April 22, 2005, 12:00 AM

Whirlpool cuts consumer survey costs by 97% by putting them online

Manufacturer Whirlpool swaps offline focus groups and phone surveys for online surveys and cuts consumer research costs dramatically. The online format also shrinks the turnaround time on survey data from weeks to days.


For marketers, the Internet is more than a sales or marketing channel-it’s a survey tool as well. Whirlpool Corp. says it’s reduced its research costs by 97% since replacing some of its offline focus group research and paper and phone surveys with online surveys, using the services of online survey provider WebSurveyor.

Whirlpool did 70 online surveys last year after implementing WebSurveyor in May, focusing on customer satisfaction and product marketing. Using WebSurveyor’s private hosted license option, Whirlpool has been able to compress what had been a month to get out a survey using other formats and weeks to start receiving results into a matter of days.

The manufacturer uses the online data to gauge initial response to new concepts and gain an understanding of consumer attitudes prior to rolling out actual product tests, with the goal of giving the tests a sharper focus so as to reduce cost and risk. Whirlpool received 52,000 responses from the online surveys, a response rate that has promoted it to fine-tune and expand its use of online surveys this year, according to WebSurveyor.


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