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

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!

22 Replies

Dan Gaffey
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Dan Gaffey Entrepreneur
Director of Direct to Consumer at Peju Province Winery
We use SurveyMonkey.com it's a cost effective, cloud based survey tool that should meet your needs. Kind regards, Dan
Victoria Amador
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Victoria Amador Entrepreneur
Co-Founder & CEO at Boston's Best Commercial Cleaning, Tremendous Maid & Discover Vedas
Sorry --Dan I just want to clarify ....I am looking for messaging text based --mobile platform so clients can get the survey on their cells.

Sorry about the confusion on my part.
Jerome Pineau
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Jerome Pineau Advisor
Digital Transformation Consultant
surveymonkey.com
Rick Ables
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Rick Ables Entrepreneur
Business Leader - Entrepreneur - Change Agent
We offer a service that sounds like exactly what your looking for. It is an automated texting engine that looks and feels like it came from your company or you personally. The company is mobilecoach.com
Benjamin Olding
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Benjamin Olding Advisor
Co-founder, Board Member at Jana
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!
Cristopher Lang
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Cristopher Lang Advisor
MBA Candidate 2015 at UCLA Anderson School of Management
Hi Victoria, I would recommend to use Qualtrics, they can provide either a very good standardised platform or custom made solutions to your needs. Best!
Victoria Amador
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Victoria Amador Entrepreneur
Co-Founder & CEO at Boston's Best Commercial Cleaning, Tremendous Maid & Discover Vedas
@Benjamin you are hilarious --thank you for the insights and advice. Its greatly appreciated.

Thanks everyone --i'll be reviewing all comments to follow up.
Guillermo Amador
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Digital Marketing Strategist
Hi there! I've used http://www.212.com.ve/ multiple times with two clients of ours (Coca-Cola and Avon) and worked great. Someone at the office suggests also https://www.polleverywhere.com/ Regards! Guillermo
Richard Pridham
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Richard Pridham Entrepreneur • Advisor
Investor, President & CEO at Retina Labs
Victoria,

Question: why are you so fixed on text based surveys vs mobile browser based? Do you not have email addresses of your clients?

Having spent 12 years in the customer feedback / online survey space, I can tell you that SMS-based survey data collection is still not a great solution compared to the other mobile options. To clarify what I mean by "SMS-based", I'm talking about pushing a survey question (or series of questions) to a recipient via text message. The way this works is that each question is sent one at a time and the respondent answers each question after they arrive. For example, a question would look like this: "How would you rate your overall satisfaction with company XYZ? Reply with 1 for Very Dissatisfied, 2 for Dissatisfied, 3 for Neutral, 4 for Satisfied, 5 for Very Satisfied." The respondent would answer by replying 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 and then the second question would arrive until the end of the survey. I find them most suitable for very short surveys...perhaps 2-3 questions. The process remains clunky at best.

The other option is to push out an SMS invitation for a smartphone browser-based survey. So when the recipient gets the text message it contains a link. When selected, it opens the smartphone's browser. Browser-based mobile surveys provide a much better experience for the respondent in my opinion. If the goal is to allow respondents to complete a survey from their mobile device, a mobile web survey might be the way to go. You could also push the invites by email. Good survey platforms with detect the device and deliver the appropriate version (desktop, tablet or mobile).

Among the myriad of DIY survey tools out there like SurveyMonkey, QuestionPro, KeySurvey, SurveyGizmo...I'm not sure which ones offer any SMS-based surveys. Last time I looked a couple of years ago they didn't. Keep in mind that there are carrier costs for the sending of questions as each pushed question is a text message the cost of which is assumed by the sender. You will find SMS-based survey capabilities in some of the more enterprise solutions (www.responsetek.com, www.qualtrics.com) but you are looking at substantial costs compared to a DIY product ($29/mo vs thousands). If you are pushing only 30 surveys a day, these solutions may not make any sense for you financially. Of course, the more advanced platforms offer a lot of great features for reporting, issue resolution, text analytics...).

Gray Holland
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Gray Holland Entrepreneur • Advisor
founder / director at UX-FLO
www.typeform.com
Its the only way to go, best design and amazing survey experience!
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