Best survey tools of 2022 (2022)

By Brian Turner, Mark Pickavance

last updated

Improve your customer research

PRICE

VERDICT

REASONS TO BUY

REASONS TO AVOID

VERDICT

REASONS TO BUY

REASONS TO AVOID

Best survey tools of 2022 (1)

The best survey tools make it simple and easy to collect feedback from customers in order to manage business insights.

There are always ways to improve business products or services, but knowing which ways would best please customers can be difficult to know. Choices that may seem intuitive within the business can seem alien and off-putting outside of it.

Additionally, while it's easy to imagine that customers want the lowest price over every over consideration, more likely they will pay more for a better experience - a key mantra of Apple (opens in new tab).

There may also be better ways in which to handle customers, or learn further interests to potentially cross-sell into. All of which is moot if you don't have a way to properly gauge and measure what customers want.

Forms and survey tools are one way in which to do this, and while some CRM software (opens in new tab) may have feedback options built into them, they aren't always configurable or contain bias that makes it difficult for a customer to provide the feedback they want to give. Similar applies with simple email questionnaires.

Forms allow you to better configure and analyze responses, without having to make the experience so complicated as to put off users giving their feedback.

Here then are the best survey tools, to allow you to reach out to your customers and improve your understanding not just of what they want, but how to deliver a better business experience to them.

We've also highlighted the best business intelligence tools.

Best survey tools of 2022 (2)

1. SurveyMonkey

The leading survey tools provider

Reasons to buy

+

Free to start

+

100 expert templates

+

Can collate online, or on mobile

Reasons to avoid

-

Has seen successive price hikes

One of the most successful survey solutions around with over 40 million registered customers, SurveyMonkey offers a comprehensive questionnaire building solution and metric analysis tools.

It allows those without any coding skills to create complex question sets and then process the responses easily and efficiently.

You can sign up for free and create a survey within minutes. However, you can’t access the data collected in CSV or Excel XLS until you’ve signed up for a paid option. And the price goes up more if you expect more than 1000 responses per month or want to use any of the sophisticated branching and pipeline features.

A number of pricing tiers are available, with Team Advantage being the cheapest. This allows control over survey sharing, team analysis, shared asset library, custom graphics, as well as easy data exporting.

The next tier, Team Premier, adds features such as benchmarks, industry tools, and multilingual surveys. The Enterprise plan offers extra security and compliance features, as well as admin management and migration as required.

Read our full SurveyMonkey review.

Best survey tools of 2022 (3)

Best survey tools of 2022 (4)

2. Typeform

Personalized customer survey tools

Reasons to buy

+

Customers love it

+

Scalable pricing

+

Excellent customer service

Where other survey tools focus on how complicated a questionnaire can be, or how much data you can extract, Typeform takes a wholly different approach.

Its focus is user interaction, believing that the way to get the best responses is to engage the end user and through that get better responses. The Typeform methodology appears to work well, getting on average four times the completion rate over what the industry considers standard.

Service begins with the Essentials package, which offers a basic range of features. Upgrade to the Professional plan and not only do you get up to 5,000 responses but also unlimited logic jumps as well as conversion tracking and HubSpot integration. However, if paid yearly the Professional plan is discounted.

Each of these is restricted to a single user, though Enterprise deals are available.

Read our full Typeform review.

Best survey tools of 2022 (5)

Best survey tools of 2022 (6)

3. JotForm

An easy to use form builder

Reasons to buy

+

Easy to use

+

Inexpensive

Reasons to avoid

-

Limited technical support

JotForm is an online web and email survey building solution that aims to undercut Typeform while being even easier to use.

A coding-free solution that most marketing people should be able to master quickly and generate the leads or feedback that they need.

In the past 12 years, JotForm has built a customer base of 2 million regular customers, creating forms in 177 countries and 12 languages.

A Start plan is free to use, and offers up to 100 submissions, 100MB of online storage, as well as 5 forms and 1,000 form views. Paid plans - when paid yearly - start with the Bronze and increases monthly submissions to 1,000, and as well as storage space to 1GB, as well as 25 forms and 10,000 views.

The Silver plan introduces HPIAA compliance as well as increasing views to 10,000, storage to 10GB, up to 100 forms, and unlimited views. The Gold plan increases submissions to 100,000, 100GB of storage, and unlimited forms and views.

Read our full JotForm review.

Best survey tools of 2022 (7)

Best survey tools of 2022 (8)

4. AskNicely

Survey tools with built-in NPS

Reasons to buy

+

Integrations

+

Good support team

+

NPS solution

Reasons to avoid

-

Not always intuitive

AskNicely’s unique selling point is that it can collect live information based on the Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is an excellent way to gauge the strength of customer relationships for a business, and this tool was designed to track that dynamic.

It also integrates with many customer workflow options that include Salesforce, Hubspot, Slack, Zendesk, MailChimp and Zapier amongst many others.

With these connections, surveys can target specific customer groups, and their reaction to new products and services can be collected to present real-time to live dashboards.

AskNicely used to advertise plans which were expensive but packed with features - however, the website no longer displays pricing information and instead asks for potential customers to contact them directly for a quote.

