Collect actionable feedback using <span class="platform-hero__heading--blue">text surveys</span>

Use text surveys to get the data and feedback you need to improve your business. Try sending one on Textline today. Sign up for a 14-day free trial now.

At Textline, we make it easy to send text surveys

Hundreds of businesses rely on Textline to send SMS surveys. Our service is highly customizable. See what our customers have to say about us.

<span class="platform__quote"><q>Overall experience has been extremely positive thus far. Great customer service and awesome features and integrations. <span class="platform__quote--blue60">Our tech support is very text heavy so this has been a huge benefit to our team so far.</span></q></span>

<span class="platform__quote__author">Jared M.,<span class="platform__quote__author--blue60"> Capterra</span></span>

A screenshot of a text message

What is a text survey?

A text survey asks someone a question or series of questions via text message to capture data and feedback. Text surveys, also called a short message service surveys,  aim to collect this information from employees, existing customers, or target customers. The survey results can be analyzed to improve operations, services, and more.

There are several types of surveys that can be sent via text. This includes customer satisfaction surveys, net promoter score surveys, marketing surveys, and other custom polls.

Many businesses have turned to SMS surveys in recent years. That’s because text messages have a high open rate and response rate. Plus, more customers have mobile phones than ever before.

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The benefits of sending a survey via SMS

High response rate

You want your survey recipients to reply. SMS has an average response rate of 45 percent, which is more than seven times higher than email.

Reach more people 

Use SMS to ensure your survey is seen by your target audience. In fact, 97 percent of Americans own a cell phone and texts have a 98 percent open rate.

Quick data and follow-ups

Texting is built for rapid back-and-forth communication. In fact, a majority of texts are read within three minutes. This means you can get immediate feedback and quickly ask follow-up questions to dig deeper.

Easy setup

Text survey campaigns are easy to set up and deploy. With the help of SMS survey software, you can save time and effort by using built-in survey templates. Or, you can easily customize surveys.

What to look for in an SMS survey software

Your business can easily send text message surveys with an SMS provider. But, you should still weigh the features you need. This will help you choose the right SMS survey platform for your business. Below we share a few capabilities to look for when making that decision.

SMS survey templates

<div class="platform__mb40">Save time and effort by selecting a provider with pre-built SMS survey templates. For example, Textline has pre-built NPS and CSAT surveys that make it easy for our customers to collect data.</div>

Customizable surveys

<div class="platform__mb40">At times, you may want to create a custom survey. Make sure the SMS provider allows you to do this so you can ask the right questions.</div>

Survey validation

<div class="platform__mb40">If you build a survey from scratch or use a pre-built template, validation ensures that customers answer the question the way you want them to. For example, if you ask customers to choose chicken or beef, and they say pork, the question would be resent.</div>

Solid metrics

<div class="platform__mb40">Pick a provider that helps you analyze customer responses with proper metrics. Make sure you can do what you need with the data. Ask if you can filter results, adjust date ranges, or view department-specific survey stats.</div>

Survey automations

<div class="platform__mb40">Pick a provider that allows you to send surveys manually or automatically. For example, you could schedule text surveys to trigger after support tickets close. These automations can save your team time.</div>

Auto-reply capabilities

<div class="platform__mb40">With the auto-reply feature, you can set up a thank you message to trigger after a customer or employee finishes a survey. This will save you time since you won't need to manually reply.</div>

Mass texting

<div class="platform__mb40">If you want to send a survey to a group of contacts at the same time, make sure the SMS provider supports mass texting.</div>

Two-way SMS

<div class="platform__mb40">You may want to ask follow-up questions to customers via SMS. That said, make sure your SMS provider supports two-way texting.</div>

Seamless opt-in and opt-out

<div class="platform__mb40">To comply with the laws that regulate SMS, ensure your SMS provider offers seamless opt-ins and opt-outs.</div>

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How businesses use text surveys

Businesses across all industries send surveys using SMS. These companies use surveys to collect feedback on products, services, and customer preferences. Below we share a few use cases to keep in mind.

Customer support feedback

Send a text survey to a customer after a customer support interaction. Ask them how they feel about the interaction on a scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (good).

Customer satisfaction survey

Send a CSAT survey to get a pulse on how satisfied a customer is with a particular interaction or service. The data can be used to enhance the customer experience. One great way is to send the CSAT survey right after a service, such as after exiting an Uber or taxi.

Customer loyalty survey

Send an NPS survey to customers to understand how likely they are to recommend your product or service to a friend, colleague, or family member.

Customer effort score surveys

Send a CES survey to understand how easy it was for a customer to interact with your team or use your product. This could be sent after a customer support ticket is resolved or a few months after setting up a product.

Event feedback

After an event like a conference, ask attendees to share feedback. This can help you improve operations for the next event.

Market research surveys

Send a market research survey to get a sense of how customers feel about a particular product. This can help you identify areas to improve the product. It can also help you understand the value your product or service has so your team can better market the product.

Brand awareness surveys

You could send a survey to gauge how familiar a customer is with your product. Ask an open-ended question such as “when you think of X product or service, what brands come to mind?”

Employee polls

Companies use surveys internally as well. An employee poll could get a sense of what type of company outing to do in the next quarter. Or, the poll could ask what type of lunch food the company should order for lunch.

