In today’s business world surveys are not limited to big corporations, universities or research centers. They have become an indispensable part of the business operations for organizations large and small. Whether it is to test a product’s affinity among users, how your services fare with customers, inform your business strategy and more.
Surveys help you glean that much needed comprehensive data to make major business decisions. Surveys are like the way a doctor takes your blood for a prognosis. By sampling a select portion, businesses get to understand the sentiments and motivation and decision making processes of those they are surveying.
In fact, much of what you see as an innovative business probably came by way of a survey. From market research, logo design, offerings, shop layout to those iconic ads at the Super Bowl, surveys have had a role to play.
Survey Tool Uses
A survey helps to get information and insights on various topics of interest. It also helps you segment perceptions based on demographics, purchasing power, gender and other categories to garner better insights. Online survey tools will help inform your intervention decisions based on a particular segment(s) for a better impact. For businesses they help in:
Suppose you have a product that you think would be a success. Rather than embark on a journey on product development and marketing to meet the sales and find out that your product is not anywhere near the customer’s needs a survey can help you reduce these risks. Before embarking on a long and protracted process, a quick online survey can help you determine whether your product will have good reception in the market by evaluating perceptions and needs beforehand.
Help Determine Weak Spots or Blind Spots in your Operations
Very often we fail to see what others are looking for and just go with our assumptions. A survey can help identify potential competition with your products or if there are substitutes for your product or service. They provide insights into how users perceive your product or service when stacked up against the competition. They help identify where our customers’ pain points are. This kind of survey helps address issues such as customer service and product offerings before your competitor steals your unhappy customers.
A survey is a great way of getting a feel of people’s sentiments and reception to change. You can do an internal review to see how your employees feel about the benefit packages you are providing them. Besides, as a great tool to garner insights on engagement it also shows you are working towards an all-inclusive process of your inner workings. It will help your business to make decisions that are driven by public reaction.
Survey Tool Features
Depending on the objective of your survey and the survey tools you use, you may incorporate various options. These features are important:
Survey display options offer respondents the option of choosing where to show the survey. This could be your own website, an email, function on mobile devices or on a page hosted by the survey company.
Branching logic also known as skip logic is the ability of the survey to address different questions according to the answer chosen by the respondent. For example, if one question is ‘Do you use our services?’ and the user answers ‘Yes’ then the follow-up question would be ‘How did you first get to try our product?’ On the other hand, if they answer ‘No’, the follow-up question would be skipped.
User segmentation allows you to include only parts of your target audience in a specific survey. For example, you can show a survey only to new website visitors, only to returning visitors, to visitors from a specific geographical location and others. This is a great way to get invaluable information from specific groups.
Multiple option answers are required in order to get the most comprehensive information from any survey. Some common types of answers include text boxes, unique choice answers, multiple choice answers, and grid/matrix answers.
Data analysis allows you through charts, excel graphs, and other graphics to visualize the data with ease.
Online survey tools are making it easy for businesses to create and send a survey within minutes. Conducting a survey online gives you the reach you need to get a good sample size for your survey. They are tools that help gauge how happy your customers are, do market research, gather feedback, and even measure employee satisfaction. Below are some online survey tools to checkout:
1. Survey Monkey
Survey Monkey is one of the most well-known online survey tools, and while it offers various levels of subscriptions, the Basic plan is a good place to start. If you have a survey with more than 10 questions and need more than a few dozen survey responses, you can upgrade to one of their paid plans which starts at $25.
2. Zoho Survey
Zoho Survey is a relative newcomer to the survey software industry. However, it has quickly ramped up what they offer to rival those that have been around longer. Like the other packages, you may need to look to the paid versions to give you the flexibility you need, and the features that may make your survey as strong as you need it to be. Still, ZohoSurvey offers some excellent options that some other packages require a paid version to use. IF you are a Zoho ONe subscriber, Zoho Survey is included in the all-in-one price, at no additional charge. If you are not a subscriber its paid plan starts at $20.
3. Survey Gizmo
SurveyGizmo provides excellent online survey tools. Like SurveyMonkey, it offers service at a number of pricing levels. However, the free SurveyGizmo option offers an unlimited number of questions. Additionally, you can export your data to Excel or other spreadsheet tools with the free survey version. For this solution, pricing starts at $300 per year.
