Choosing to survey people is quite simple. But creating one? That’s another story. Believe it or not, there is a true science to creating online surveys. And I know what you’re thinking…The surveys you’ve taken in the past may have seemed simple at first glance and well, quite frankly they should be. But in reality the thought and consideration that goes into building truly effective surveys is quite advanced.
Ask the wrong questions, or ask them at the wrong time and you’ll end up with limited, useful results. That is why a well designed survey is so critical. Not only will it help you get better results but also more reliable results.
This article will provide you with few tips on how to create free online surveys as well as outline several free online survey tools. Check it out.
Four Tips for Creating a Free Online Survey
Here are some helpful tips for designing an effective survey:
1. Define your objective
Before you get started, it’s important to define what the objective or goal of the survey is. In other words, what you do you want to learn from it and why? Do you want to gain insight into customer loyalty? Or should the survey be more geared towards a particular online process (e.g. purchasing)? If you outline your objective(s) properly, it will help you come up with the right (and most relevant) questions to ask later on in the process.
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Learn about asking the right questions in an online feedback form to get the most out of it.
2. Keep it short
We cannot stress this enough! Gone are the days when companies would send out page long surveys to customers to gauge their satisfaction. The reason being that the majority of your customers simply do not have the time to go through and answer these long and drawn out surveys. It’s a hassle for them and it has a high probability of causing what we call ‘survey fatigue’. So how do you know when your survey is too long?
Stand in your customers’ shoes for a second. Having to fill out a form of 20 questions is less than ideal. It’s actually much more beneficial to ask around 2 to 3 powerful and well-formulated questions. You’ll be surprised to see how much your response rates rise…
3. Know how to interact
Don’t make your questions too intricate – be clear in what you are asking so your customers understand. Always try to incorporate one or two questions that require an open-text answer. These will give you deeper insights into how your customers feel and can even generate ideas you haven’t thought of yourself.
Note: Avoid leading questions. In other words, do not direct your customers in any way. Keep your questions neutral and give them the chance to be honest with you.
4. Keep it relevant
There are appropriate questions and inappropriate questions to ask depending on your goal(s). For example, you wouldn’t ask someone to provide an Net Promoter Score (NPS) right as they’ve entered your website or before they’ve even become a customer. This goes to show that timing is rather important and surveys should be situational.
This also applies when using question logic. Question logic is when you trigger different follow up questions depending on the previous answer given. For example, if you ask for a Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) rating and the visitor provides that they are ‘Very Dissatisfied’, then you can ask them ‘why’. Why are they so dissatisfied? These kinds of relevant questions will give you deeper insights into what your customers are thinking.
Now that you have the knowledge to build a survey, the next step is finding the right free online survey tool.
10 Free Online Survey Tools You May Want to Consider…
There are several free online survey tools out available for you to choose from. Each of these tools offers up its own advantages and disadvantages. See which one is best for you and your business:
1. Survey Monkey
You’re probably all familiar with this one. That’s because SurveyMonkey is used by millions of businesses all over the world. The tool itself offers around 15 different types of survey questions (including multiple choice, open comments and Likert scales) that you can add to your one-off surveys. While the tool is perfect for these types of surveys, this also means that it’s less suitable for measuring overall satisfaction or re-surveying customers again after a certain period of time. Your call…
Typeform is an online survey tool that has – like others – a user-friendly interface. Respondents will experience the process of filling in a survey as quite an easy one. The free version of Typeform is called the CORE plan, which includes unlimited questions & answers, data export options, custom-designed them, readily made templates and basic reporting features. It is however, very difficult to customise to match to your own brand and not much other than what is listed above is offered in the free version.
3. Zoho Survey
Zoho Survey is an additional survey creation tool that offers an unlimited number of surveys that include up to 15 questions. Surveys can be shared on social media channels, embedded on your website or opened using a QR code. This tool is great for businesses who want to integrate their survey tool with a CRM (e.g. Zoho CRM). Note: ZohoSurvey is a very simplistic tool and therefore, doesn’t deliver the more advanced features found in other survey tools.
