How To Do Free Surveys to Take the Pulse of Customers, Employees

how to survey

“If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” – Stevie Wonder

I’d like to tweak that just a little bit and say, “If you don’t ask, you’ll never know,” and that gets at the heart of many problems small business owners have: lack of information.

The more you know about your customers, the better you’re able to meet their needs. Getting all the granular details about consumers is why there are so many free smartphone game apps. They are collecting details about their users all the time and sending the information off to marketers. Of course, few app users realize how much data is being collected about them when they’re tossing angry fowl across their smartphone screens.

Google free survey forms

But I want you to consider getting additional insights into your customers and prospects the old-fashioned way: by asking them. And to accomplish this, I’d like to introduce you to Google Forms, a free service that is part of Google Docs.

You can create a Google form to survey a group of people, or to handle various other functions, such as RSVPing or signing up for an event. In fact, Google has some templates available for several of these standard functions.

However, I want to give you enough information to get you started creating your own survey. You could use a survey in a variety of ways. You could:

  • Ask about what kind of features your customers would like to see in future products or services,
  • Inquire about the best hours and days for your business to be open, or
  • Have people vote on what your new store cat mascot should be named.

These are just a few random ideas. Frankly, while you can get some very valuable information through surveys, one of their most important attributes is that they get your customers and clients engaged with your brand. If they aren’t too time consuming, people generally like to offer their opinions and they value a business that takes the time to ask them about what they think.

Using Google survey forms

Getting started is easy. You need an account with Google, but once you have that, you’ll see that on the Google Forms page you can select a template or start out with a blank form.


At that point you can start adding questions using the drop-down menu. Note that you can also make responding to any question required. If you do that, then respondents won’t be able to move beyond the required question until they offer a response.

There are many types of questions and kinds of responses you can collect using a Google Form. However, one type of response doesn’t seem to be supported yet. I’m talking about the kind of questions that branch out. For example, You might ask, “Did you have the apple pie when you dined at our restaurant?” A “yes” answer would take the person to a series of follow-up questions while a “no” answer would lead elsewhere within the survey. But, with that feature not available, there are still a lot of useful ways to ask questions.

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With a linear scale question, you ask users to rate a product or service on a given scale. Google forms give you a default one to five scale, but you can adjust the span of the numbers.

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You can add photos and videos to your surveys and adjust sections to give your surveys added touches of professionalism. I encourage you to explore the possibilities.

Delivering your survey

There are different ways you can “deliver” your survey to your respondents. You can send links to your survey to your email list, but you can also have a laptop in your location that has the survey formed cued up.

Finally, before we leave the subject today, let me add that another good use for this free tool is to survey your employees. You could find out how well satisfied your employees are on various topics central to the way you conduct business. You could also ask for suggestions. Note that you can create survey questions that allow for short or longer answers, so you can get your employees’ input on virtually anything.