Like some of these other tools, Qualtrics has built-in templates you can use that guide to develop a survey. When developing a survey, you want to get a sense of how it will display on a variety of devices. And Qualtrics makes it particularly easy to do this. Customized pricing is available along with a free trial.
One of the differentiating aspects of SoGoSurvey is the services the company offers to assist with survey design. Many small businesses simply don’t have the time to spend on creating a survey. And SoGoSurvey eliminates this need, with options that range from just a little bit of advice on a survey to full design. An annual subscription starts at $ 299.00 which comes with unlimited surveys and unlimited questions. There is also a free trial if you want to give it a go,
6. Survey Planet
SurveyPlanet is one of the most affordable options. The free survey version offers an unlimited number of surveys and unlimited respondents. The design is a little less sophisticated than what many small businesses might like. Additionally, it is not as intuitive, but it offers most of what the other packages do. A free version is available as well as a paid plan that starts with $20 per month.
QuestionPro provides both quantitative and qualitative research options. The free survey creator comes with an easy to use interface along with sample survey templates to help you get started easily. With this tool you can send your survey through mobile, email, text messages, website embeds or via social media.
TypeForm comes with online survey tools that work across devices. This tool comes with personalized question paths and unlimited logic jumps. This makes it easy to segment your data based on your set parameters. This tool comes with a survey maker, form builder and a wide selection of templates. You can also use TypeForm to export your data to Google sheets and other applications for analysis. The Essential plan starts at $35 per month but there is also a limited free version.
LimeSurvey is an open-source online survey tool offering a scalable solution. You can conduct simple questionnaires with just a couple of questions or advanced assessments with conditionals and quota management. This survey tool comes with support for more than 80 languages; unlimited administrator privileges to allow teams to work on a survey; several question types; capabilities to set conditions for your questions based on previous answers; assessment scores to analyze survey sites and much more. Pricing starts at $29 per month and there is a free version and a free trial as well.
10. Constant Contact Surveys
ConstantContact is a survey tool that allows you to embed your survey in an email, post them on Facebook or on your website. This comes with real-time tracking capabilities of your respondents individually or as data trends. This comes in handy if you are looking for insights about your customer service. And the real-time poll feedback can help you tweak your operations and increase your customer’s satisfaction. Subscription prices start at $20 per month but a free trial is also available.
11. MailChimp Surveys
Mailchimp’s hosted survey forms help you to create detailed surveys and share them from your social posts, emails, or anywhere on the web. With it, you can add as many questions and question types as you need, choose from a variety of answer types, and style the form to fit your needs.
You can also create a survey outside of Mailchimp and link it to your campaign using Google Forms or any of the other options in Mailchimp’s Integrations Directory. Mailchimp’s Forever Free plan accommodates up to 2,000 contacts, and you can send up to 12,000 emails per month. This plan is free until you have more than 2,000 contacts. The Essentials plan is based on the number of subscribers you have and starts at $9.99.
12. Nextiva Surveys
The Nextiva solution is part of its Business Communications Suite. This tool offers ready to use survey templates, response analytics, email notification and more. Survey results are collected in real-time with users able to generate shareable links for their survey that can be shared with audiences through email or social posts. This solution is priced on a monthly basis and the plans vary according to the number of questions in a survey.
FormStack is a no-code form builder that helps you create a custom survey that is both mobile and web-friendly. This tool allows you to filter responses for targeted insights whereby the results will be shown either in charts or graphs.
It comes with Formstack Go, which lets you conduct a survey offline. It integrates with over 50 popular web apps, including Salesforce, MailChimp and PayPal. FormStack’s pricing starts at $19 a month but also offers a free 14-day trial as well.
14. Hubspot Surveys
Hubspot Surveys let you conduct customer satisfaction surveys to collect feedback from your customers on their experiences or interactions with your business. The survey can be sent in an email or you can display it on any webpage that has your HubSpot tracking code. The survey comes with five customer satisfaction survey templates and is compatible across devices. By signing up you can get the opportunity to survey 250 customers for free.
