The use of survey software in the business world is increasing at a rapid pace and with the increase in scope of application the software developers are innovating new and improved features for this niche segment of software.
As with purchase of most enterprise software for your business it should ideally be a joint decision with buy-in from the affected departments operations.
With the increasing number of products available in the market it often becomes difficult for the non-technical decision makers to judge the features of a survey software, which are necessary and which are not. While there are websites that provide reviews of survey software, it is also important to understand the ramifications of various feature sets that can be decisive in your choice of survey software.
a)Sample Survey / Question Library – Sample Survey or question libraries are included in all standard survey software. They save a lot of time as you don’t need to create the survey from scratch and in most cases they would not make much difference in price either.
b)Skip Logic – This logic helps the questionnaire to work intelligently and skip questions based on previous answers. Most basic survey software would allow AND – OR logic for this, however, there are advanced software that allows combination of any logical condition.
c)Data Piping – This is an extremely helpful feature for personalizing the surveys. In this the application uses answers to previous questions in the following questions. For Example, if someone answers his favourite beer brand to be Budweiser, the next question can be, what do you like most in Budweiser?
d)Branding – Your survey software might need options to brand your questionnaire with your company logo and corporate colours. Besides enhancing your brand, this gives more credibility to the survey and the response rate is likely to be much higher.
e)Survey Templates – The best quality survey software in the market comes with pre defined editable survey templates. They also offer options to create new survey templates or customize existing ones. This makes the surveyors work a lot easier; however, this is considered to be a high end feature and can actually affect the cost of your survey software.
f)Miscellaneous Survey Creation Features – An advanced survey software should have features like spell-check, auto-correct, dictionary, Import form MS Word etc. These features can save loads of time if you send out surveys on regular basis.
g)Tracking – Tracking systems are available on most survey software however, the level of tracking is what matters. While the simpler ones just track if the mail was delivered or not, the advanced software would track whether the survey was opened, whether the user took the survey, did he click any link and many other minute details.
h)Survey Analysis – Analysis of the survey results is a mammoth task and advanced survey software can make it look pretty easy. Some software would sort and present the data in tables and graphs which are easy to comprehend and some software even go up to the level of statistical analysis of the collected data.
The above mentioned features are just some of the most important ones that can make or break your survey plan; however it is always wise to check multiple websites and particularly the ones that review and compare survey software before you actually make a purchase.