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Best Survey & Polling Software in 2018

Software in this category creates and runs surveys and often also analyzes the survey results. Businesses can leverage this software to recognize customer pain points, identify strengths and weaknesses, and common patterns. Some advanced software features of survey & polling include sharing surveys with target audiences, adding logos for a customized look, sending survey invitations, generating survey email alerts, scheduling reminders, adding answer options for qualitative surveys, analysing response rates, and conducting analysis to identify key takeaways.  Read the full software guide...


Survey & Polling Software Guide

What is Survey & Polling Software?

Survey and polling software solutions are programs used by businesses to collect the necessary information from their employees, clients, and buyers for the purpose of determining key metrics such as customer satisfaction and employee performance that are needed to perform key operational decisions. Surveys are transmitted through email, widgets, or social media websites—whatever the companies deem effective.


Different Types of Survey and Polling Software

There are two major types of survey and polling software available in the market. Each type differs from the other in terms of its capability to store data, modification features, and availability/accessibility.

Online Software

Polling software systems operating on a centralized server and a cloud-based system are known as online software. Given the cloud-based nature of the programs, they exist online and do not require any prior installation from the users.

Survey generation time through online-based survey and polling software is drastically reduced by the fact that users are not required to upload any modified survey instrument to a centralized server. The survey itself is created on the server.

Online software is also more accessible than desktop programs. More sophisticated programs even provide users with mobile access, making their survey software solution accessible around the clock.

Online software is better suited for businesses with short-term polling needs. Small businesses wanting to establish the viability of their operations are given the chance to generate their own surveys at a fraction of the cost usually associated with desktop-based software.

Desktop Software

Desktop software, on the other hand, requires users to acquire necessary licensing before using its survey and polling functionality. It is installed computer-side, which gives users enough capacity to control every aspect of the survey generation. Users are not dependent on internet connectivity when generating their surveys (except when uploading it).

Desktop-based survey and polling software solutions make the surveys efficient affairs with their responsive data input capacity. Online programs usually experience latency issues that incrementally contribute to the total delay experienced by the user. In addition to streamlining the user experience, the former offers web survey page modification editing similar to a normal file. Online surveys usually provide ready-made survey templates where only the fields and characters are modifiable.

In terms of pricing, desktop survey and polling programs cost initially higher than online counterparts. However, they are cheaper in the long run. Businesses only need to acquire the initial licensing requirement of the software. After that, they can use the software solutions indefinitely.


How to Choose Quality Survey and Polling Software

When it comes to choosing the best survey and polling software, several considerations such as pricing, versatility, and accuracy are needed to be taken into account. Below are some of the software considerations when purchasing polling software:

Pricing

The primary consideration will always be the price of the product. Many online-based survey and polling software systems are now more feature-packed with just a fraction of the cost their predecessors entailed. Some even offer fee customization with flexible pricing packages. This allows companies to reduce unwanted costs by not availing of the program’s optional services should they not need or desire them. This also gives users flexibility in modifying their polling software.

Companies should also consider how the software’s pricing will affect them in the short and long run. Desktop-based software solutions impose a one-time licensing fee that’s typically substantial but will, however, provide unlimited usage for their users.

User-friendly Software

Companies should take into consideration how easy it is to use the survey and polling software. Survey software systems should allow users to maximize every feature they have. If some aspects of the software aren’t user-friendly, help guides should be present and accessible. Some online survey and polling software even have round-the-clock support teams. These, however, typically come at an additional cost.

The software should provide users with the capacity to determine how to change fields within the survey or to modify the theme and color schemes in a hassle-free manner. For desktop users, it should not be difficult for a survey to be uploaded to a server.

In addition, non-technical users should choose software that does not demand any further coding. Ease of use on the part of the respondents should also be checked prior to purchasing. If one is available, users are encouraged to avail of a program’s free trial to determine the software’s ease of use on the part of the generator and respondents.

Modification and Distribution

Survey software systems should offer various formatting and styling options for users. This enables users to modify the survey according to its target respondents and customer segment. Branching logic and question/survey types should also be diverse to create a more reliable data pool. Products that provide an array of flexibility options that does not entail additional costs should be the priority of the buyer.

Data Analysis and Management

As surveys collect information from their target respondents, the survey and polling software should be capable of handling a large volume of data without sacrificing the integrity of the insights obtained from the instrument. Software systems, in addition, should provide users with easier reporting features aiding in effective presentation of the data.


The Benefits of Using Survey and Polling Software

  • Automated surveys and polls reduce the human error aspect that their paper-based counterparts usually suffer from. Face-to-face survey interaction may induce a possible bias to the survey (leniency bias), which possibly affects the accuracy of the information provided to the surveyors. In addition, data obtained from the survey is immediately secured within the server. This prevents post-survey modification of the data.
  • Survey and polling software streamlines the survey process. Respondents can readily be given a personalized experience based on their demography. While answering an automated survey, respondents can skip questions not applicable to them. This allows them to finish the survey in less time than what they would usually consume in manual surveys.
  • Software solutions allow users to generate surveys in an easier manner. Software developers provide users with additional step-by-step guides aiding in an easier modification of the survey programs as necessary. With the simple organization of information and fields, users are given the capacity to create more effective surveys. Moreover, survey software allows businesses to conduct polls with less manpower needed.
  • There are a lot of modification features available to online and desktop users of survey and polling software. Some system allows users to modify the color, theme, layout, and overall appearance of the survey instrument. Others permit the uploading of images and logos.
  • In addition, the more sophisticated programs give users the capacity to inject interactive features. This prevents errors brought about by respondents becoming tired and bored of answering the survey midway through the process.
  • Analysis of data is one of the most important aspects of survey handling. In survey software programs, automated analytic features are provided to create usable data from the polling activity. The software offers the data in a tabular/graphical form or in a raw version for further analysis. In addition, users are more capable of determining emerging trends from incoming data even if the survey is still ongoing.
  • Survey and polling software allows users to determine the progress of the target respondents in real-time. This gives users the capacity to determine the effectiveness of the survey/poll for real-time adjustment.

Common Features of Survey & Polling

Analytics Analyze and gain insights from data including web traffic, campaign conversions, sensoric output and more.
API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
Batch Permissions & Access Control user or group access and permission settings for software or other systems.
Calendar Management Manage and update calendars for scheduling or consolidation of events across teams, departments or business functions.
Contact Management Manage large amounts of personal or business contacts in a centralized system.
Dashboard Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.
Data Export Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.
Data Import Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.
Data Visualization Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.
Email Integration Integration with email clients or providers to create and send emails as well as view received emails within an application.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
Google Apps Integration Integration with the G Suite, including Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, etc.
Marketing Automation Automate marketing processes, such as outreach emails, customer engagement, chat replies through the use of chatbots and others.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Net Promoter Score The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of a firm's customer relationships.
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.
Scheduling Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.
Template Designer Design and save templates for your team to use to quickly.

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