A survey is a very important social research method because it affords the researcher the opportunity to figure out the social world by discerning people's habits and thoughts on a wide range of topics.
A survey can be conducted in a number of ways. The first such method is through closed interviews. This means people will have the chance to answer a number of questions on particular topics and this will normally relate to their thoughts such as rating a product, generating responses of interest for companies trying to understand the market.
The other form of generating statistical data is through written questionnaires. This need not be a simple yes or no questionnaire, more sophsticated ones consist of multiple choice questions, usually about their opinions on a particular product or brand.
This works well for middling and large corporations who have the funds to learn about clients and their habits. Take for example Marriott Hotel, they regularly survey their clients with comment and feedback forms. This enables them to gather data regarding how well they are doing as a company in terms of the provision of high-quality, cost-effective services and how they can improve upon their weaknesses. This is only done because they are able to generate data based on the responses of their feedback forms.