Online survey tools have evolved enormously since first gaining popularity in the 1990s. Their continued and developing popularity is due to the fact that online surveys are simple and they work. Customer surveys enable businesses to continuously monitor the ‘temperature’ of their clients, improve customer experience and increase valuable customer retention.
Why Businesses Use Online Survey Tools
Remaining continuously in touch with customers in order to gauge their levels of satisfaction and gather valuable feedback is challenging, especially when a business has a vast, diverse and geographically distributed audience. Online survey tools are essential in the marketing and communications toolbox. Here are just a few of the key reasons why.
Easy to Use
Since most businesses are interacting with their customers and clients online it’s no surprise to learn that online surveys are preferred by most people these days. People actually enjoy responding to simple surveys that elicit their opinions without causing stress.
Online surveys have become far simpler and easier to design, setup and expedite and today’s tools often provide sophisticated analysis and reporting facilities which are great for business.
Accurate, Actionable Feedback
When participants take part in an online survey their response go straight into a database. Old-school manual, form-based methods would often require data-entry work to transfer responses to the database. Online surveys therefore avoid human error, ensuring that the data in the database is exactly what was fed back from customers.
Real-Time Customer Insight
An important aspect of online surveys is that they are fast. As soon as a respondent has answered your questions or question then you can immediately analyse what they have said. This capability enables businesses to quickly respond to client concerns and feedback before issues escalate to become serious problems.
Implementing and conducting customer surveys using old-school techniques involving forms, printing and mailing-lists is expensive and doesn’t generally elicit very good response rates. Online survey tools avoid most or all of this expense – and they deliver far higher response rates!
Here are a handful of well known, popular online survey tools which offer free versions.
SurveyMonkey is amongst the most well known online survey tools. Their free or basic plan is designed to give you a taste of what their tool and service is capable of and encourage you to sign up to one of their tiered paid plans.
With our free Basic plan, you can create and send a survey with up to 10 questions or elements (including question types, descriptive text, or images) within a matter of minutes and view up to 100 responses per survey. The free plan has a limited set of features, so you’ll see notifications in your account if you need to upgrade to use a feature.
The free SurveyMonkey account provides enough for you to assess the tool which is very user-friendly but doesn’t allow you to export your survey data. For features like this you need to sign up to their paid plans which currently start at $32 per month for an ‘Individual Advantage’ plan.
Typeform is described by some as one of the most creative survey creation tools available today. Their free plan provides a way to get a taste for what their survey tool can do and includes unlimited questions, custom design themes, basic reporting and data export capability. But the free plan will only allow you to collect up to 100 responses per month. For more than this you will need to sign up to their paid plans which start at $35 per month.
Any discussion of free online survey tools must include Google Forms. If you have a Google account (who doesn’t) and you have never checked out Google Forms, you should. There are some excellent, free form templates that you may find useful.
When it comes to creating surveys Google Forms allow you to create a survey with as many questions as you need to ask, in a variety of question styles. Surveys are typically sent via email, but survey forms can also be embedded in a web page and shared via social media.
A weakness of Google Forms is that if a respondent does not have a Google account they can potentially fill in a survey form multiple times. But settings can be made that limit responses to just one from a logged in user. Survey responses are automatically stored in Google sheets.
SuveyGizmo survey’s are often compared with SurveyMonkey in terms of functionality but highlighted as more attractive and engaging, which is important for great response rates.
The free SurveyGizmo account provides up to 3 surveys with a maximum of 100 responses per survey and an unlimited number of questions. Their paid plans start at $25 per month.
Naturally, we are biased toward our own excellent online survey tool which is loved by many clients who rely on its simplicity and ease of use. We offer a Free Trial Account that allows you to create up to 10 surveys without any further account limitations.
This means that with our trial account you have access to all of the excellent backend reporting capabilities alongside the extensive collection of guides, survey tips and advice from our survey experts at the Ministry of Magic. Taking advantage of this excellent support will enable you to get your survey up and running with minimal fuss, gathering valuable customer feedback quickly and easily.
We offer a versatile credits based pricing model with the ‘Runner’ plan priced at just $29 per month. And when you are ready to sign up to our paid plans your trial account does not close. So you can check out our survey tool under the free trial account and then, when you are ready, convert to a fully paid plan without losing any of your trial surveys or data.
Give Customer Thermometer a trial and find out how your customers feel! You will quickly see how easily implemented, simple surveys deliver great response rates that will improve your customer service.