Read our full AskNicely review.

Best survey tools of 2022 (9)

Best survey tools of 2022 (10)

5. Formstack

A jack of all trades of form creation

Reasons to buy

+

User-friendly

+

Flexible solution

Reasons to avoid

-

Can be idiosyncratic

Formstack is a good example of a survey product with a very wide remit. The online form tool allows the creation of sophisticated surveys and their responses to be data harvested. But it can also be used for straightforward customer feedback panels on websites and social media.

Many companies use it to process leads and analyze their rate of conversion by integrating it into other sales management solutions. It works with MailChimp to enable targeted information gathering and feedback from existing customer databases.

As a survey tool, it works well enough, though it doesn’t have the templates that some competitor products offer.

Costing has four levels; Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The Bronze package offers a single user solution with basic forms and no application integration. At the other end of this scale, the Platinum plan has a multi-user license with the scope for multiple forms and thousands of submissions per month.

Read our full Formstack review.

Best survey tools of 2022 (11)

Best survey tools of 2022 (12)

6. Google Forms

Simple and affordable survey tools

Reasons to buy

+

Free

+

Easy to use

Reasons to avoid

-

Very limited template types

-

Can’t easily track users

Many business people don’t need anything exotic or complicated. Maybe a simple form to ask their customers if they enjoyed the last seminar and how to make it better is sufficient.

For them, the free to use Google Forms is a perfectly adequate tool that requires little skill or experience to use, and is available for free as a personal edition or as part of the G Suite for business platform.

Responses are stored automatically into Google Sheets, allowing them to be easily transferred to an Excel spreadsheet or a database later.

The key weakness of Google Forms is that unless recipients have a Google Account and are willing to log in with it, they can fill out a survey multiple times.

As it is free before you spend big, it might be worth seeing if it will do enough, or at least hint what bought product features you might want.

Read our full Google Forms review.

Choosing an online survey platform

This section was authored by...

Rasto Ivanic, co-founder and CEO at GroupSolver (opens in new tab)

A major difference between traditional market research platforms and the latest generation of online surveys is the amount of information they can extract from open-ended questions and unstructured language data. Such data is critical for capturing the kinds of free-flowing thoughts from the respondent that yield the most relevant customer insights. Online surveys that use artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) have streamlined delivery of these kinds of high-value insights and make them available immediately, without any post-processing or further data manipulation.

Historically, to hear the voice of customer at scale, researchers have asked closed-ended multiple-choice questionsin surveysrather than open-ended ones. The former is easier to tabulate than having to read and organize free-text answers, but it dramatically reduces the depth of the resulting data. As an example, a streaming musicservicewanted to understand consumer behavior but could only glean minimal information by using traditional close-ended survey approach. Only when the companyconverted the surveyto open-ended questions about why respondents listened to music could itstart describing their customers in more meaningful behavioral and attitudinal terms rangingfrom the deeply spiritual (“I connect with God through music”) to the practical and behavioral (“Music allows me to focus while I’m working”).

Without AI technology,projects like this music survey with 10,000 participants might requiredaysof manual data review, cleaningand organizing and still come up short on insights.In contrast, the next generation online surveys use AI and NLP to automatically perform a first-pass clean-up of text answers, in real time.Some platforms even userespondents’ collective intelligenceto furthervalidateandclassify language data by interacting with it while it is being collected. Within a few minutes, researchers have a treasure trove of unfiltered and organic sentiments in respondents’ own voice, and in real-time.

An important added benefit of such a gamified interactive process is that respondents enjoyit more. More engaged and attentive respondents in turn result in higher-quality responses. Furthermore, the statistically validated qualitative data can be used in quantitativemodels,such asnet promoter score (NPS), segmentation, or pricingstudies, wherenatural text datacan nowbecome categorical variables in quantitative models.

The combination of AI and NLP technologies that smartly integrate into online surveys is making lasting inroads into the traditional market research toolkit. They are moving the insights industry toward free-flowing natural conversations with respondents, at speed and at scale. This is creating an opportunity for researchers to integrate unstructured customer data more directly into insights and statistical models that support them.

Which survey tool is best for you?

When deciding which survey tool to download and use, first consider what your actual needs are, as sometimes free platforms may only provide basic options, so if you need to use advanced tools you may find a paid platform is much more worthwhile. Additionally, higher-end software can really cater for every need, so do ensure you have a good idea of which features you think you may require in your surveys.

How we tested the best survey tools

To test for the best survey tools we first set up an account with the relevant platform, then tested the service to see how our surveys could be used for different purposes and in different situations. The aim was to push each survey platform to see how useful its basic tools were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced tools.

Read how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar (opens in new tab).

We've also featured the best customer experience tools.

Best survey tools of 2022 (13)

Brian Turner

Brian has over 30 years publishing experience as a writer and editor across a range of computing, technology, and marketing titles. He has been interviewed multiple times for the BBC and been a speaker at international conferences. His specialty on techradar is Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, covering everything from office suites to IT service tools. He is also a science fiction and fantasy author, published as Brian G Turner.

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