Here's another handy Web resource to help you get more done -- and you don’t have to spend a lot in the process. Wouldn’t it be great if you could find a way to create an online survey that you can send out to your customers or maybe your employees? If so, Survey Monkey.com might be the answer for you.
You can use Survey Monkey for market research or event planning; for instance you can schedule practices and organize travel, plan your next product based on feedback from your customers or use it for education and training.
Survey Monkey lets you create surveys -- well, duh -- and you can select a variety of different types of questions to ask people. They have pre-built survey templates that you can use, or you can customize your own. You can then validate peoples' responses to make sure they're entering dates right and stuff like that. You can also add skip logic, meaning that if they answered a particular question positively, then they can skip the next three questions and go on to the fourth question. You can also create surveys as printable PDF files to distribute.
After you create and distribute your survey, you can use Survey Monkey to handle the response collection. You can also use it as an invitation tool to get people to come to an event, and you can then manage responses by segments. Survey Monkey provides some security and privacy built in to it, and it's also Section 508 compliant.
Once you get the results back, you can analyze them: you can cross tab and filter them, can create charts and graphs based on the responses and even download the data in Excel, XML or CSV format. And then of course, you can share the results.
A Variety of Surveys in One Web Tool
The site offers a variety of survey templates. For instance for customer feedback asks questions such as: how convenient is our company to use; how professional is our company; compared to our competitors is our product quality better, worse or about the same. Each question is followed by a multiple choice response that your target audience would fill out, and when they’re done they just click a button to submit their response.
They also have surveys for customer service -- you know, how long did you have to wait for a service rep came on the phone to help you. Or surveys on client satisfaction -- how well did your account manager handle your project? Or new customer research surveys -- what changes would most improve our new product – what do you like most about competing products available from other companies. You can have both free text, fill-in-the-box type responses, or of course you go with multiple choice questions.
You may well be asking at this point just what does the Monkey charge? Well, they offer a variety of different plans including a free basic plan. With the basic plan you get 10 questions per survey, and you can get 100 responses, so you can send it out to 100 people. Well, I guess you could send it out to 1,000 people, but you you’d only get the first 100 responses. You also get the easy to use Web-based survey tool, and you get real-time results and a little customer support.
If you're willing to pay $17 a month, then you can custom design your surveys, and you can have unlimited questions and responses. The $25-a-month level adds advanced logic built into your surveys. And for $65 a month -- about a grand a year -- you can have the unlimited questions, responses and complete brand control including where you direct people after they take the survey.
It sounds like reasonable pricing at all levels, frankly. And you can start with the basic free plan to see how it works. I highly recommend Survey Monkey.
Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical small business marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses "get more done and have more fun."
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