Behind-the-Scenes with our Client Feedback Team

We have been making some of the industry’s most flexible survey tools for over 25 years. We’re always evolving our powerful multichannel platform, which includes launching new products, major releases, and regular maintenance and feature updates. Through it all, we’ve definitely become experts in the craft of survey software.

But savvy product managers know that there’s a gap between the knowledge that comes from creating and refining a product as a developer, and as an end user who is actively using it daily. To close that gap, our Voxco Online product team has long been tapping into the user perspective – what features do they need the most, how do they spend their time on the platform, what would they do differently?

Informally reaching out to users for feedback had always been happening, but just last year, our product team formalized a client outreach program that maximizes the impact of the feedback on the final product. The outreach has been invaluable; not just for our team, but for clients who could help shape the product’s development.

Now that it’s a formal part of our process, here’s a behind-the-scenes look at our client outreach programs – how they work, and how much of an impact they have had on the online survey tools. Let’s take a peek under the hood:

User Surveys

We make survey software, so it was a natural jump to use the platform to ask our own clients for feedback. To gain quantitative data about in-demand features, the surveys asked multiple choice and ranking questions that aimed to prioritize the relative importance of new features. At the end of each survey, qualitative data was collected via a series of open-ended questions that asked users to precisely describe what key features would maximize their organization’s use of the tool, and how existing functionalities could be further enhanced.

Advisory Committee

Post-survey, we wanted to continue the qualitative conversations, and dig deeper with active users on how they could maximize their productivity on the platform. So we assembled a team of 15 of our most active clients, representing varying industries, organization sizes and survey types. In the pursuit of more qualitative insights about specific upcoming features, we formalized this group into a client advisory committee.

When we are in the early planning stages of a major new release, we can now approach a team of active users as a sounding board. The conversation starts as an overview call to get their input on how they use a specific feature set. We then use this rich feedback to further define product requirements and create interactive mock-ups of the new feature set. We hop on a second call to present the mock-ups to their teams, and fine-tune the details over time.

Data galore!

It was nice to see complimentary patterns from our varied client types that helped validate our internal team’s existing direction. The client survey offered instant clarity on which new features were must-haves, which helped the product team to immediately start prioritizing the next few releases.

We were amazed by the long, detailed answers given to the open-ended questions. It was clear that clients were very open to the communication channel and were excited to have their voice heard. The responses helped stimulate new ideas for future features and started many active discussions among the development team.

We have witnessed very high involvement levels from all members of the advisory committee, and the resulting conversations feel very collaborative. The members often choose to gather project-specific suggestions from their larger team, and even share the feature mock-ups with them for more robust user feedback. It’s quite clear that the advisory committee enjoys being consulted and collaborating on feature development.

Overall, the entire process has helped us define a very solid road map for the next year worth of updates, and with the help of many of our users, we have populated our first 2 major releases with many of their most commonly requested features.

Coming soon: results

The earliest major release that was directly impacted by the new client feedback is coming out in just a couple of months! And the client feedback team has already moved on to collecting data on a future release that will enhance our reporting tool. Later this month, we’ll share with you some of the results of the first few client outreach initiatives right here on the blog.

If you’re a user of the industry’s most flexible survey platform, keep an eye out for our surveys to join in the conversation – you could help us define the future of Voxco Online. Stay tuned!

Voxco Online v5.6 – Restructured Navigation

We’re excited to be managing a full roll-out across all of our SaaS servers that gives users access to the new Voxco Online (Acuity4) platform version 5.6.

The big news is that this version includes the release of Voxco Mobile Offline, our personal interviewing survey tool. It is integrated directly into the same platform as Voxco Online to maximize multichannel efficiency. If you’re interested in a demo, get in touch with us!

Even for online-only clients, there are a ton of new benefits to v5.6. This update integrates many client-requested updates to the overall navigation and layout of the platform. Here are a few of the biggest changes:

Maximized screen space

Elements within the platform and questionnaire editor have been aligned to the edges of your browser window. We have also eliminated tertiary navigation bars so that only a primary and secondary navigation remain:

  • The primary navigation is a permanent link to the four most common sections of the platform
  • The secondary navigation serves as a breadcrumb trail, offering easy access and quick actions for any step along the path to your current page.

