10 Mar Survey Solutions
- Voice of the Customer – the free add-in that comes with Dynamics 365
- Power Survey Plus from Power Objects – for $2 per user
- ClickDimensions surveys – part of the ClickDimensions package
How do the three offerings differ?All 3 survey solutions feed the survey data directly back into your CRM database, linking survey results with the person or account that completed the survey. They are all also designed to send out surveys to leads or contacts via a link in an email and they can also be used as anonymous surveys by embedding a link to the survey in your website. Here we are going to look at comparing the 3 survey solutions in terms of the ease of setting them up, some of the functionality and the look and feel of the finished survey, based on our own experience of working with each solution.
1. Voice Of The Customer
Setting up: There is a startling array of fields to fill in to set up a survey – many of them optional. Here, you define the text that will appear in the headers and footers of your survey and associate any URLs with that text. You also define whether the survey can be completed by the same contact more than once and whether it can be used as an anonymous survey. The invitation link text that will appear in the invitation email to take the survey is set up here and you can choose the theme i.e. the way the survey will look. Colours for the different sections of a survey can be easily changed.
Creating the survey: Access to the design area for VotC has hidden away on another form – unlike the other two solutions who have a clearly visible design button on the command bar.
Survey sections, text boxes and question types are dragged on to the survey and then the text or question and possible answers added to them once in place. VotC includes a Net Promoter Score type question which allows for a rating from 0 to 10 as well as standard rating questions which only allow a rating from 1.
Questions and answers can be manually added on this screen, or you can edit them behind the scenes, including editing the HTML source code.
BEWARE: Changes to HTML or custom CSS can cause the survey to fail to render. VotC HTML is quite fragile; a simple double space in a question will cause the survey HTML to fail. Something as simple as changing the font can cause additional spaces to be added into the HTML, so you have to hunt through to find the additional space, or revert to the default survey theme. A good tip is to build the survey question by question testing it each time. Testing can be done simply by clicking on Test or Preview.
Functionality: When a survey is submitted, a Survey Activity is created – this is an Activity entity and is automatically linked to the lead or contact, appearing in the Timeline. Each survey response is recorded with all detail including scoring where allocated. Where Net Promoter Score question types have been used, the NPS response type is identified.
An automated response can be set up to go to the survey submitter.
There are a number of out of the box reports available, including a summary report and a Net Promoter Score report. Additionally, there is a dashboard to view survey responses graphically. Many views are already set up to enable you to analyse the data in different ways.
2. Power Survey Plus
Setting up: Similar in set up to Voice of the Customer, but fewer fields to fill in initially. The text for headers, footers, the invitation text and survey completion text are all filled in here with any associated URLs. The theme for the survey is also selected here from 12 different variations, these can be further modified by changing the CSS. Unlike VotC the code seems more robust in handling CSS changes and edits.
Creating the survey: Question types and sections are dragged onto the survey and the question and answer text added. Rating type questions have a minimum rating of 1, so there is no Net Promoter Score 0-10 type question available.
Questions, sections and whole pages can be marked as Templates – meaning that you can then reuse these elements in other surveys. The survey can be tested quickly by using the Anonymous link to run the survey.
Functionality: Power Survey Plus also creates Survey Activities when a survey is submitted – which is an activity entity and visible in the Timeline in the lead and contact records. An email can also be generated to send the responses to specific email addresses as notification that the survey has been submitted. Survey activities can be viewed from the survey itself or from the Dynamics Activities entity. There are no additional views of Survey activities other than Active and Inactive, unlike VotC which provides many different views out of the box.
There is only one survey report available with the solution, a summary report which displays the responses depending on the response type – as graphs for numeric responses or lists for text responses.
3. ClickDimensions Surveys
Setting up: ClickDimensions works differently to the other two solutions. Surveys are set up as web content, just as a firm would be set up. Survey questions can be created first or as you build the survey, the questions are automatically available for use in any survey. The invitation text and linking to the survey are all handled from within the email template and do not have to be set up in advance. The styling of the survey form is quite basic as standard but can be modified with custom CSS.
Creating the survey: Create questions and answers. ClickDimensions has the same range of Question types as Power Survey Plus. Voice of the Customer is the only one with a Net Promoter Score type question.
Functionality: Survey responses are created in the CRM system as a Survey Response record, not as Activity records like with the other two solutions. They are linked to the Lead or Contact submitting them and are also shown with the results of the email that sent the link to the survey. Submitting a survey can be easily set up to trigger a number of actions such as adding the contact to a marketing list, starting campaign automation, sending an automated response or creating a task or notification email to a CRM user.
There is one out of the box report for Surveys, which gives a summary of the survey responses, again presenting the information differently depending on the type of response.
Look and feel of the final survey:
Voice of the Customer and Power Survey Plus have the edge here, both presenting clean, clear survey forms with a modern feel. The ClickDimensions survey defaults to presenting the survey questions in bold. Default styling can be changed though by editing the CSS and with custom HTML.
Our Overall Impressions
ClickDimensions is by far the easiest to use and set up but is let down by the final appearance of the survey, this can be improved on by editing the CSS, but the out of the box look is not as clean looking as the other two survey solutions. Questions can easily be reused across surveys. Triggering actions such as adding the contact to a marketing list is simple and does not require any workflows to be written.
Voice of the Customer has really good out of the box reporting. The final look is professional, and it is the only one to offer Net Promoter Scoring. On the downside, it is quite temperamental. It can take a long time to set up. Why? Because the source code that is automatically generated seems to generate errors when changes are made. Sections of a survey can be reused by importing a section, but not individual questions.
Power Survey Plus is easy to set up and use. It can be edit easily and the code is more robust. Questions, sections and pages can be reused in other surveys. The final look is clean and professional. Out of the box, reporting is limited to one report.
All 3 survey solutions can be used to trigger workflows within the CRM system. The only one that has this feature built-in is ClickDimensions.