PlumVoice makes multimodal survey creation easy and fun with Floodlight

Surveys are the necessary evil in the marketplace. Back then when automation was all the rage companies wasted no time to program dialers and IVRs for surveying. Remember how annoying — hence, ineffective — that was? Somehow telemarketers knew exactly when to interrupt your nice family dinner. It’s no surprise we’ve grown to love caller ID, the Do Not Call list, and spam filters.

Naturally, the Web is a great platform for surveys. The reach is much greater and those who respond do so at their own will (opt-in), therefore producing better survey data. Better yet, if done right the Web offers a much better visual environment to create surveys.

I was invited to try out Floodlight by Plum Voice. The company claims it is “the first survey tool in the market that’s truly multimodal — phone (IVR), Web, Facebook, and mobile devices.” Plus, it costs nothing to sign up and deploy on the Web and Facebook (costs money only with phone surveys).

Okay, so you’re probably thinking what I’m thinking: Facebook is part of the Web, so what’s the difference in terms of deployment? Good question. At first I’d thought that minimally Floodlight would make it as simple as a one-button operation to “Share on Facebook” like many apps do nowadays. Especially when this screen shows up:

Makes you think that deploying onto Facebook is just one click away, right? Not so fast. Turns out that Facebook icon cannot be clicked to take you to Facebook. Rather, it’s expected that the user copy the URL and share it after logging into Facebook separately. That survey URL for Facebook is the same as the regular Web deployment URL.

So maybe the “multimodal” claim ought to be consolidated a bit? It appears Web = Facebook in this respect.

However, I must still say that designing a survey using Floodlight was an enjoyable user experience. Signup was quick and painless. The survey design screen was intuitive, responsive, and offered a wide range of input types for the designer. It’s very powerful (even allows for SOAP/XML transactions for features such as authentication and real-time updates) and highly customizable. Testing a survey was also user-friendly. Reports are also accessible online and can be exported into the popular file formats. This is a great online tool to rapidly create, deploy, and analyze surveys.

Here is the test survey I created:



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