What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Evaluation Forms?

Evaluations can tell you if your business is on the right track.
Evaluations can tell you if your business is on the right track. (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

In a competitive business climate, evaluation forms are commonplace. Businesses use them to learn if the service they provide actually accomplishes its stated goals -- the forms provide insight into how a company is operating. Before using an evaluation form, decide what the form is actually aimed at accomplishing. Decide on what you want to evaluate, the target audience, the kinds of information needed, where the information can be best collected and the resources needed to collect the information. Two common types of evaluation forms are questionnaires and interviews.

Good Evaluation Forms

Before an evaluation form is distributed, make some decisions. What is the purpose of the evaluation? Is feedback encouraged? If so, will the form allow for follow-up? Will the form allow the person filling it out to suggest future topics? Is the form to be used to collect market research? Is the form to be used for identifying future customers, markets or products? Or is the evaluation form to be used to convey a message? Answer these questions and incorporate the information into the evaluation form you decide to use. Good evaluation forms provide the information you seek.

Advantages of Questionnaires

Questionnaires are easy to administer and they are anonymous. The questionnaires can be handed out after a transaction is completed or as part of an online survey. Gathering data is inexpensive and easy to calculate. The evaluation can have a relatively fast turnaround.

Disadvantages of Questionnaires

Questionnaires may not give in-depth feedback. They may be filled with bias or the sample response could be skewed. An unhappy customer might give very negative answers. For all the data gathered, it may not give a representative statistical sample. There is no certainty the forms sent out would be returned.

Advantages of Interviews

Interviews are more interactive than questionnaires. The interviewer can ask in-depth questions. A professional interviewer can draw out the interviewee's true feelings, and gather better insights than a questionnaire can. An interviewer can get very detailed information.

Disadvantages of Interviews

Interviews are labor-intensive and expensive. The information gathered might be difficult to group into a useful format. The evaluation process can be very slow. An unskilled interviewer might not record the answers properly.

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