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10 best survey tools SMBs can use to capture valuable customer feedback

No business can please all prospects all the time (if you can, tell us your secrets!). But suppose a customer is unhappy with your brand, product, or service. Would you rather hear it from them directly, or find out by chance on social media or third-party review sites?

Capturing direct feedback from real users certainly sounds like the better option—and, luckily, it’s become much easier to do. 

Nowadays, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with limited resources can conduct online surveys at any point of the buyer's journey—for free. With best-in-class survey tools, you can customize the survey flow and elements, deploy your questionnaire, and collect quality responses faster than ever.

Last updated

22 Jun 2023

Reading time

9 min


See for yourself how it works. We’ve shortlisted the best survey tools for small business owners and teams, so you can start asking the right set of customers about their real expectations and experiences.

Capture user feedback in an instant

Connect with your users with a customized survey from Hotjar. Learn what they like, dislike, or get frustrated about—and use the insights to enhance their experience.

10 best survey tools for SMBs in 2023

Online surveys are an effective way to gather information about your users and gain valuable data for a new offering or iteration. But surveys are more than just asking a few questions and hitting ‘send’. They involve designing and deploying the questionnaire, creating an engaging survey experience, and analyzing the results.

For that, you must employ a survey tool that fits your needs and purposes. Here are 10 exceptional choices to consider:

1. Google Forms

#A screenshot of the user interface in Google Forms
A screenshot of the user interface in Google Forms

Easily create online forms and surveys with Google Forms, a comprehensive survey tool. It has no paid version, which means you get full access to its wide range of features, forever and for free! It also helps that it comes with a user-friendly interface that won’t get in the way of designing your survey—from customizing colors to adding your brand’s logo, images, and videos.

Start from scratch or use any of Google’s templates, including the ‘Customer Feedback’ form, to get instant feedback about your site, product, service, customer support, and other aspects of your business. Apply skip logic and page branching to tailor your survey to each user.

Remember 💭: you can send as many surveys and target as many respondents as you like. Responses automatically go to Google Sheets, so you don’t have to worry about data collection.

Pricing: always free

2. Hotjar Surveys

#Questions you’ll see in a Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) survey
Questions you’ll see in a Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) survey

Hotjar Surveys, our dedicated online surveys tool, enables you to build the survey you've envisioned and deliver an engaging experience to your participants. 

With tremendous pressure to perform (we’ve put ourselves on our own list, after all 😉), we believe we’ve made survey creation a breeze. We’ve recently introduced AI for Surveys to make launching and analyzing surveys faster than ever. This AI feature generates a survey in seconds based on a prompt—the goal you want to accomplish—and produces a report based on the responses to open-ended questions.

Hotjar AI makes creating and analyzing surveys a breeze

Besides AI, you can rely on the following capabilities to bolster your feedback collection:

  • Choose from more than 40 survey templates to ensure your survey suits your goal, such as the ‘Exit-intent survey’ to learn why users leave your website, or the ‘Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) survey’ to measure their brand loyalty over time

  • Search our question bank for relevant questions you can type into your survey

  • Launch a survey in the language your users speak (available in 40+ languages)

  • Present it to target respondents in the most seamless way possible: as a popover, button, full screen, or link

With your free-forever Basic Hotjar Ask plan, you can create and store three surveys, with no limit to the questions you can add to each survey. Or, subscribe to any of our paid plans to deploy as many surveys (and gather as many responses) as you need.

Pricing: Hotjar Surveys is available under Hotjar Ask, together with Feedback; paid plans start at $48 per month for annual subscriptions and $59 per month for monthly subscriptions

3. SurveyMonkey

#A screenshot of SurveyMonkey’s market research survey template
A screenshot of SurveyMonkey’s market research survey template

Since 1999, SurveyMonkey has made sending out surveys easier for SMBs. It’s packed with free and paid features, allowing you to design your survey as you desire. Add questions, adjust the layout and style, apply logic, and set up your survey to appear in a continuous form, one question at a time, or in conversation format.

