Technology · Digital marketing

Looking for a Text-Based Customer Survey platform. Now we email/call clients for feedback. Ideas?

Victoria Amador Co-Founder & CEO at Boston's Best Commercial Cleaning, Tremendous Maid & Discover Vedas

December 11th, 2015

We currently we email or call our clients to ask for feedback -so i am thinking that a text based will help to increase amount of responses. I also want something that is not very 'manual' --otherwise it would defeat the purpose of the technology...meaning that it can take just a couple of minutes per day to dispatch a mass text survey to about 30 clients per day or more. The text surveys will be sent to regular clients as well as one time clients.  Any ideas / recommendations? Thanks!

Benjamin Olding Co-founder, Board Member at Jana

December 11th, 2015

Hi Victoria - have you thought about using SurveyMonkey?  On the web, they are at www.surveymonkey.com.

I'm just kidding...  I did read your post.  SMS-based surveys are more complicated than you'd expect (or rather, they get very complicated as soon as you want them to be interactive; the web is much closer to a piece of paper, which is what people usually think of as a survey) and the market is kind of small, so there have not been a lot of tools developed for it.  We built our own at one point, but abandoned it with the rise of smartphones.

The biggest market for it currently is non-profits in developing world, but even there smartphones are slowly taking over (well - smartphones have taken over, but data is still not widely used, so SMS still rules there).  Some tools have been built on an open source project called RapidSMS (https://www.rapidsms.org/projects/).  I doubt these will work for you exactly and I doubt you want to get into the business of maintaining your own code for SMS surveys.  However, try networking to some of the people you see connected to that project through LinkedIn, and they will likely know of a reasonably priced paid solution for you.  They do this sort of thing everyday, just not in the US - so the technology is out there, and has been out there for a long time at this point; it's just not popular.

If you can reduce your "survey" to just one or two multiple choice questions, you can potentially use a poll instead of a survey: http://www.smspoll.net/  However, it's not the intended usage... so it's likely not going to work exactly like you want.

Alternatively, you could re-purpose a call-flow system to conduct a survey:
http://www.twhello.com/  

Even though what you want is pretty basic, the problem you are going to face is that few people really need it at this point...  So you're going to have to be looking for a small business that does this sort of thing (meaning you need to find them by networking) or find a more complicated solution aimed at a broader problem you can simplify.

There are larger companies that do market research like Qualtrics and Mosio that offer niche technology solutions... but their pricing may be prohibitive for your application.  You might try to find someone like this: https://www.txtimpact.com/text-message-survey/ who is clearly a much smaller player.  Never heard of them though - no idea if they are reliable.

Good luck!

Ben Gamble Lead Developer at ViewRanger (Augmentra Ltd)

December 15th, 2015

https://asknaturally.com/
An in email solution that requires nothing else. You email your audience, Ask naturally gets you your response from the replies. No links to other websites or anything else. 
It's also free at the moment.

Anonymous

December 14th, 2015

Victoria, you are correct SMS surveys are a good option for your use case.  The Sensorpro platform supports both email+sms survey deployment & are fully responsive for mobile devices. What clients like about this option is that you can tell if the SMS link was clicked or not (usually a metric not available for sms only options) and is side-by-side on the dashboard with your email open metrics. Supports sending reminders etc see sensorpro.net -Chris.

Anonymous

December 14th, 2015

I forgot to add that for multi-lingual scenarios, clients like the fact that they have just one survey design for multiple language deploys, with built-in translation editor    http://spo.io/1NPqYnU

Jim Lundy CEO and Lead Analyst at Aragon Research Inc.

December 19th, 2015

@Victoria -Check out Heywire a startup in Boston. A few large shops are using them. They were named as a Hot Vendor by Aragon Research for their innovation in SMS messaging.

Jim

Dan Gaffey Director of Direct to Consumer at Peju Province Winery

December 11th, 2015

We use SurveyMonkey.com it's a cost effective, cloud based survey tool that should meet your needs. Kind regards, Dan

Richard Pridham Investor, President & CEO at Retina Labs

December 11th, 2015

UPDATE: I just took a quick look at SurveyMonkey, QuestionPro, KeySurvey, SurveyGizmo...none offer any of the SMS-based survey features you're looking for. They only offer "mobile compatible" surveys which is essentially a browser-based survey adapted for mobile devices. None offer any ability to send a text message with a mobile compatible link either. So you will have to look elsewhere. A few years ago, I remember talking to a company South Africa that has an SMS-based tool. I'd have to look at my archives to see if I can find the info as I can't recall the name of the vendor.

Incidentally, in South Africa, the only way to reach consumers is via text message as most of the population do not have smartphones...just cell phones with text messaging.

Richard Pridham Investor, President & CEO at Retina Labs

December 11th, 2015

UPDATE 2:

Victoria: Here are a couple of of SMS-based solutions that are close to what you're looking for. Both in South Africa.

https://www.checkmarket.com/survey-software-features/distribute/sms-surveys/
This company offers a DIY solution much like SurveyMonkey. However, they do offer the SMS invites by sending a link to a mobile web survey which is the way I'd go. You'd have to see if their solution will work in the regions where you will be inviting respondents as there are some carrier issues and costs.

http://www.30x30.co.za/services/voice-of-the-customer/
The second vendor is more of a customer experience consulting shop but they do offer exactly what you're looking for: 2-way SMS surveys. They "pioneered" the technology. Maybe they can set you up with a program and give you online access to your results and reports.

Both vendors offer multi-mode capabilities (web desktop, web mobiule, sms, IVR, kiosk...).

Good luck!

Victoria Amador Co-Founder & CEO at Boston's Best Commercial Cleaning, Tremendous Maid & Discover Vedas

December 13th, 2015

@Richard --Thanks --Reason why we are looking into SMS is because many of our clients like to receive our text messages to communicate with us --i guess its easier for them to text back ---our email survey works okay but i am hoping to increase the amount of clients who provide us with feedback / survey responses. 

Thanks everyone for the great insights / advices. This has been extremely helpful!

Richard Pridham Investor, President & CEO at Retina Labs

December 11th, 2015

Gary: I looked at TypeForm. Seems like a nice survey/form authoring tool but they do not seem to offer the SMS survey data collection fictionality Victoria's looking for...only "mobile ready" forms.