What Is Online Survey Software?
Online survey software is a digital data collection tool used to collect information from prospects, customers, employees, and other stakeholders. As a form of Software as a Service (SaaS), online survey software allows companies to gather targeted, actionable data through emails, websites, and social media feeds.
Depending on the online survey software, the data generated through online surveys can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including marketing, employee development, and corporate growth planning. These digital surveys are also widely used for political polling or to gather feedback from event attendees, review customer service and help desk performance, and evaluate branding strategies. Given that online survey software can provide precise data collection and in-depth reporting, this SaaS has become a critical business analysis tool for a wide variety of industries such as hospitality, healthcare, education, and retail.
Benefits of Online Survey Software
Online survey software offers a number of benefits over other forms of market research, including:
- Speed: Setting up, managing, and tracking online survey software takes a fraction of the time required to conduct other types of research. And because most online software includes reporting tools, analyzing survey results is exceptionally easy.
- Cost: Using online survey software is cost-effective and scalable, and most SaaS survey companies offer packages on a monthly or per-use basis.
- Ease of use: Online survey software is designed to be easy to use, with ready-made templates and intuitive, user-friendly navigation menus.
- Increased accuracy: Respondents are more likely to provide honest, accurate answers when completing an online survey than through telephone or in-person surveys.
- Customizable: Online surveys can be customized to target specific respondents with the use of screening questions and by publishing the survey to specific social media platforms.
- Real-time data: A number of online survey platforms generate real-time data reports that let users track open and bounce rates, allowing users to adapt the survey as needed.
Must-Have Features of Online Survey Software
In order for online survey software to be worth your time and money, it needs to include the following must-have features:
- Intuitive, user-friendly templates: In order to be functional, online survey software must be user-friendly for both the company and the survey respondents.
- Support for display logic: The ability to reveal or conceal questions based on specific parameters is critical when it comes to user engagement and reduction of bounce rates, since this features helps minimize redundant questions appearing on the survey.
- Carry-forward answers: This feature allows users to transfer answers from one question onto another page depending on the response, enabling follow-up questions later in the survey.
- Customization: Using a generic layout can deter respondents and lead to poor overall results, so it’s essential to choose online survey software that enables the importation of custom elements such as your company logo, still images, and video clips.
- A variety of distribution options: Unless you plan an email-only delivery, having a variety of distribution options is key to expanding the reach of your survey. Look for software that provides web links that can be posted on websites and social media feeds along with the ability to track respondents based on the platform the respondents originated from.
The Cost of Online Survey Software
Online survey software costs vary widely, and some providers offer free trial or limited-feature versions. Users should be aware that no-cost versions may contain ads, lack in-depth reporting, or restrict the length of the survey. Prices for paid versions range from about $15 per month up to $249 per month for full-featured versions that include in-depth, real-time reporting and extensive customization options. Some online survey companies also offer annual plans starting at $285.
Be aware that online survey software is more than a tool to collect data; it represents your company and brand. Take the time to research the best option for your particular needs and, when available, make use of free versions and demos to test-drive a number of online surveys before deciding which one best fits your particular needs and budget.