survey or questionnaire, can be an invaluable tool to kick off the new year. Click here today to begin!

    Cindy Sideris
    Cindy Sideris

    Cindy Sideris is a NY-based writer passionate about engagement marketing and an expert on online assessment strategy.