It can take a beginner some time to tinker with and master its components. But once you get the hang of it, you can maximize SurveyMonkey to build surveys focused on customer feedback, customer satisfaction, and market research. Then, view and share the results with your teammates, bosses, and other stakeholders through multiple customizable charts.

Pricing: paid plans are available at Team, Individual, and Enterprise levels; for the monthly Team plans, Advantage starts at $25 per user and Premier at $75 per user (up to three users allowed)

4. Mailchimp Surveys

#The results page in Mailchimp Surveys showing responses from different kinds of contacts
The results page in Mailchimp Surveys showing responses from different kinds of contacts

Did you know? Mailchimp, the popular email marketing platform, lets you create hosted surveys. Include section types, such as ‘Introduction’, ‘Radio Button’, ‘Checkboxes’, ‘Email’, and ‘Contact Information’, depending on how you want your audience to respond. Modify the design to showcase your branding, messaging, and style. You can then share these detailed surveys on the web or in your Mailchimp campaigns. 

Further, this survey tool achieves two goals at once: if your survey asks for an email address, Mailchimp automatically collects new contacts and tags them according to their responses, effectively growing your audience.

Pricing: subscription plans start at $13 per month (Essentials), with a one-month free trial (Essentials and Standard only, no free trial for Premium)

5. Zoho Survey

#Zoho Survey’s home screen
Zoho Survey’s home screen

If you're looking for a no-frills survey builder, check out Zoho Survey's free version. It allows you to send unlimited surveys, although each is restricted to 10 questions and 100 responses. You can also choose from over 25 question types, use skip logic, piping, and other features, and present your survey in any of its 26 language options. 

Design customization is only available on paid plans. But you have the choice to display your survey as a pop-up, include it in emails, embed it on your website, or share it on social media.

In no time, Zoho Survey will gather the reports and generate visual data. See if you can spot patterns in the response trends. Better yet, analyze your data with Google Sheets to deepen your understanding of the user experience.

Pricing: the Starter plan costs $19.99 per month when billed annually and $29.99 when billed monthly

6. Qualtrics Surveys

#An NPS survey template in Qualtrics Surveys
An NPS survey template in Qualtrics Surveys

A list of best survey tools is incomplete without Qualtrics. Its free survey maker enables you to run three active surveys at a time, with a limit of eight question types, 30 questions, and 500 responses per survey. Other features include choice randomization, text piping, skip logic and branching, and survey flow editing.

While Qualtrics offers its 50+ expert-designed, pre-built templates in its free version, you’ll need to sign up for its paid software to access more customizable features and advanced analytics, such as text analysis, predictive intelligence, and response weighting. 

Nevertheless, its free survey and online reporting are enough for small businesses looking to uncover brand, customer, product, or service insights.

Pricing: request for a quote; free trial available for the more advanced software DesignXM

7. HubSpot Free Online Form Builder 

#HubSpot Free Online Form Builder lets you choose a form type before creating a survey
HubSpot Free Online Form Builder lets you choose a form type before creating a survey

HubSpot is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform providing one of the most intuitive free survey tools. Its drag-and-drop builder lets you tailor forms to your survey goals and brand guidelines. 

Once you start garnering responses, it automatically adds new contacts to your CRM database. Get alerts and notifications about leads or customers, so you can take the next steps in nurturing your relationships with them.

As with the other tools on our list, you can upgrade to HubSpot's paid Marketing Hub plans to enjoy advanced customization, automation, and reporting options.

Pricing: HubSpot’s Marketing Hub includes a Starter plan which costs $18 per month if billed annually, and $20 per month if billed monthly

8. Survicate

#Various survey questions you can ask in Survicate
Various survey questions you can ask in Survicate

Do you have to run a one-time survey to meet your business’s user research needs? Survicate’s free survey may be the right option for you. It allows one active survey at a time, which comes with unlimited responses and a seven-day collection time. 

Survicate is also generous with its free package, which consists of 125+ professional survey templates, more than a dozen question types (including NPS, Customer Satisfaction or CSAT, and Customer Effort Score or CES), and several distribution methods (such as email, link, website, and mobile).

