Are you looking for a free way to poll your customers? Maybe you want to set up a short survey that you can send out in an email, your monthly e-newsletter, or place on your website or blog post. Survey Monkey is a great option, but it has a limit to how many completed responses you can gather with a free account. Thankfully, Google comes to the rescue with its Forms, accessible through your Google Drive account.
Google Drive is where you can find free software similar to Microsoft Office. In addition to photo storage capabilities, Google Drive offers Docs (like Word), Sheets (like Excel), and Slides (like Powerpoint).
It also offers a way for you to survey others and collect their answers. Enter: Google Forms.
How to Create a Google Form to Survey Customers
To create your first Google Form, visit https://drive.google.com and click on the blue New button in the top left corner. Then click on the More tab in the drop-down.
Click on Google Forms and choose between a blank form and a template. In this post, I’ll be working from a blank form.
Give your Google Form a title and description. Please note that Google Drive auto-saves as you work.
Now begin to write your survey questions. Write out each question and set of answer choices. Then decide what answer options you’d like to give your respondents.
You have options like multiple choice (radio buttons allow only 1 answer per question), short answer and check boxes (for choosing more than 1 answer per question). You can also add an “other” answer code to any of your questions.
You can add an image to your questions, too.
You can also determine if an answer to that question is required, duplicate that question, shuffle the order of questions, and jump to a different section based on the answer to this question.
You can reorder answer options or questions by dragging and dropping. Hover above a question, in the center, to make an icon with 6 small circles appear. Click on this icon of 6 dots to drag and reorder a question. Do the same but to the left of an answer code to rearrange that order.
To add a new question, click on the circle with the plus icon located on the right side of the question you are currently working on.
At the top right of your Google Form, you’ll see 3 icons: the color palette, preview (eye) and settings. The color palette allows you to change the color scheme of your Google Form, upload a photo of yours to the top or select an image from their choices. The preview button lets you preview and test out your new Form. Settings may be my most favorite part of Google Forms because it allows you to really customize the survey experience.
Settings –> General is where you can decide things like if you want to collect email addresses of respondents and if answers can be edited after submitted.
Settings –> Presentation lets you decide if you want to show a progress bar to your respondents and allows for customization of your confirmation message.
Settings –> Quizzes is perfect for teachers!
Collecting your Survey Responses using Google Forms
After you have written the questions and answer codes for your Google Form survey, click on Responses at the top of the Form screen.
You get to decide how you are notified of responses received (if at all…you can simply visit your Form and click on Responses to see all your responses without the extra emails).
You can download all responses and choose a Response destination, which means you can have all your responses automatically added to a Google Sheet if that’s how you’d prefer to review and analyze them.
Once you have your Form, its design, and all settings as you’d like, the best thing to do before sharing your survey link is to complete the form yourself and submit your answers so you can make sure everything works exactly as you’d like. You can also click on the large Send button at the top right and email the Form to yourself (at a different email address) so you can get the full respondent experience.
Once you start receiving responses to your Google Form, you can view results individually or as a summary.
Google Forms are accessed through a link, which make them easily shareable.. Google Drive can be accessed through a browser or an app, which makes these answers accessible on the go.