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Qualtrics Aims to Make Surveys Mobile-Friendlier

Qualtrics Aims to Make Surveys Mobile-Friendlier

"When one of our customers survey their own clients, they know they will have one shot at getting the answers they want from the person," explained Daryl Pinkal, Qualtrics' head of product. "If the app is glitchy or the browser doesn't load it properly, it is unlikely the client's customer will stick around waiting for the temperamental technology to 'heel.'"

By Erika Morphy CRM Buyer ECT News Network
09/09/13 5:00 AM PT

It's a fact of life in market research that the success of any survey will depend at least in part on its accessibility to the intended respondents. Toward that end, Qualtrics has released Qualtrics Mobile, a new app designed to help reach respondents on the go.

Qualtrics Mobile works alongside the company's existing marketing survey Software as a Service application. While the mobile app is not a stand-alone offering, it has been designed specifically to work in a multidevice, multiplatform mobile environment. It's designed, in other words, to work in the actual field.

Qualtrics Mobile
Qualtrics Mobile was designed to work in a multidevice, multiplatform mobile environment.

Indeed, the type of customers that tend to use Qualtrics require mobile accessibility, explained Daryl Pinkal, the company's head of product.

"Our software helps companies conduct surveys and perform research," Pinkal told CRM Buyer. "Qualtrics Mobile is essentially a platform built on top of our existing product that allows customers to be as mobile-focused as possible on their customers."

'They Will Have One Shot'

Commercial companies use Qualtrics software for marketing and customer satisfaction measurement purposes, but a significant number of academics also use it for social science research, Pinkal pointed out.

Now, Qualtrics Mobile aims to make the survey process as painless as possible for the end user, he added.

"When one of our customers survey their own clients, they know they will have one shot at getting the answers they want from the person," Pinkal explained. "If the app is glitchy or the browser doesn't load it properly, it is unlikely the client's customer will stick around waiting for the temperamental technology Visit the VMware Tech Center to 'heel.'"

Mobile All the Way

With that in mind, Qualtrics created its mobile offering so as to reconfigure the desktop browser survey so that it can be used across devices. It also created a mobile compatibility adviser, which focuses on suggestions to make a survey mobile-friendly.

In addition, it has incorporated device-detection technology that allows the user to target specific mobile devices or platforms with different types of questions.

Finally, Qualtrics embedded offline survey functionality into the app as well for those times when there is no Internet connectivity, Pinkal said.

All of this was designed with one golden rule in mind: mobile survey takers have different goals and attention spans and objectives than do survey takers sitting at a desktop.

Use Cases

A number of companies and researchers have already tested Qualtrics Mobile, which is available for both Android and iOS devices.

In one test, for instance, it was used in a remote African village in which the Internet wasn't available for many miles. So, the user first collected all the data, then uploaded it when he found an Internet connection.

Conversely, another use has been by retailers.

"The survey administrator will stand in front of the retail store and approach subjects and collect data in person," Pinkal explained.

That approach often garners better results than trying to do it at the register, when the customer just wants to pay and leave.

Either way, Pinkal concluded, the common theme is that the researcher or survey taker found it easier to gather more granular and detailed information by being mobile and face-to-face.


Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.


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