5 Best Survey Tools for Your Business

Survey software is a growing market with many new and established players. A week doesn’t go by that I don’t receive an invitation to complete an online survey for a company I recently visited. I’ll bet most of you have used a product called SurveyMonkey at one time or another. For many marketers, it’s become the default customer feedback tool.  But it’s far from the only tool available.

5 Best Survey Tools for Your Business

Competitors to SurveyMonkey have carved out niches that service many types of businesses. If you’ve only used SurveyMonkey, you might be surprised at the sheer number of competing products available. Survey software is not a “one size fits all” product. So while a few products have the name recognition of SurveyMonkey, you should review your company’s needs before making a decision. That’s what I aim to assist you with as I look at five of the best survey tools on the market today.

Why Should I Use a Survey Tool?

Before you invest any time or money in yet another business tool, let’s take a look at some of the reasons you should consider a survey tool:

Convenience – This is both a blessing and curse of survey tools. But when used properly, it can make gathering feedback about your product a lot easier than manual methods. You can even decide whether it’s worth investing in a product or not, before it ever reaches the market.

Low Cost – If all you need are the basics, you can find a free survey tool. Even the premium and pro products are reasonably priced.

Speed – You don’t have to wait long for the results to roll in. This means you can react faster to customer needs.

Customization – Survey tools make it easy to select the right questions to ask.

Ease of Use – It’s easy for you to create and for your customer to reply to online surveys.

The information you glean from customer feedback can help you understand your customers and improve your products. The survey you create may consist of only a few questions or you can design it to gather more complex marketing and behavior data. The best tools perform analysis on the data you collect making it easy to review. Let’s now take a look at some of the best survey tools available to you today.

SurveyMonkey is the most popular online survey tool available today. If you’ve used one survey tool before, it was probably SurveyMonkey. It grew in popularity due to its clean design and generous feature set provided in the free version. SurveyMonkey has continued to grow by adding more advanced features without adding undue complexity. Creating a new survey is a drag-and-drop affair. You won’t have to poke around much to find exactly what you need.
SurveyMonkey shows its maturation by providing excellent ready-made questions which you can send over email or Facebook. You’ll need to pony up for the higher priced tiers in order to gain advanced features such as report exporting and text analysis. If you’re looking to dip your feet into online feedback collection, SurveyMonkey is a great place to start. It’s earned its positive reputation by offering excellent tools and customer service at a reasonable price.

Price: Free to $85/month per user

Focus: Small to mid-sized businesses

If your impression of survey tools is that they are boring, you should take a look at SurveyAnyplace. SurveyAnyplace takes a different approach to gathering feedback by allowing you to include contests that promise to engage your customers. They really go out of their way to make their surveys look great on mobile as well. Of all the tools I looked at, SurveyAnyplace focuses on the customer experience as much as their survey questions. Their motto could be, “If we make survey pleasing to the customer, there’s a better chance they will take it.”

SurveyAnyplace doesn’t have as large a library of ready-made questions as SurveyMonkey. This makes it a little more time-consuming to get started, but I found it just as powerful and customizable. This is impressive for one of the youngest products on this list. If other products’ design and customization have disappointed you in the past, give SurveyAnyplace a try.

Price: Free to $49/month per user

Focus: Small to mid-sized businesses

SurveyGizmo sounds like a simplistic tool for kids, but it’s anything but. It’s actually an incredibly powerful professional tool that comes with a learning curve. What I liked best about this SurveyGizmo was how it guided me through every step of the survey creation and results in analysis. Some products collect the data, but then make it difficult to find or understand. SurveyGizmo puts everything I need in front of me, but not so much that I felt overwhelmed.

The only downside I experienced was that SurveyGizmo comes with a steeper learning curve than some tools on this list. You can customize the look and feel of survey down to the smallest detail, but some settings took a little more exploration than others. I don’t know if SurveyGizmo is the first survey tool I’d recommend for novice users. But if you’re not happy with the level of customization or reporting details found in your current tool, this might be the product for you.

Price: Free to $1,500 annually

Focus: Mid to Enterprise

Qualtrics calls itself the “experience management platform”. That sounds a lot like how one might describe a product focused on the enterprise which is exactly what Qualtrics does. Qualtrics is a mature product that’s geared towards providing insight into four core areas of your business: customer, employee, brand and product.  If all you’re looking for is a simple survey tool, this is not your best choice. But if you’re a large company looking to gather data on your products, customers, and employees this is an incredibly advanced tool in the right hands.

Qualtrics boasts that 8,500 of the world’s top brands and 99 of the top 100 business schools use its products.  Qualtrics includes many advanced customer feedback components that allow you to interpret behaviour towards your brand. It also breaks down feedback analysis into gorgeous visualizations anyone can understand. It’s has been around since 2002, and it shows in its 360-degree approach, depth of options and level of customization. It’s also the only tool here with an advanced employee assessment module.

Qualtrics is the most advanced product on this list. With recent changes, it’s more approachable to smaller companies, but it’s true focus is on large companies that want to gather data on many parts of their business. Does your company prefer using products found in the uppermost quadrant? If so, Qualtrics is your tool of choice when it comes to gathering feedback.

Price: Custom quote

Focus: Mid to Enterprise

AskNicely bills itself as the research and feedback tool that uses the Net Promoter Score (NPS) framework. Its tools engage customers and collect feedback that you can act on in real time. If getting customer feedback to the CEO is a top priority, this is your tool. It also integrates with popular CRM, help desk and chat tools found at many large companies.

Unlike other survey tools that feature more general product related questions, AskNicely focuses on increasing customer happiness and improving customer service. Of all the tools I tried, AskNicely provides almost instant gratification due to its real-time features. It makes it easy to get feedback to the right person in the right department so he can take action. If speed is of the essence in engaging with your customers, AskNicely should be near the top of your list.

Price: $49 to $499/month

Focus: Mid to Enterprise

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