You now have a range of survey software tools to run your online research and many of these are not just downright affordable; they come free at that. They allow you to design questionnaires easily with templates or wizards and distribute them through email, social media, QR code and other various online streams.
The point is, running surveys is within the reach of small business, and such tools aren’t the typical limited versions they were some years ago; they do feature enterprise tools as you’ll see here on our list of 12 best survey software for small business.
The rub is, with more choices come the trouble of: which of these survey software tools match your exact needs? It isn’t enough that you get it for free if you want to optimize results. Some solutions are best for customer behavior, some for NPS, some for product development and still others for all. Then there’s the question of scalability. You may be a small business today, but tomorrow? If you’re a fast-growing startup it’s best to get a survey tool–or any solution for that matter–that can grow with you. The last thing you want is to shift to another platform midway to your growth years. If you want to know about this software category, read our comprehensive survey software guide.
No matter the software, in general, your survey platform should have these key features:
But before you get ahead of yourself, keep in mind survey software tools are what they are: tools. You need to frame your survey properly and to do that you must have a clear goal and other defining elements of a good survey. NSF Consulting also helps you stay clear of these common survey mistakes, such as leading questions, assumptions and starting with demographics. Here’s a quick lookup on the process of a simple survey.
Qualtrics Research Core tops our list of 12 best survey software for small business because it is simple to use yet can scale for robust qualitative research. Unlike most small business survey tools which are limited to soliciting and analyzing feedback, this one can adapt to a variety of market research including brand tracking, concept testing and ad testing.
It may appear as an enterprise-exclusive platform at first given its modularized and rich features, but you actually get a free plan to kick start your survey. It includes one survey, 100 responses, unlimited distribution and a drag-and-drop survey editor. For more advanced features you can go for its paid plans that allow for unlimited survey, distribution options via web, social, email, QR Code and mail merge and skip logic questionnaire.
The software even supports over seventy languages and offers advanced security such as data Isolation, data sovereignty and web app firewalls in its premium plan. If you’re a growing company or has a vision to scale growth in the next few months or years, getting a fully featured software that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg reinforces that strategy.
It is easy to get started with this survey software for free when you sign up for a Qualtrics Research Core free trial here.
Why Qualtrics Research Core is best for small business
Second on our list is SoGoSurvey, an equally robust survey solution that prides itself as a one-click survey creation tool. Surveys created by the software can be shared and downloaded with the system making survey results much easier to understand. All these can be accomplished even by new users as learning to use the product requires no steep learning curve. You can immediately come up with your very own surveys using the pre-built templates that come with the system, which can be copied directly into surveys.
SoGoSurvey is a feature-laden software, bringing with it around 600 functionalities that are guaranteed to help you come up with accurate survey results every time. You can formulate and revise your questionnaires based on what you need and want, add and delete questions as you wish and even change the language depending on your target respondents. But what’s amazing about this tool is that it can keep questions hidden until such time that they are needed. Finished surveys can be previewed on mobile devices, tablets or desktops.
You can find out more about the platform if you sign up for a free SoGoSurvey demo here.
Why SoGoSurvey is good for small business
Budget is always a factor for the small business, in which case, Zoho Survey should belong to your top options. It comes free for unlimited surveys, ten questions and 100 responses. It also features over 200 templates and supports social sharing, real-time responses and web embed. Security also does justice to your business with HTTP encryption and password protection.
However, it is likely these features aren’t enough if you have a huge audience base. You can always go for paid plans starting at $20 per month, still a shoo-in for budget-conscious companies. These include unlimited surveys, questions and responses, collaboration tools and exports to a variety of file formats such as PDF, XLS, CSV and SPSS. You can also expect more sophisticated tools in its enterprise plan, such as piping logic, white label, CRM integration and user management.
The survey software is one of the best free tools around, but at the enterprise level, it lacks the more sophisticated tools of Qualtrics. Bear in mind that insight if your business is growing fast.
You can easily sign up for a Zoho Survey free trial here and see how it performs.
Why Zoho Survey is good for small business
ProProfs Survey Maker has one of the lowest price entries for paid plans at $7 per month, and one of the most robust at its price range. It gives you unlimited surveys, responses, admin control, branching and skip logic. It also features survey scoring, NPS, in-app survey, popup survey and advanced reporting tools. Then there are more features: white label, unlimited private user accounts, unlimited group and classroom, integrations and centrally managed enterprise.
If those features aren’t enough you can bump up the plan for multilingual surveys, certificates and ad-free runs. All plans support embedding videos, images and graphics, social share on Facebook and Twitter and iPad and other mobile device access.
ProProfs does give other freemiums good competition, but it may lack for in-depth research tools, which you may not need anyway.
If you want to check all its features at no cost simply sign up for a ProProfs Survey Maker free trial here.
Why ProProfs Survey Maker is good for small business
If reliability is a top factor for your consideration, Examinare Survey Tool is worth the attention. It has ten years of experience in managing feedback, questionnaires and business data. Of course, it still boils down to pricing and features. Its entry plan isn’t cheap but affordable for a small business at $45 per user per month (student version starts at $34 per user per month). You get a test run for seven days, three surveys and templates. Plus you get support via email, chat and phone.
