Although polls are often the 1st thing that are turned off when creating your site they do have their place. Magento has integrated polls from an early date and there is a management interface to allow you to create new questions and answers. Used correctly you can collect insights / opinions / trends from your customers. Perhaps you are considering a change to how you do business and this is a quick and easy way to gather opinions from your regular shoppers. As with any content if it is interesting, relevant and useful to your user they will appreciate it. By default most themes install the polls in one of the side bars so they need not be intrusive. With a bit of tweaking they could be added to the success page so you can use them as an exit survey.
From a magento optimization point of view the polls do add a noticeable load delay to your magento store when measured with 20+ concurrent users. However, if you have modest traffic levels this will never be noticed.
From the backend of your website click on ‘CMS’ which is located on the navigation bar, then click on ‘Polls’. On this page you will be able to see all polls set up on your website and edit them to either change or disable the poll. However, to add a new poll click on ‘Add New Poll’ at the top right hand corner of the screen. This page is where you will then type in the question followed by which of your sites (if you have more than one) you want the poll to be seen on. Then you can individually set answers for the poll, which your customers can then choose from.
If the basic tools offered here are not quite what you are after there are many more comprehensive tools located in Magento Connect which you can install with the Connect tool.