SURVEY MYTHS DEBUNKED - All Online Survey Sites Are the Same
Anyone who has ever tried to Google for survey software knows the feeling. The list that comes up is almost endless, and at first glance it’s practically impossible to tell one survey site apart from the other. There are, literally, hundreds of companies offering online survey services, each with a software package of its own and no shortage of promises of perfection.
In this case, as is usually the case in other industries, a wide choice of goods on a store shelf is in principle a good thing for the consumer, even if the product is something you can’t see or touch. At the very least it means that there is some serious competition in the business, which should mean that standards are high.
But that’s also the problem. For anyone planning to conduct an online survey, it is very tempting to think that all online survey sites are the same. Surely, there wouldn’t be such a variety if there were really a lot of major difference between them, would there? Besides, aren’t all survey sites just about conducting surveys anyway?
This much is true: every online survey site is about conducting surveys. But there certainly are big differences. Just like in foodstuffs where there are differences in amount of protein or fat content, and in clothing where there are differences in style and comfort. When it comes to survey software, the key differences we will be focusing on here are two main ones: features and performance. Features are about what the survey software can do, and performance is about how well it does what it does.
What To Look Out For #1: Features
All surveys, be it online or offline, have several stages of operation that can be reduced to four main ones – planning, creating, conducting, and analyzing. In each of those stages there are different considerations such as ease of use, flexibility in design and usage, extent of data analysis capability, and data security.
This is where the first big differences among online survey sites pop up. Some may be good at creating surveys but not so much at the analytical stage or data security, whereas others may be good at data analysis but limiting in questionnaire design, etcetera. Due to easy accessibility, let’s take a look at our features:
Creating Surveys at Super Simple Survey: at the survey creation stage, our software includes 18 types of questions, with everything from simple text boxes and multiple choice to Likert scales and the Net Promoter Score. It also allows you to customize or brand the questionnaire with your logo, and it lets you choose your background, and even your own button styling.
Conducting Surveys at Super Simple Survey: at the point of sending out the survey, our system enables you to verify the email and IP addresses as well as detect duplicates. You also get multiple sending options, including email, on-site embedded, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You may also use the advanced response management system to specify the dates that a user can respond, restrict the number of responses, and the number of times a user is allowed to participate.
Receiving and analyzing survey results with Super Simple Survey: when the survey results begin flowing in, you can check on the data in real-time. It will be presented in simple rows and columns or in Excel format, graphs, or bar chart illustrations, depending on the type of data. For the NPS we have a specialized overview, instantly informing you of your customers’ views.
What To Look Out For #2: Performance
Survey software performance is the second major area of difference between most online survey sites. This is where ‘how’ rather than ‘what’ the software does takes the center stage. How fast is it? How much space does it take on your computer? How easy it is to work with for those who are not computer geeks?
Software performance is also about data security at every stage of the survey – such as the ability to detect faults in the survey design, ability to detect multiple entries or fake email accounts, and the securing of final data results from theft or interference. This is also where social media and other platforms get into the picture, in particular the software’s ability to integrate social networks into the survey.
Here, too, different online survey sites rate differently. It’s usually quite difficult to tell how well a particular software package actually performs before using it. The best way is therefore to look at indirect signals of performance, such as whether there are recognizably reputable companies using it already. Another good indicator is whether the software owners are confident enough of their product to include an easy way out of the contract at any point.
In addition, at Super Simple Survey, all the stages of the survey – creation, sending, reporting – use SSL security, and all the responses are encrypted against. Plus, all the data goes straight to our own exclusive cloud storage so as to guarantee data security while also allowing you to access your data anytime, anywhere.
Is there something about surveys that you think is confusing or often done wrong? Give us a shout and we will do our best to help clear it up!
Photo credit: Katie-Rose (thanks, Katie-Rose)
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