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Shireen Qudosi

How to Craft a Great Online Survey

May 31 2011, 07:08 PM by

The best surveys strive to go far beyond just customer feedback; they include critical business analysis that covers marketing research, event planning, product planning and launch, as well as education and training. Here are some key questions you should ask yourself when purchasing your survey software that will help you in crafting a great survey…
What’s the Maximum Number of Questions I Can Ask?
While no well thought out survey would be a mile long, there are surveys that require more than just 10 questions, especially if you’re considering marketing research and testing various areas such as demographics, sex, age, industry, etc.
What Are the Maximum Number of Responses I’m Allowed?
Some forums only allow a maximum number of responses. Consider how wide a net you’re casting before settling with survey software that will limit your hard work to just a few dozen or even a measly hundred responses.
Can My Survey Software Accommodate My Small Business’ Growing Needs?
You might be starting out small but the idea of business is to grow it. There’s no point in investing in software that you’re going to outgrow in a year or two.
How Can I Collect data?
Select software that allows you to collect valuable data through multiple platforms, including social media, web links and emails. Consider where you primarily conduct your business. Do you engage with customers in social media forums, get most of your traffic through your webpage or get the best feedback through email newsletters?

If you have to choose one, my advice is to go with email surveys since newsletter-inspired campaigns guarantee you one on one face time with your client. Your queries can easily get lost in the social media shuffle and directly embedded links on your site still require users to first visit your site and then be enticed by your call to action. Email surveys are by far the best for gathering the highest ratio of feedback.
What Are My Reporting Options?
Depending on your survey or your preferences, you may need your small business survey software to be able to offer diversity in reporting. Some survey software also has a reporting limit, allowing you to only receive a limited number of reports per campaign.
Does Your Survey Software Offer Any Customer Support?
If you’re reading this article, and if you’re a small business owner, it’s very likely you’ll be implementing this software or delegating the task to an employee that already has a lot on their plate. Chances are also pretty high that at some point you’re going to have a question. When this inevitable moment comes, you really want survey software that at least offers some live tech support. Keep a look out for this small but very important feature, as some software companies only allow email support as a gratis inclusion but require you to upgrade for live support.
What’s My Cost-Benefit Ratio?
There are various pricing plans to choose from when deciding on an online survey software. You can pay as little as $20 or as much as $2,000 depending on what program you go with. While most small business owners tend to automatically opt for the cheapest solution, it’s really important for you to keep in mind that the cheapest solution might not be the right solution. Why get a product that doesn’t meet any criteria aside from cost? Often when a small business owner has opted for the cheaper product they lose out on time, money and professionalism…ultimately losing customers as well.

Rather than making this mistake, consider what type of data you need, how often you need it and the desired method of delivery. Relying on these factors to determine the best product ensures you make the right decision the first time.

Posted in Online Tools and Applications, Growing Your Business

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