Surveys are fantastic dual-purpose marketing tools that give small business owners useful insight on a huge range of topics while also customer engagement. A survey targeted at an existing client base may uncover new opportunities to improve retention, or asking website visitors a few questions could point to order-boosting upgrades.
You can choose from a variety of survey platforms on the market that provide many different options and features. Below we list a handful of platforms that fit the needs (and wallets) of small businesses.
Small Business Survey Tools
1. Snap Surveys
The Snap Surveys software offers small businesses the capability to not only conduct surveys in multiple formats, but also to combine survey results from several channels—online, mobile, even paper—into one data grouping. You can finely tune each survey to match a target participant audience, such as specific roles within a company or customers in one region of the country.
Once the data starts coming in, analysis tools help make sense of it all. You can put the results into table, chart and list formats, with designs that are easy to read and perfect for turning into presentations. You can also filter and weigh survey responses to make it easier for you to identify trends, concerns, and potential opportunities.
You can purchase the Snap Surveys platform for in-house use, or sign up for it as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription. A free 30-day trial is available for businesses that want to try before they buy.
Small business owners don't need to worry about waiting for data when they use SurveyMonkey. The software makes real-time results available as soon as responses start rolling in. Creating new surveys is fast, too, with a variety of templates and different question types—rating scales, multiple choice, etc.—available to choose from, all designed to make it easy to pull everything together quickly. You can also add logos and other branding to make each survey uniquely yours. The platform even lets you customize the survey URL with your company's name.
Designing surveys that keep respondents engaged can be difficult, but SurveyMonkey's skip logic can help. This feature tweaks the flow of the survey based on each participant's responses, so it presents only the most relevant questions. If you're interested in streamlining your survey efforts even more, SurveyMonkey offers the capability to integrate with email campaign providers such as Eventbrite and MailChimp. There are also mobile applications available for iPhone and iPad.
SurveyMonkey offers a free tier with limited capabilities, as well as monthly and yearly plans that support wider feature sets.
Conducting small business surveys through the Zoho platform gives you several ways for you to connect with participants. Supported channels in this mobile-friendly software include social media, email, online and offline, too. You can add branding and customized elements to Zoho's survey tool, and there are also templates available if you don't have the time to create something from scratch.
The reporting available through Zoho provides small business owners deep insight into survey responses. Data collected with two questions, for example, can be compared to determine how they may interact or influence each other. You can also analyze trends across several different time periods to see how responses might shift over time.
If your business has limited survey needs, Zoho's free tier may be the way to go. The paid plans offer additional functionality and start at $19 per month.
Polldaddy lets you gather participant responses by email, through a website, or by using the platform's iPad and iPhone mobile application. The survey editor puts 14 question types at your fingertips, making new surveys are easy to create and launch. Real-time reporting and powerful filters make data analysis timely and simple. The capability to export raw data is another Polldaddy benefit, where you can use familiar PDF, Excel, and XML formats, among others.
A free account at Polldaddy includes unlimited surveys, or you can opt for the Pro account, which runs $200 per year and supports branding, custom URLs and other features. The $899/year corporate version unlocks even more capabilities.
Julie Knudson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in technology magazines including BizTech, Processor, and For The Record. She has covered technology issues for publications in other industries, from foodservice to insurance, and she also writes a recurring column in Integrated Systems Contractor magazine.
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