There’s certainly no one single answer to this, and there’s certainly no one solution that fits everyone. The key to finding the right solution is first to evaluate your own needs – it is NOT simply going out there looking for the cheapest software. You may even find that you don’t even need software at all – there may be offerings out there that have questionnaires ready to go and you can simply sign up.
We’ve provided 12 questions to help you evaluate the needs of your organization, and we’ve included a few pointers to enable you to compare all the software offerings on the market.
- 1. How many surveys are you planning?
- 2. How many questions in your survey?
- 3. Have you used survey software before?
- 4. Do you already have the resources in-house?
- 5. Are you looking for all your surveys to be online?
- 6. How complex are your surveys?
- 7. How many replies are you expecting?
- 8. Are you likely to need paper questionnaires?
- 9. Might you need surveys on mobiles, SMS?
- 10. What are you planning to do with the replies?
- 11. Who else might need access to your results?
- 12. Do you have a survey budget?
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of your survey needs and you’re in a position to evaluate the options. The market is crowded and comparing products can be difficult – ideally you’ll want all the best features from all the software suppliers. Unfortunately, life’s not that simple, so you’ll have to make compromises.
Look for a reliable supplier with a good reputation for customer support. The best way of evaluating this is to talk to organizations that have been using the service for a few years. Good technical support is critical in an ever changing marketplace, so avoid organizations who won’t talk to you and demand that every contact is by email.
Take the opportunity of viewing the demo videos and then ask the sales representative to demonstrate the software to you. That way, you ask questions on areas that are not totally clear. If a free trial period is available, then certainly take advantage, but to avoid testing out several systems, draw up a short list of suppliers based on capabilities, levels of support, and price.