Survey Tools: How to Choose the Best Survey Software for SaaS

Written by Moritz Dausinger, CEO of Refiner

Are you ready to run a customer survey but lack the software to make it happen? Looking for recommendations of the best survey tools that would work for your SaaS?

Fact: Customer surveys can help deliver incredible growth for SaaS companies. Well, if you do them right, that is! And that often means choosing the right survey tool, one that is cut out for the job and delivers on the functionality you seek.

So, in this article, we’ll take a quick dive into how customer and user surveys can help you grow your SaaS. We’ll also look at some of the best survey tools on the market and discuss what you should pay attention to when choosing an online survey tool.

Let’s get started.

Customer surveys are boring? Not so fast please …

Annoying, dull, low response rates, useless response data… traditionally customer surveys have a terrible reputation.

We are aware of that. And we understand where those resentments are coming from.

But you know what?

We also know that customer surveys are a fantastic growth tool for B2B SaaS companies.

Now, we’re not talking about long-form questionnaires, asking tons of boring questions.

We’re talking about contextual “micro surveys, “shown at the exact right time to the right users, boosting users’ engagement and conversion rates.

Like this one:

Screenshot showing the Refiner survey widget
Example of a in-app survey widget as provided by Refiner. The survey is contextual and can be completed with two simple clicks.

So, let’s take a step back and forget for a moment everything you know about survey platforms. Instead, let’s look at four ways customer feedback can help you grow your SaaS.

Four ways to grow your SaaS with customer feedback surveys

B2B SaaS companies can leverage customer surveys in so many ways. At Refiner, we identified four essential use-cases for customer surveys in SaaS.

#1 Track customer satisfaction

Identify your biggest fans and users at risk of churning with NPS & CSAT surveys. Learn how to improve and delight your users.

#2 Market research

Discover what your most successful users have in common, what they think, and how you can acquire more of them.

#3 Product research

Learn what your power users value most about your product, where you can improve, and what to build next.

#4 Enrich customer data

Create better customer segments, identify up-sell opportunities, and drive ultra-personalized nurturing campaigns.

This is just a quick overview of different use cases. We will go more into detail in upcoming blog posts.

Now that we know how customer surveys can help us grow our SaaS, it’s time to choose the right solution.

What to look out for when choosing the best survey tool for your SaaS

SaaS businesses are a special kind of online business. The inner workings of a B2B SaaS business are entirely different from those of a B2B eCommerce store selling sandals.

But you know that already.

Still, we witness it over and over again:

Modern SaaS companies choose a customer survey solution that is not a good fit for them and then, feeling stuck with a product that does not deliver the insights they need.

Screenshot of Qualtrics Website
Qualtrics offers an incredible customer survey platform. But is it a good fit for an upcoming modern SaaS company? We think the answer is at least debatable.

Most of the time, it takes them weeks of trying to make everything fit together until they realize that they chose the wrong solution.

The problem with most generic survey tools

The customer survey solutions we know of fall in one of the two buckets.

  • Generic survey solutions that cater to everybody and nobody at the same time.
  • Rigid mono-task solutions allowing only one specific use-case (e.g., the tool only offers NPS surveys and nothing else).

But don’t get us wrong, many of these solutions are great tools.

Plus, the specialized customer satisfaction survey solutions those tools offer also have their merit.

But the thing is, none of the two options are likely a great choice for a fast-growing SaaS company.

What you should do instead is to choose a customer survey tool built from the ground up to meet the needs of a data-led SaaS company.

What makes the perfect customer survey tool for SaaS?

Capturing actionable customer feedback while providing a great user experience is hard. Hard actually.

Ask the wrong questions at the wrong time, and your users won’t bother answering your survey. You’ll end up with not just low response rates but also low-quality data.

To get things right, you need a specialized tool.

A tool that lets you ask questions to the right people, at the right time, in the right setting.

But not only.

According to what we learned since launching Refiner and talking with hundreds of customers, a perfect survey solution for SaaS has the following traits:

  • Allows you to create different survey types. You can add multiple choice survey questions, run NPS or star rating feedback and more, and customize it to match your brand colors. The tool should also offer survey templates to help you create surveys faster.
  • Allows you to target the right customers at the exact right time on the right channel, with in-app survey widgets, email surveys, or hosted survey pages.
  • Supports multiple use cases (see above) and can be used by different teams in your organization (Marketing, Product, Sales, …)
  • It has a “real-time data” approach, allowing you to push survey responses to other tools with integrations. It provides for data export in various formats to allow you to process it in another tool, like Google Sheets, for example.
  • Allows you to segment your users and deep dive into your survey data with a beautiful dashboard
  • Provides at least basic reporting and quick access to the data collected, allowing you to act on feedback accordingly (e.g., send the right NPS follow-up emails)
  • It lets you tie survey responses to individual user-profiles and then sync the data to your CRM or ESP.
  • Supports “one-off” as well as “always-on” survey campaigns. The latter is incredibly valuable for SaaS companies as they create a constant stream of user feedback.
  • It offers a clear and simple survey design to overwhelm users with complex functionality that could reduce their willingness to participate. 

Examples of Online Survey Tools

Countless survey tools exist and promise to deliver the results you seek. However, as we’ve shown above, most generic software solutions lack features to help SaaS companies generate insights that boost growth. 

Below, we’ve listed some of them. At the end of this section, though, we’ll show you the one tool that passes all the requirements and needs of a fast-growing SaaS company. 

The most commonly used survey tools include:

Typeform – an elegant and stylish survey platform with a robust free version (and a paid version starting at $25/mo) available. Unfortunately, with its generic approach, Typeform offers SaaS companies little options despite so many features. 

Survey Monkey – This is, most likely, one of the most recognizable survey tools. Once again, the tool offers a whole range of functionality for survey creation; however, no options have been designed specifically for SaaS.

Google Forms – Finally, the search engine’s survey tool gives you the ability to create forms and surveys to ask customers for their feedback. Its skip logic feature gives you the ability to customize the survey better.

What makes Refiner the #1 survey tool for SaaS

At Refiner, we are trying to build the perfect customer survey tool for data-driven and fast-growing SaaS companies.

From time to time, we get asked why we would develop YET ANOTHER customer survey software.

The answer is simple …

None of the online customer survey tools we know was designed to meet scaling B2B SaaS companies’ needs.

So let’s see how our solution stacks up to the requirements outlined previously in this article.

Our beautiful survey widgets are easy to integrate and fully customizable. They are designed to achieve the highest completion rates and get you all the customer feedback you need to grow your SaaS. Promise!

What’s more, we’ve kept Refiner incredibly easy to use. No need for a drag and drop approach. Refiner contains all the elements your survey requires out of the box, so you can focus on what’s important in getting the feedback you seek.

Screenshot of the customer survey tool Refiner
Screenshot of the Refiner survey editor

What gets us excited, though, are all the ways you can leverage survey data.

Our dashboard lets you drill down into user feedback, correlate it with data from other sources, connect the dots, and surface new insights quickly.

Our integrations help you turn individual survey responses into real-time actions. Enrich CRM records, trigger personalized campaigns, alert your sales and customer success team, … the list goes on!

This is why we love building best in class survey software tailored to the needs of ambitious data-driven online businesses.

Get to know your users Refiner is a customer survey tool for SaaS & digital products. Collect more user insights with perfectly timed microsurveys, automate actions based on answers, and quickly find gaps in the understanding of your users. Discover Refiner

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