But what really sets it apart from other online survey tools is this: it counts both completed and partially answered surveys as survey responses. This ensures all valuable data is incorporated into your analysis.

Pricing: the Feedback Starter plan costs $89 per month (annual payment) or $99 per month (monthly and quarterly payments)

9. SurveyPlanet

#A sample survey template in SurveyPlanet
A sample survey template in SurveyPlanet

The various features found in SurveyPlanet's free version could be attractive to small and midsize businesses. For one, it offers unlimited surveys, questions, and responses, so it's great for those who plan to capture feedback from a large target audience.

Design flexibility is another factor that might draw more subscribers. Users can browse its numerous pre-made themes and launch surveys that display well on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices.

However, this free survey builder is less intuitive than the other free survey tools in this list. You must pay for the Pro version to streamline exporting, apply branching, and deploy non-branded surveys. That shouldn't be a problem for some SMBs since SurveyPlanet has an affordable starting price.

Pricing: upgrading to Pro costs $20 per month or $180 per year

10. Sogolytics (previously SoGoSurvey)

#Building a survey in Sogolytics
Building a survey in Sogolytics

Last but not least in our list of free online survey software is Sogolytics, formerly known as SoGoSurvey. It lets you create unlimited surveys together with unlimited questions. But with a cap of 200 responses per year, you’ll want to allocate your free plan accordingly.

To drive more engagement, boost data gathering, and speed up your decision-making, it’s worth it to set aside a budget for one of Sogolytics paid plans. Specifically, invest in its ‘Survey Design’ offering if you aim to improve your survey’s flow, design, and appeal and increase the likelihood of respondents completing the survey.

Pricing: paid plans start at $25 per month

When (and why) you should give Hotjar Surveys a try

Among the best survey tools for small-business teams listed above, Hotjar Surveys is the only one that allows you to immediately analyze the behavior or sentiment behind survey responses. To do this, you won't have to leave Hotjar.

Instead, let other Hotjar tools and integrations complement Surveys, ensuring higher-quality insights and a more in-depth understanding of the customer experience:

  • Connect popover and full-screen survey responses with the recordings featuring said responses. This allows you to connect the dots between what the user said (their response) and what they experienced (session recording) while visiting your website.

  • Identify areas where users may be struggling or not finding what they need. With this information, you can ask for feedback to understand why they are facing difficulties and make necessary improvements to enhance their experience.

  • Hotjar integrations enable you to receive survey responses directly in your preferred communication or project management tools, such as Slack and Zapier. This makes it easier to collaborate and take action based on customer feedback.

5 reasons you should use Hotjar Surveys to add value to your small business

  1. For nearly the same cost as that of the standalone survey tools, you get Surveys alongside other Hotjar tools: Recordings, Heatmaps, Feedback, and Interviews.

  2. Get started fast: AI for Surveys generates a survey in seconds based on your goals, saving time on both creation and analysis

  3. Add Surveys to your product/user research and concept testing tools, boosting your capabilities. For example, you could add images to your survey and let respondents choose between two design concepts.

  4. Start from scratch or browse our 40+ survey templates to find the one you need—from NPS, CSAT, and CES to concept test, post-purchase survey, and feedback rating and question.

  5. Leverage automated summary reports to quickly align with your team, eliminate the guesswork, and make better product decisions

Optimize feedback gathering to boost your business

When used effectively, surveys and customer feedback help drive business success. Actively seeking and listening to your customers' opinions shows you care about their needs. It also ensures you stay in line with what they want and need.

Hotjar Surveys offers an affordable and integrated solution for capturing customer feedback, helping you understand your users better, refine your offerings, and create delightful experiences.

Unlock the potential of surveys and customer feedback with Hotjar Surveys. It's the key to learning more about your users, maintaining a positive online reputation, and delivering exceptional products or services that keep them happy.

Capture user feedback in an instant

Connect with your users with a customized survey from Hotjar. Learn what they like, dislike, or get frustrated about—and use the insights to enhance their experience.

FAQs about survey tools for SMBs

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