Employee satisfaction

Collect feedback about employee happiness. Ask employees how they feel working at your company to get feedback to improve.

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Text survey frequently asked questions

Should I use an email, in-app, or text survey?

Each survey channel has pros and cons. In general, the best way to decide is to think through the pros and cons of each, and which is the best fit for your business.

Email surveys have lower and slower response rates than the other channels, but they can be a great way to collect qualitative feedback. Customers who take the time to answer email surveys are likely more invested in a brand and more inclined to describe the “why” behind their answers.

On the other hand, in-app surveys have higher response rates than email but will get less qualitative feedback. These surveys are great for getting contextualized feedback as the survey recipient is using or just used the application. Uber, for example, asks all customers to rate their drivers post-transaction. They are sent this survey via the app. While many customers do the initial rating, they are less likely to provide in-depth comments. Another thing to consider is that not all businesses have mobile apps. Plus, if they do have an app, not all customers have it downloaded.

Text surveys also have higher response rates than email. Plus, they are a great way for brands to get immediate feedback as the average text response time is 90 seconds. Additionally, SMS allows for rapid two-way conversations, which allows businesses to send follow-up questions to get qualitative feedback. And, text surveys can allow you to reach people who don’t have an app downloaded.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that customers must first consent to receive SMS messages from your business or give you their phone numbers. This can be a roadblock.

Overall, all channels have pros and cons. Consider sending a survey on multiple channels to see which one has the most respondents. Or, use an omnichannel approach to reap the benefits of each survey channel.

What are some best practices for sending text surveys?

There are many best practices for sending text surveys to mobile devices. Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Get permission to send texts to your customers or employees
  • Keep the survey brief
  • Test different send times
  • Don’t send too many surveys via SMS
  • Send a gentle reminder to participate if they didn’t initially respond
  • Personalize the survey or survey invite when possible
  • If you use a survey link, ensure it is mobile friendly

How much does it cost to send a text message survey?

The price depends on your SMS service provider and how many surveys you want to send. Textline offers customers three pricing plans based on their needs. You can also fill out our Enterprise Form if you have special requests. We’ll work together to figure out the best pricing plan for you.

When is the best time to send an SMS survey?

It depends on the type of feedback you are requesting. For a survey soliciting satisfaction feedback post-service, you would likely want to send it right after or shortly following it. For example, if a customer visits a hair salon, it would be best to send the text survey within a few hours. However, if you are looking to collect customer feedback about a particular product they purchased, it could be better to send the survey a few days later. That’s because you would want to ensure the customer had time to try out the product.

Another thing to keep in mind is the type of survey. For example, NPS surveys aim to measure customer loyalty rather than satisfaction with a particular interaction. That said, businesses may not want to send the NPS survey immediately after a support interaction because it is more likely to measure that customer’s satisfaction with the event. On the other hand, CES surveys are great to send immediately following a support interaction like returning a product.

Should I use numbers, multiple choice, or open-ended questions in my surveys?

There are pros and cons to each question type. But ultimately, it depends on the survey type and what you are looking to do with the feedback. Many survey questions ask customers to rate their experience on a numerical scale. However, other surveys may ask customers to pick one of four options, while others want to get qualitative feedback with open-ended questions.

Here are a few examples of when to use a numerical, multiple choice, or open-ended question.

Numerical

  • NPS surveys. A measure of customer loyalty, NPS surveys ask customers to rate how likely they are to recommend a product or service to a friend or family member. In this instance, customers should be asked to rate on a numerical scale of 0-10.
  • Satisfaction surveys. Customer satisfaction surveys like CSAT ask customers to rate how satisfied they were with a product or service. Often it is easiest to use a scale of 1-5, with 1 being very unsatisfied and 5 being very satisfied.

Multiple choice

  • Internal poll. Consider using multiple choice if you are sending a group a survey to determine preferences. For example, asking employees what they prefer for lunch. Would you prefer chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp tacos for lunch? This narrows down the options.

Open-ended questions

  • Follow-ups. A good way to use open-ended questions is during a follow-up. Consider asking customers why they decided on a particular numerical score to get qualitative feedback. Ask them: Why did you select a score of 8?
  • Brand awareness surveys. If you are interested to understand brand awareness, open-ended questions can be a good option. For example, consider asking customers: When you think of men’s grooming products, what companies come to mind?

Can I send a survey link via text?

Yes! With Textline you can send a text message with a link to an online survey. You can create the surveys through websites like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms. In the text message, you’ll want to make it clear that the recipients must click the link to take the survey.

How long should text surveys be?

Text messages are limited to 160 characters, so it is important to keep your text message survey questions short and concise. Plus, you want to keep the overall survey short as human attention spans are short. Many surveys like CSAT and NPS are designed to be one or two questions long, making them great for SMS. If you have a lengthier survey with more questions, you may want to consider sending a link to a web survey.


Should you offer rewards for taking surveys?

It is not always necessary, but incentives can help you boost your survey response rate. One study found the likelihood of a customer returning a completed survey increased by 30 percent when incentivized. When selecting an incentive, think about what would motivate your customers. There are many incentives you can offer, such as an exclusive discount, free product, or raffle entry.

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