You also get a variety of question types from multiple choice to free text to gradient scale and to Osgood-scale. You can add instructions, images and sound files and publish questionnaires as forms. You’ll like the flexibility of its survey forms, arguably one of the best in the field by function, design and distribution (email, SMS, Facebook, mobile, QR code and web).
Simply sign up for an Examinare Survey Tool free trial here to find out more about its capabilities.
Why Examinare Survey Tool is good for small business
If you’re thinking of a free survey software, SurveyMonkey is probably one of your first choices. It is widely used and its free online survey tool is popular for its 1-2-3 ease of use: design, distribute and data analyze. While the devil is in the details, the process is still more simple than most survey tools. You can conduct surveys via web, email and social, plus customize branding and perform filter and comparison, data exports and custom reports.
You might just be surprised that the paid plans aren’t cheap starting at $1,299 per month. We’re not sure why it seems priced out of range (leveraging brand recognition?) considering its advanced feature set is comparable to less pricey counterparts like Qualtrics Research Core.
Why SurveyMonkey is good for small business
SurveyGizmo is perhaps closest to Qualtrics Research Core for being an enterprise survey software yet scalable to small business needs. For one, it also has a freemium, where you get up to five pages per survey, 25 questions per page and up to 3 active surveys at a time. You also get eight question types, plus 100 responses and standard summary report. The deal is good enough to run professional and accessible surveys.
The software easily scales to more advanced tools like rules by quota, structure, research methodology and question type. Premium plans also feature data cleaning and researcher custom rules.
Why SurveyGizmo is good for small business
Yet another free survey tool with paid plans, QuestionPro is a good option to our top survey software recommendations should they don’t meet your specific need. It is both easy to run and it doesn’t cost you. Starting a survey is as simple as creating one from a question type template or import a Word document. But it doesn’t mean the features are limiting. You get unlimited surveys, ten questions each and 100 responses. Plus, the survey is mobile responsive and you get reliable support.
The software also scales to a professional plan at $15 per month to give you advanced tools like skip logic, Q&A piping, theme custom, data export and global password protection. Should your small business grow big, you can scale to a corporate plan without a hitch.
Why QuestionPro is good for small business
It is free, good enough for standard, templated surveys.
Confirmit is a survey software targeting product and employee experience, so if your requirements are around these elements, you should give this a try. Otherwise, you may be better off with a general survey feature set.
It is designed for the Voice of the Customer and Voice of the Employee research model, as well as for market research programs. While it sounds complex for most small business needs, it is a must-have platform for agencies and consulting firms that work around these areas, so, yes, this applies to small business needs. You can expect niche tools here, such as multi-channel distributions via CAPI, phone, web, mobile and even paper. You can customize images and multimedia and test run your surveys. Likewise, it has advanced analytics that can optimize unstructured feedback data. All these features point to a complex survey platform, something to think about if your needs are out of the usual general surveys.
Why Confirmit is good for small business
AskNicely is anchored on NPS or Net Promoter Score. NPS is a good metric that measures customer loyalty. If you’re into this survey methodology, this software may be your best option on our list. It delivers the tools to enable you to gauge respondents based on NPS, such as promoters, passives and detractors.
The entry price may be tough for small business at $299 per month, but it has your specific needs covered: survey branching, rating system, full-text analytics, API access and multi-lingual support. You also get a dedicated account manager.
It goes without saying this software is very specific, so if you just need a standard survey, this can get expensive.
Why AskNicely is good for small business
Survicate is a good complement to your email campaigns, as it can deliver customer satisfaction surveys and supports web optimization. It also supports surveys for product development and aids in your marketing communication with ground insights. As with most survey tools here, it comes with a free plan where you can collect up to fifty responses per month, plus website and email distribution. You also get access to reporting, conditional question branching and GDPR compliance. If these features are limiting you can scale to paid plans for Voice of the Customer solution, using advanced targeting, data access history and integration with more systems. You actually have more Customer Experience Management software options here if you’re interested, but this app is good to go as a survey tool for the purpose of our list.
Why Survicate is good for small business
Survey2Connect is designed for easy collection and management of client feedback across multiple communication channels. This client feedback management solution lets you deploy engaging, branded surveys via SMS, pop-ups, social media networks, emails, and others. For improved conversions with feedback surveys, Survey2Connect features a dynamic distribution system that delivers your forms in the right communication channels at optimal times of the day. The software can be used for gathering detailed employee feedback, research on service efficiency and brand performance, and others. More importantly, Survey2Connect lets you quickly identify prevailing customer sentiments thanks to the software’s sentiment analysis, which inspects word choices and phrases to uncover trends.
Why Survey2Connect is good for small business
There you have it, a dozen survey tools with their respective value proposition to small businesses. If budget is really tight you can go for their free plans (but it surely won’t be enough for your growing needs). We should also note that even if you’re a small business, don’t think like a small business. Look at growing your business fast. In that context, make sure your tools can grow with your needs. Hence, we highly recommend Qualtrics Research Core; it’s got a free plan but can scale easily to enterprise tools.
You can easily sign up for Qualtrics Research Core free trial here.
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