4. Google Forms
Google Forms is another free online survey software tool that allows its users to quickly and easily put together surveys via a drag & drop interface. In terms of design, these surveys can be entirely customised. The tool provides you with real-time response info and charts. This data can also be connected with other Google products.
Alchemer is similar to SurveyMonkey in terms of inviting respondents and customisation possibilities. What sets this online survey software apart, however, is that it is more attractive in terms of the look and feel of the survey. It also offers nearly 100 different question types that can all be customised to the user’s liking. Additionally, users can configure their own surveys quickly and easily.
6. Survey Planet
Survey Planet is a questionnaire tool that includes custom themes, pre-written question (which can be combined with your own) and a responsive layout. In addition, users can make use of question branching and multiple languages. While creating a survey, you can simultaneously preview a live copy of your survey on the same page.
KwikSurveys, if you didn’t know already, is a free (but ad supported) that offers around 30 survey templates. Despite the lack of customisation options offered with these survey templates, they are anything but difficult to install on your website. The kinds of questions you can ask in a survey are very restricted (particularly as there is no open answer choice). The dashboard, be that as it may, is pretty easy to explore and results can be exported as various file types.
LimeSurvey is a very basic questionnaire tool. There is no limit to the number of surveys you send or survey responses you receive. If you’re not satisfied with the basic version, they also offer add-ons for additional templates and question types. This tool does require some back-end work so it’s good if you have an IT team on hand should any issues arise.
PollDaddy is an online survey software that allows users to conduct surveys in two different ways: by embedding surveys on their website or inviting respondents via email. Once the data is collected, you can create filters to analyse the data and share it in reports. This is done using raw data export with programmes such as Excel, PDF, CSV, Google Docs and XML. The results of these surveys can all be viewed in real-time.
Survey Legend is an online survey too that also uses a drag-and-drop editor to put together surveys. It can be used on all devices and includes all of the standard survey elements you’d expect to see. With the free version, however, the number of surveys are limited, however questions per survey and responses are not.
Give your online surveys the care and attention they need to do their job. Keep these best practices / tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to creating great (free) online surveys that yield game-changing results!
Paid vs. Free Online Survey Tools
That being said, it’s important to point that there are some distinctions between what you get with a paid online survey tool and what you get with a free online survey tool. Here’s what to look out for…
Typically, paid versions of online survey tools offer added capabilities such as:
- Survey logic – paid tools often provide the option to add a follow up question. This is based on the answer you’ve provided to the previous question.
- Export data – There are several tools that won’t let you export your survey data – unless you start using the paid version.
- Custom logo – Looking to get rid of the survey tool’s logo and make it your own? With most paid versions this is possible.
- More question types – Although free survey tools offer plenty of question types, including multiple choice, ratings, drop-downs and radio buttons, paid versions tend to offer even more.
Looking for something more sophisticated?
If you decide you want the extra features offered with a paid survey tool (and then some), I’d recommend trying a tool like Mopinion, that doesn’t just focus on collection of data but also analysis – giving you the means to extract deep insights into the customer experience.
Mopinion is a customer feedback analytics tool that not only makes use of online surveys, it also takes feedback one step further and offers in-depth analysis opportunities for its users. With real-time data visualisation in customisable dashboards and charts, users are able to quickly and efficiently digest large sums of data. Our ‘one-stop shop’ offers:
- Feedback forms (passive and active)
- Visual Feedback
- More complex surveys that include question routing
- In-depth analysis, including text analytics, sentiment analysis, smart labeling, etc.
- Advanced data visualisation with in-chart filtering and customisable dashboards
- Action Management
Be sure to check out our Mopinion Survey Marketplace for a complete library of online survey templates.
Ready to see Mopinion in action?
Want to learn more about Mopinion’s all-in-1 user feedback platform? Don’t be shy and take our software for a spin! Do you prefer it a bit more personal? Just book a demo. One of our feedback pro’s will guide you through the software and answer any questions you may have.