Non-anonymous, Semi-anonymous, and Anonymous surveys: Which survey type is right for you?

  • 6 August 2020
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 We often hear from customers that are uncertain which survey to use between the options of Non-anonymous, Semi-anonymous, and Anonymous. Choosing the “wrong” one for your use case can lead to quite a bit of rework and annoyance, so hopefully this guide helps you choose the “right” one from the very beginning! 

Let’s take a closer look at each survey option and also discuss possible use cases. 
 


Option 1: Non-anonymous

This type of survey is most typical and allows you to track each individual recipient in your metrics. You are able to use each Journey Orchestrator Program survey model, including CSAT, NPS, and Generic Survey. You’re also able to follow up with each individual respondent via CTA or email, as discussed in our recent webinar on closed loop NPS surveys.

Sample use case: You want to get feedback from specific contacts at a customer regarding a recent implementation you finished. Based on the tone of feedback, your CSM will follow up appropriately via a Call to Action. 

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Option 2: Semi-anonymous

Semi-anonymous surveys allow you to hide the individual’s name who responded but still allows you to tie responses back to a company/relationship. As you can see in the below screenshot, choosing a semi-anonymous survey in your program setup limits the program’s ability by only allowing the survey to go out, then forcing the program to end afterward. 

Sample use case: You might consider semi-anonymous surveys when conducting virtual chairsides with potentially dozens or even hundreds of end-users per customer. You will likely get more honest feedback by using this tactic while also retaining the ability to tie the responses back to a company and/or relationship. The CSM won’t be able to follow up with each end-user, which is probably a positive thing anyway, since it’s more important to understand the feedback in an aggregate sense and take action where it matters - with the key stakeholders at the customer and perhaps internally with your product team.
 

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Option 3: Anonymous


Anonymous surveys do not allow you to track the customer at the individual or company/relationship level. You can always ask the recipient to voluntarily provide that information as a survey question, but otherwise know that you won’t be able to tie these responses back to any entity at all. A cool benefit of fully anonymous surveys is that you can share an anonymous survey link on your website or send it ad-hoc via email, whereas semi-anonymous and non-anonymous surveys must be sent via Journey Orchestrator or Email Assist.

Sample use case: A great use case for anonymous surveys is for event feedback. You may not necessarily care what company an event attendee belongs to, especially if that person is not an active customer or prospect, but you probably do care about each individual attendee’s feedback so that you can continue improving your event experience. Anonymous surveys are a great way of accomplishing this.
 

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16 replies

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@spencer_engel excellent, thanks for sharing it here!

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Thanks for sharing @spencer_engel !!

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Thank you @spencer_engel  - this is great to have as we just had similar question1 

 

@alanclos  and @Lee Peterson  - good deals as an FYI. 

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Hey @spencer_engel great post! Any ideas around identifying a platform user ID if we were to distribute in-app (possible on a WalkMe popup) behind the scenes in order to automatically identify the user/respondent? Possibly with API… @jean.nairon @CurtisValentine  ideas? 

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Thanks for sharing @spencer_engel  it’s super helpful.

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Hey @spencer_engel great post! Any ideas around identifying a platform user ID if we were to distribute in-app (possible on a WalkMe popup) behind the scenes in order to automatically identify the user/respondent? Possibly with API… @jean.nairon @CurtisValentine  ideas? 

@gunjanm I’m not 100% sure on that one. What kind of survey of the three mentioned above would you plan on distributing in-app?

 
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It would have to be the anonymous link I would think. 

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It would have to be the anonymous link I would think. 

I don’t think that would be possible, but I’m tagging our survey PM to see if he has any ideas @vikram 

 
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@spencer_engel for the anonymous - is it possible to ask for the person’s name and company and then update via rule the ID’s if the person chooses to provide that information? is there a way to set up a page that asks for that info only if the survey is sent via a link?

 

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It would be great if you could select to make a survey itself anonymous, non-anonymous, or semi-anonymous upfront when creating a survey. If you chose to have it non-anonymous the first page will include questions about email and company if sent from a template, but if sent from JO or email assist it will populate this upfront.

 

We have some customer’s who IT blocks certain mass communications and it is not easy for our day to day customers to get this updated. For these customers, we want the CSMs to be able to send the email via Gainsight Assist Plugin or via the link but still be able to link the survey back to the company and the person who is taking the survey

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Hi @andreammelde - tagging in our Survey Product Manager @vikram to help with both your questions.

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@spencer_engel 

for anonymous surveys, how can we identify the answers all belong to one user? IE would like to include a question that asks for the participant email to help us work around the non-anonymous requirement for sending a link. Also, sometimes the answers help give us context to the other answers in the survey

 

Is there a field in Survey User Answer we can use to identify all the questions submitted by one responder even if it is anonymous

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If we used a semi-anonymous survey does that mean the same link can be used multiple times by different people at the same company and recorded as unique responses (but all tied to the company itself).

Use case is that we want to send a tNPS survey to all attendee’s of a large training/webinar, but often these are hosted by the company themselves and we don’t have visibility in to who attended. Therefore I thought we could send to the lead person (as identified by the CS when logging the meeting) and ask them to forward to attendee’s for the feedback. 

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@spencer_engel

for anonymous surveys, how can we identify the answers all belong to one user? IE would like to include a question that asks for the participant email to help us work around the non-anonymous requirement for sending a link. Also, sometimes the answers help give us context to the other answers in the survey

 

Is there a field in Survey User Answer we can use to identify all the questions submitted by one responder even if it is anonymous

Good question. It’s not a perfect solution, but you could certainly ask the semi-anonymous respondent to provide their email address. This would need to be optional of course. But for the respondents who do provide their email, you could then theoretically use that field to cross-reference against respondent emails from your non-anonymous surveys. This assumes that they use the same email (with no typos) that you have stored in their contact data so not perfect like I mentioned. But should work for the most part.

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@spencer_engel  

we want to send a follow up survey to customers based off of free form answers they provided, but keep anonymous.

 

If we want to send via a program, how can we do this? the semi-anonymous seems like the way to go so we can tie it to the account, but based on the screenshot I am not exactly sure how we can do that.

 

If we were to do an email chain program and embed just the anonymous URL, would that give us a way to still use a program but truly get anonymous answers?

 

Is there a way to hide certain survey responses from the out of the box survey tab in C360? This would also help resolve what we are trying to do

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@spencer_engel  

we want to send a follow up survey to customers based off of free form answers they provided, but keep anonymous.

 

If we want to send via a program, how can we do this? the semi-anonymous seems like the way to go so we can tie it to the account, but based on the screenshot I am not exactly sure how we can do that.

 

If we were to do an email chain program and embed just the anonymous URL, would that give us a way to still use a program but truly get anonymous answers?

 

Is there a way to hide certain survey responses from the out of the box survey tab in C360? This would also help resolve what we are trying to do

I think this one might require a little more conversation/screensharing. Would you be able to come to an upcoming admin office hours to discuss in more detail?

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