Ask any leader and they’ll agree – surveys of customers and stakeholders are a crucial way to gain insights and a requirement to build the best new programs, products, and services.
Most surveys follow a standard pattern: create a list of questions, finalize the best way to ask the questions, send out the survey, wait for responses, analyze the responses, and create a report based on them. An entire industry has sprung up providing tools for that process – some of them are pretty great! (We’re looking at you, SurveyMonkey and Qualtrics).
There are many cases, though, where the traditional survey process is not the best route. Plagued by have low response rates, delayed by analysis, unable to show longitudinal results, and prone to serious data security issues, these tools can be tricky for businesses to navigate and use.
Most of the problems with traditional survey tools come down to process design, and many of those issues are solved by migrating surveys into Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models. SaaS products add dimension to traditional surveys by providing data hosting, authentication, and online access/interaction controls that just aren’t available in traditional tools.
With that in mind, here are 5 types of surveys which should actually be software products.
1. Surveys with High Relevance to Respondents
At their root, surveys function by asking questions relevant to the respondent. Otherwise, why bother responding? They’re either compelled to, or they are genuinely interested in the content or provider of the survey. By nature of this relevance, many survey results are appealing to the respondents who powered the survey.
Yet how often do those respondents get the data? If they receive any information at all, it may be weeks to months until they are provided access to the results.
Additionally, the greater the appeal to the respondents, the more likely they will want to interact with the results, applying filters and segmentation.
It can be cumbersome (or downright impossible) to do this via traditional survey tools. If this is the case for your surveys, consider using a tool with a software interface that includes user management for respondents and a dashboard interface where they have access to their responses and can compare them to the overall survey results.
2. Surveys with High Analytical Complexity
Not every survey can be simple. Many of the most important organizational metrics require a good bit of math, either on the part of the respondent or the survey owner. CAC to LTV, cost allocations, financial ratios, and operational metrics often have complex calculations required to accurately report. The greater the complexity, the longer it will take to produce survey results manually.
Additionally, the greater the complexity, the greater the natural risk of human error, either in the real-time math or in the spreadsheet functions.
Not to mention that the more complex the data, the more likely it should be part of an interactive data visualization, rather than a static table or image.
Good software survey tools, like Baromitr, use proven data delivery techniques and development testing to ensure that calculations are accurate and the risk of human error is minimized. They also ensure that data visualizations are interactive and require minimal effort to present to consumers of the survey results.
3. Surveys with a Regular Cadence of Delivery and Analysis
There are many surveys which are designed to be repeated on a regular basis. Also known as longitudinal surveys, this style of data collection relies on a steady group of baseline and new respondents to answer questions. The changes in respondent demographics and their responses to the survey each instance are the primary focus of the survey insights.
Good software is designed to take the effort out of repeated actions. Instead of sending out a survey form or link every instance and tracking responses over time by hand or in a spreadsheet, a tool like Baromitr can be used to automate the question and answer process.
4. Surveys with Sensitive Data
The line between data value and security is a tricky minefield to navigate if using a traditional survey tool; it becomes a nightmare if using only email and Excel results. Attachments are lost, emails get accidentally forwarded or deleted, files get saved in all sorts of wrong places and drives.
Beyond data storage security, there’s also the data itself. In many cases, survey responses must be strictly anonymized and impossible to reidentify. Without some serious data analysis resources, releasing these survey results could result in serious consequences.
Good SaaS survey products are built with compliance and security in mind, so the mechanisms and controls are baked in and seamlessly integrated with your survey process. Using Baromitr or another product built to protect sensitive responses and ensure data integrity is the best way to avoid these headaches entirely.
5. Surveys with Response or Value Problems
Most commonly seen in: externally-focused surveys
The best survey in the world is worthless without responses. And yet, so many well-built surveys are hamstrung by a lack of response. There are a variety of reasons why this occurs, but they mostly come down to a lack of perceived value to the respondent or an inability to manage the communication required to get a robust response rate.
If a survey is sent but no one responds, did it every really exist?
Good SaaS solutions take care of this problem before it cripples the survey project. Baromitr, like many SaaS platforms, includes built-in retention tools such as automated email reminders, data quality checks, product guides and how-tos, and more. This frees up survey resources to focus more on validating objectives at the beginning.
Additionally, SaaS tools drive a value-add perception to users that won’t be conveyed by traditional survey tools or email/spreadsheet methodology. White-labeled software demonstrates a higher level of investment in the survey, which will likely lead to a higher response rate; this is especially true if some of the previous points hold true as well.
There are many reasons to conduct surveys for your organization to collect data, and in some cases a traditional survey product may be adequate. Yet, in many situations, there are better solutions with SaaS platforms (like Baromitr). These platforms provide the means to turn a survey into a product, leading to greater insights and interactions.
Are you currently running a survey that should actually be a SaaS product? If so, contact us to learn more about how Baromitr can drive additional value to your survey and increase engagement within your target groups.