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This next tool I find very interesting, and you may as well. Google Docs--if you're familiar with it-- is not known as an online survey tool. It's known more as a cloud-based Office suite and data storage service, but I'm including Google Docs in this chapter because of a cool feature that can be used for creating online surveys, and it's all totally free. One of the types of documents you can create here in Google Docs is a Form, and the Form is spreadsheet-based, and just as you would with an online survey tool, you would give your form/survey a title or a name.
I'll call this Customer Satisfaction Survey 2012. You can add some Helpful Text. You would then add your questions if you wanted to, change the Theme to make it look nice, there are many different themes to choose from. Once applied, that becomes the new theme. Then you could start adding different types of questions, there are a lot of different question types to choose from. And then when you're ready, you can share it either using Google+ or simply email out the form and people will receive a link, and then they will fill out your form.
You'll begin to receive responses. There are tools for tracking those responses and summarizing the data. It's all collected in an Excel spreadsheet for easy analysis. So let's talk about some of the pros and cons. There are many more pros and cons here. The biggest pro to Google Docs is it is totally free to create and send out forms, no upgrading necessary. There are no restrictions to the number of surveys you send out, no restrictions to the number of questions you ask, nor the number of responses you receive back.
The forms are completely mobile. So what does this mean? Responses can come from mobile phones, for example. You can also set it up to receive automatic email notifications when somebody completes your survey. There are plenty of different question types to choose from, some of which--by the way-- are not even available in other free versions of survey tools, and you even get free logic branching for tailoring questions in surveys based on previous answers. And this is almost always an upgrade option with other online survey tools.
As for the cons, not much to report here. Of course, since Google Docs is not an online survey tool per se, it might be missing some of the fancy options like wizard driven survey creation and templates of sample surveys you could use to get started and then simply change up the sample questions. But what do you want for something that is only a feature of a bigger set of tools that are totally free and cloud-based?
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