Online survey tools are a great way for companies to get feedback from customers.
Whether you are looking for ways to improve your customer service, or are interested in product feedback, surveys are great.
Unfortunately, like I mentioned in my post earlier this month, most companies struggle with getting good survey response rates.
From my experience, the success of your customer feedback process banks heavily on the goals of your survey and the online survey tool you use.
In this post, I’m going to take you through my four favourite online survey tools, providing you with 5 ‘need to know’ facts for each. I’m hoping this will help you in evaluating the right tool that will best fit your business.
That last bit is important – you need to choose a tool that will help you find out what you want to learn from your customers.
So the first step is to establish the goals of your feedback. What do you want to achieve?
If you go out and send your 100 clients a customer feedback survey, what are your goals?
SimplyCast wrote a great article on setting goals for your online surveys.
Setting goals for your online surveys will not only direct the type of survey you’re creating but also drive the analysis of the data collected.
Here are some goals you should be using for your online surveys:
- Customer service: determine if your customers are happy with your service.
- Product satisfaction: understand what motivates your customer to buy.
- Promotional campaign success: find out how effective your marketing campaign was – what source did your new customers come from.
- Company image: gauge how your customers perceive your company
Once you understand your survey goals, choose the best online survey that will meet your needs.
Today, I’ll be reviewing these four online survey tools:
- Client Heartbeat (from $25/mth)
- Survey Monkey (free version and paid from $19/mth)
- Survey Gizmo (from $75/mth)
- Google Forms (free)
1. Client Heartbeat
Client Heartbeat is an online survey tool that monitors customer satisfaction over a period of time to give you intelligence around how happy or unhappy your customers are. From the outside, Client Heartbeat is an online survey tool… but when you jump on the inside, it does so much more. For instance, it can actually use the feedback you’re getting from customers to benchmark your performance against other companies in your industry.
So you can see how you stack up against XYZ Company down the road, and the market leaders – pretty cool!
5 Client Heartbeat ‘Need to Know’ Facts:
- Claims to receive up to 85% survey response rate – compared to avg of 5-10% with regular only survey tools
- Automates the whole feedback process and can schedule future surveys to run every quarter or even every year.
- Crowd sources questions for your specific industry to make sure you’re asking the right questions which get you the best answers and feedback.
- Benchmarks your customer feedback against other companies in your industry to intelligently make better business decisions
- Has a fancy feature to capture testimonials from happy customers. These testimonials can then be shared via LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to reach an estimated 4,000 extra eyeballs
2. Survey Monkey
Survey Money is probably the world’s most popular online survey tool. If you are looking for a way to learn more about your customers, validate some ideas or do some market research – SurveyMonkey is a great tool.
This tool is easy to use and offers a free/basic version which will let you get started with some sample surveys.
Note: You can actually get away with the free version if you don’t intend to send too many surveys.
5 SurveyMonkey ‘Need to Know’ Facts:
- Offers a question bank that gives you a ton of sample questions and answers to help you get started
- Ability to customise your questions and create multi-page surveys
- Results and reporting let you put together graphs and charts for quick analysis
- Not very flexible and can be hard to customise with your own branding
- It’s worth upgrading to the “Select” plan so you get unlimited questions, more survey templates and opens up a few more features to help you customise the survey experience for your customers
3. Survey Gizmo
I discovered SurveyGizmo a couple of weeks ago when writing my article on 7 ways to Increase Survey Response Rates. This tool impressed me and I’m glad someone is competently challenging the mighty SurveyMonkey. Just like the other online survey tools, this one has a low cost option and a premium option.
For the basic package, you get to fully customise your survey look and feel, embed images and video right into the form, and host the form directly on your website.
The admin dashboard displays your surveys in a neat panel which makes reporting super easy. The tool offers 23 question types along with an unlimited number of surveys.
5 SurveyGizmo ‘Need to Know’ Facts:
- Easy to use interface makes adding questions quick
- Access to useful additional features like email auto-responders, database integrations and client management
- Total branding control so you can make it look exactly like your website
- Award winning customer support team gives you access to phone support (that’s quite rare for SAAS products)
- They no longer offer a free account, so to give it a crack, you’ll need to sign up up for a 14 day free trial.
Here’s a review by Applied Corporate Governance:
For its roundedness, attractive and simple navigation and best free package, we would choose Survey Gizmo as the best of the free online survey tools.
4. Google Forms
Google Forms is a great product from Google that helps you learn more about your customers.
Google Forms uses Google Docs (or Google Drive) and lets you create forms which act as surveys and can be used to capture data about your customers.
This tool is free and all you need to access it is a Google Account.
I must add here that this option is probably not suitable for the tech luddites (slow adopters of technology), because it does get a bit more complicated.
But… if you are pretty good with new technology, definitely give this one a go.
5 Google Forms ‘Need to Know’ Facts:
- Ability to customise questions and answer choices however you want
- Easily embed the form into your website or just email the URL
- Feedback is captured automatically and reports are produced inside Google Docs – one click access to charts and graphs for better, more accurate analysis.
- Easily review all responses in a spread sheet and share the spread sheet with other users.
Client Heartbeat VS SurveyMonkey VS SurveyGizmo VS Google Forms
In wrapping up this online survey tool comparison guide, I wanted to end with a couple of important thoughts.
All these tools are great pieces of software and are hard to compare face to face. I strongly suggest you work out exactly what you want to achieve from your surveys and choose the solution that will best help you achieve those outcomes.
For instance, if you are looking for a simple, easy to use survey tool that guarantees high response rates, I recommend Client Heartbeat.
Alternatively, if you’re just looking for some simple feedback from a select group of customers, and your pretty tech savvy – I recommend giving Google Forms a crack.
I’d love to hear your feedback, please share your reviews and thoughts in the comments below.
Here’s some recommended reading: