There are many great online survey platforms available so finding the right one can be tough. Once you start looking at online survey platforms, you will realize there are cheaper options that come with some limitations as well as expensive options that offer all of the online survey tools market research professionals desire. So, the question becomes which are you truly looking for?
At Drive Research, market research company that serves Buffalo, NY, our team of market research pros has experience with several market research platforms, including top of the line platforms with all of the bells and whistles. Through the years we have gotten very picky with the factors we look for in an online survey platform. Below are a few important factors to consider when searching for an online survey platform.
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Here are a few capabilities market research pros look for in an online survey platform.
Most importantly, an online survey platform needs to be user friendly. Market research professionals are confident in their abilities to find their way around online survey platforms, however, intuitive and easy to use platforms are always favored.
Wondering why finding a user friendly online survey platform is so important? User friendly online survey platforms save time, which is huge as the industry continually tries to find more efficient ways to do work. Everything from logging into the platform to survey design to collecting responses to reporting/exporting should be intuitive.
The ability to customize the look and feel of an online survey is also a key factor market research companies look for in an online survey platform. Oftentimes, online surveys are customized based on the topic and/or client.
For example, let's say a lawn mower company is seeking feedback from consumers. This survey would likely include the company logo, colors, and even an image of a lawn as the background of the survey. Little touches like these add credibility to the online survey which can lead to more engaged respondents and higher quality data.
Collecting Responses Capabilities
You can't have an online survey without collecting data right? Be sure to find out all of the ways an online survey can be sent through an online survey platfrom. This typically includes survey links, email, or through a modal website popup.
There are several different needs market research companies look for in data collection. Customization in the data collection step is also key. This includes customized survey thank you pages, survey links, emails, and more. For email in particular, ensure the email can be sent in a HTML format, the email sender's address can be customized, and respondent data (like respondents' first names) can be added to the email text.
Reporting and Alerts
During and after data collection market research companies want to analyze the data. An online survey platform should have reporting and exporting capabilities built in so researchers can review data as it is being collected, results can be automatically placed into charts, and data can be exported for further analysis. Depending on the needs of the research, reporting capabilities can be simple or extensive.
Additionally, alerts during data collection is helpful. Alerts let researchers know how many responses all live surveys have. Also, alerts can be sent based on a specific response. For example, if a customer indicates they had a bad experience with a company in a customer satisfaction survey, an alert can be sent with that customer's contact information and survey response so it can be addressed.
Advanced Routing/Survey Logic Capabilities
Lastly, ensure the online survey platform has advanced routing or survey logic capabilities. This typically includes skip logic, answer validation (this could be ensuring a ZIP code response is a 5 digit number), piping answers, seeding known data into a survey, and randomization and inverse of questions and answers. Each of these capabilities come in handy when surveys get more strategic and complex.
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