Customer, Employee, and Partner Research

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Comparing Online Survey Software Solutions

I setout to compare different web based survey software tools. With the growth of the internet, surveying customers, employees, friends or anyone else has become extremely easy. I did a quick review of over 25 online survey software providers and only did a detailed review of the ones I felt are the leaders out there – the ones you should truly consider.

OUR CRITERIA:

  • Ease of use
  • Survey Creation Features
  • Survey Launch Features
  • Survey Analysis Features
  • Price

EDITOR’S PICK: SurveyMethods.com

The editor’s pick was a recent new comer into this space: http://www.surveymethods.com/ was our winner for a number of reasons: 1) We found the solution to be extremely to use. 2) Feature Rich and Appropriate: We loved the features available to create, launch and send surveys. We really liked the way the product is laid out and the wizards in the launch section. 3) A strong analysis set of features that we found to be the best in on line survey software for the price offered. 4) While the advanced package offered us more than what the other competitive packages did, we also loved the Professional edition that offered a number of reporting options along with graphical charting and segmentation analysis tools. Surveymethods.com is hands down the winner in online web based survey software. Pricing: Reverse sticker shock! When this article was written, SurveyMethods was offering 3 packages. The very basic package is free, the mid tier package is $9 per month, and the high end package is $39 per month. SCORE: 9 out of 10.

OTHER HIGHLY RATED PACKAGES:

Zoomerang.com has been around for a long time. While Zoomerang seems to be the big boy on the block, we struggled with the ease of use. The site seems to be fairly cluttered. Zoomerang does get high marks for simplicity of features though. We also did like the survey library which like http://www.surveymethods.com/ had a large number of surveys to copy and modify. The one advantage Zoomerang has is it “rents” respondent lists for companies to send their surveys to. Pricing: $75 per month. SCORE: 7.5 out of 10.

Surveymonkey.com: We were hesitant about using a software package with the name monkey in it, but we got past that once we started using the application. This is a basic survey application that does the job. I personally think that it is missing a lot of basic features such as spell check. Yes you read that correctly. No spell check means that if you’re like me, unless you’re going to us Microsoft Word that underlines all mis-spelled words in red as you type, you’re going to have a lot of spelling issues. On the ease-of-use scale, we ranked Surveymonkey.com as middle of the line. Pricing : $19 per month. SCORE: 6 out of 10.

WebSurveyor.com: WebSurveyor.com was currently purchased by Austin Ventures along with Perseus. Like all the survey solutions it does a decent job of letting users create, launch, and analyze surveys. The bottom line with WebSurveyor, is that we like some of the detailed features, but we found it way to cumbersome to use when designing questions. Also we found the pricing to be ridiculously high. Pricing: When this article was written, WebSurveyor.com was charging $449 for just one survey, $1,495 for a standard yearly account, and $1,995 for a Premium yearly account. Our recommendation is to give it a pass. SCORE: 7 out of 10.

QuestionPro.com: This solution seems to offer user features to conduct complex surveys with features like piping, quotas and extraction. We rate this as a very strong solution however it can be overkill for 90% of users. Pricing is at $29 per month for their most basic package, $99 per month for the mid level package, and $249 per month for their high end package. SCORE: 8 out of 10.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Are you interested in understanding how employees, customers, business partners, or any group of individuals think? Over the past 10 years I've immersed myself in learning how to understand how others think - and I continue to be fascinated by the research process even today.

Before I got into customer research, I assumed I knew what customers wanted, when developing a new product. However, today I consider myself to be a lot more educated in determining needs, wants, and behaviors.

The most critical learning I had was understanding that nearly every group of individuals consists of subgroups or segments, whose needs, wants, and behaviors differ. By conducting research in understanding what segments you're dealing with, you're able to create products, services, messages, advertisements, etc that these groups can relate with.

So, while you read articles on this blog, you'll notice right away that writing may not be my forte, however research is, and I invite you to join this forum to exchange and improve our knowledge on learning what and how people think.