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SurveyMonkey Review: "Good platform marred by recent, bad experience with a now-discontinued feature"
https://www.trustradius.com/surveysSurveyMonkeyUnspecified8.1538101
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Updated July 15, 2014

SurveyMonkey Review: "Good platform marred by recent, bad experience with a now-discontinued feature"

Score 6 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Modules Used
Select Plan - Survey Design, Collection and Analysis; Prize upgrade

Overall Satisfaction with SurveyMonkey

We're using SurveyMonkey to collect some quick user feedback for two departments working on a beta version of a new feature for our web-based subscription product.
  • If you use the pre-scripted questions, you are setting yourself up for success. Among the biggest problems faced by people with no research experience who want to do some research is a total lack of understanding of how to ask questions in a survey. By providing pre-screened, expert-crafted questions, SurveyMonkey has provided an end run around that problem.
  • Someone with no technical or analytical background whatsoever can handle SurveyMonkey just fine. Requires zero technical savvy and the analysis function is pretty much push-button, so you can find yourself with useful data even if you are a complete newbie to research (but you should stick with SurveyMonkey's prewritten questions - see above.)
  • Unlike other survey software, SurveyMonkey's Basic version (free) is quite robust and can provide useful results to a simple question set.
  • SurveyMonkey has recently discontinued a feature that allowed the survey sponsor to offer a prize to a randomly selected respondent. My recent experience with the feature was pretty bad: our 'contest' ended abruptly, with no advance warning or permission requested from us before SurveyMonkey decided to close the contest and tell us that we had to award the prize. Obviously there were issues with this feature, but pulling it instead of fixing it isn't doing a service to your users. UPDATE: contest feature appears to have been discontinued.
  • Bad customer communication on the contest feature; we had to email two different entities (SurveyMonkey) and a mysterious 'prize partner' to try and resolve the contest issue, which was not ultimately resolved to our satisfaction, nor were we refunded the cost of the upgrade.
  • SurveyMonkey could stand to do a better job educating users about WHY they need to ask questions with such care. Assuming the tool is largely being used by people with little or no research experience, some context on how the wording of questions affects the data you collect could keep users from making mistakes by simply tinkering with language without understanding the potential consequences.
  • Early feedback has improved our ability to make rapid changes during the beta testing period. Because we had a team with research experience, our need for specific information that went beyond SurveyMonkey's prepared questions wasn't a liability. For less than $250, we got actionable information that is letting us improve the new feature now and allowing us to see what kinds of users had issues, and who really likes the feature as is.
I haven't used other survey platforms recently.
I think there's plenty of room for competition in this area, and after our recent disappointment with the prize feature, I might give SurveyGizmo a try. UPDATE: Other departments in our organization are using SurveyGizmo - so far, they have been satisfied with it.
Do I need significant support from the survey provider? Do I need questions that are non-standard? If not, do I have anyone on the team who has research experience? If you answered yes to any of those, this may not be the best way for you to do research. Try hiring a research firm instead.

Using SurveyMonkey

7 - Software development, editorial research, marketing, account management, product management
SurveyMonkey is web-based and doesn't require software downloads or specialists to use it. Having a lead user with a research background is ideal but not essential.
  • Customer feedback on products
  • Employee research
  • Considering using it for market research

SurveyMonkey Implementation

Implementation not required.
Change management was minimal - No implementation required. SurveyMonkey is easy and intuitive for even a first-time user, so no change management was required when we starting using the tool.

Using SurveyMonkey

Useability is one of SurveyMonkey's strong points. Made for the non-researcher to be successful at research.
ProsCons
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Setting up and deploying a survey could take less than half an hour, depending on the complexity of your survey
  • The "Analyze" function is simple enough to be operated by a chimpanzee
  • Reports are easily shareable and simple to read
  • None, really.