15. Google Forms
Google Forms is yet another popular survey tool that is jam-packed with some great features. These include the ability to generate unlimited online surveys for an unlimited number of respondents. It also provides automatic collections of data on Google Sheets, plenty of theme options, skip logic and page branching. And best of all these features are completely free.
16. Google Surveys
Google Surveys is a market research tool that gathers data from survey questions. Internet users answer survey questions in order to access high-quality content around the web. Pricing is based on per completed response and starts at a minimum of $3 per completed response.
Google then aggregates and analyzes responses through a simple online interface which includes graphs and clickable demographic segmentation that can be shared with your team. To get started you will need a Google account with Google Drive enabled; the Chrome browser, and the Google “one click” Forms web app installed.
17. Survey Solutions
Survey Solutions is a free software part of the Data group of The World Bank. This tool comes with a range of standard questions, answer piping, cascading and linked questions and can record information from external sensors. You can also collect your data offline on tablets, collect them online using web-interface as well as capture them through phone interviews.
Survey Solution even has a geographic information system (GIS) support to pinpoint information on locations, distances and areas.
18. Microsoft Forms and Forms Pro
Microsoft Forms is a lightweight form app that can do simple a survey. Forms Pro comes with Microsoft 365 and enhanced features to help you share and analyze your survey.
Microsoft Forms Pro is for users who want more personalized advanced features including enterprise-level surveys. With Forms Pro you can automatically send a survey based on triggers, build customized email templates and get advanced response analysis. Forms Pro can be acquired through Microsoft Dynamics 365 subscriptions and is also available as an upgrade for Office 365 subscriptions.
Survio is an easy-to-use survey tool to measure your customer’s satisfaction or marketing research. This free online do-it-yourself platform comes with more than 100+ ready-made templates to help you collect, analyze and share data.
Formsite is a survey and forms automation software that comes with over 100 customizable templates for registrations, surveying customers, order forms, and more. The assortment of forms gives users the flexibility to quickly and easily use them for multiple purposes. You can even customize your own graphics. Subscription to Formsite starts at $19.95 a month there is also a limited free version as well as a 14-day trial.
21. Survey Anyplace
Survey Anyplace is a cloud-based survey solution that can be used for gaging customer service, marketing and sales. Its features include a quiz builder, assessment tools, on-page widgets and multi-user management. Custom reports can be generated and shared in real-time. This solution also comes with an offline mode and multilingual support. The starter package comes with a monthly subscription fee of $33. However, there is also a 7-day risk-free trial on offer as well.
SurveySparrow has a conversational interface, that enables users to create and share surveys across web, mobile, social media, and e-mail to easily collect feedback from your target audience. Its recurring survey allows you to send a survey at regular intervals to measure engagement and progress. The pricing starts at $19.00 a month, and comes with a limited free version as well as a free trial.
Survey Planet’s free version comes with unlimited surveys, question types, unlimited respondents; survey theme options and other support features. However, with this online survey tool, you cannot export the results to Excel. The Pro version which comes with $15 a month subscription fee offers printable survey results; question branching; email and SMS survey completion notification; and includes in-question images.
SoGoSurvey is an online survey tool that provides multiple templates across several devices with the ability to review and share reports in real-time. Besides allowing to personalize your survey it seamlessly integrates with programs such as Salesforce, Slack, Zapier, Basecamp and others. It comes with customer support and boasts of stringent security protocols to protect privacy. Pricing for this tool is set at an annual subscription of $299 and there is also a free version.
CrowdSignal is an online survey tool that comes with a free version offering unlimited surveys, unlimited questions, unlimited responses and limited data export. However, you can only customize a survey and export data with the paid version which starts at $15 a month. CrowdSignal integrates with WordPress.
Before online surveying tools, the enterprise of taking a survey was limited to large organizations. With today’s digital technology market research can be carried out with online surveys by the smallest of businesses, as well as individuals. Whether it is Google Forms or the free version on MailChimp, you now have more ways to conduct a survey.
And it is this free access that allows businesses to properly vet the tools that best suit their needs before they start paying. With so many solutions in the market place, there is no reason not to use survey tools to better understand your customers, market, industry, employees and whatever else you need to find something about.
This article, “25 Survey Tools for Your Business” was first published on Small Business Trends