The result of these changes is a more optimized experience. More of your important data fills more of the window while you’re editing questionnaires, sample lists, reports, and more. So get to work! 😉

Reporting via top navigation

We added a general ‘Reporting’ tab to the permanent navigation bar. It also provides one-click access to reporting subsections via a drop-down. Reporting for all of your surveys is now quickly accessible from anywhere in the platform.

Panels via top navigation

Panel Manager can now be accessed via the top navigation for anytime access. Using the secondary navigation breadcrumbs, you can easily jump directly to individual panels, panelists, and quick actions (imports, invitations, templates, etc).

Merged users & user groups

We have merged the two user management sections (users, user groups) into one single page instead of two. You can now view at a glance which users are in which user group. On the left you can access all of your user groups. In the central portion of the page, view and access individual users from the currently selected user group. New users and user groups can be added via a single, prominent button in the top right corner.

Search boxes

All lists now have search boxes to simplify access to specific surveys, users, user groups, panels, reports, templates, and more. See the examples above for quick searching user groups or individual users.

New features

v5.6 also includes a handful of brand new features, many of which are client-requested, and all of which will improve user productivity. You can read about them in our blogpost on January feature updates.

Want more?

All of our SaaS clients are being upgraded to v5.6 in the very new future. Release notes are available that detail all of the above changes in more detail. On-premise clients can request access to 5.6 at any time. Anybody else who is interested in learning more about v5.6 or seeing the new Voxco Mobile Offline in action can get in touch with us today! 🙂

January Feature Updates

It’s still early in the year, but we are already making major updates to the industry’s most flexible survey software.

The beta release of Voxco Mobile Offline and its integration into the existing Voxco Online platform has triggered a round of updates packaged together as Voxco Online 5.6. This new version will further improve the intuitiveness of the navigation layout, and add a few new navigation elements that will improve user productivity. We’re communicating these changes directly with clients for now. We’ll update the blog on Voxco Online 5.6 and Voxco Mobile Offline availability very soon.

Along with the navigation improvements, we are also packaging a handful of additional features based on feedback from clients and our own internal team of survey experts. Here’s a list of the new minor features hitting with the release of Voxco Online 5.6:

Detailed notifications & execution history on tasks/distributions

When importing samples or exporting results, users can now receive a comprehensive summary of which tasks and distributions were executed. Select the ‘send notification’ option for tasks that you want to have tracked in these reports.

  • Distribution summaries: Task name, survey name, description, content, schedule, and numbers of sends and failures.
  • Export summaries: Task and file name, file size, survey name, description details, schedule, filter details, and numbers of successful imports or failures.
Adding RGBA transparency for color picker

The color pickers within the questionnaire editor and Look & Feel editor now support RGBA transparency, so that survey creators can set transparencies for selected colors within their survey designs.

Show only pending/running distributions

We have added quick filters so that you can easily see which distributions are currently being executed and which ones are still pending. This will be a benefit for surveys that have a lot of distributions.

Updated survey engine default doctype to HTML

The default doctype for the survey engine has been changed from XHTML to the more standard HTML. This doctype offers better compliance with accessibility guidelines (e.g. WCAG).

Results encryption using PGP on export tasks

When you’re exporting survey results, you can now apply PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption. Users who employ PGP encryption software can now use this method when sending results via email or uploading to an FTP. Select the ‘Encrypt files with PGP’ option (highlighted below).

Remove curly brackets and spaces from response exports

For all formats (except Open-End), survey responses are now exportable without spaces and braces – { } – for all system variables. Select the ‘Remove Curly Brackets and Spaces Of System Variables’ option:

If you have any questions about any of these, or how they work, let us know! We are rolling these updates out along with Voxco Online 5.6, and communicating details to clients directly. Plenty more information still to come on Voxco Online 5.6 – stay tuned!

December Feature Updates

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At the end of another calendar year, we’re continuing to crank out new features for Voxco Online. Think of it as a holiday gift for our clients – we’re answering their wishes for new features that boost their productivity. We couldn’t have planned it better. 😉

Here are December’s new features, which mostly aim to better support SSS XML v1.2 with triple-s exports. Get in touch with us if you’d like help with executing any of them:

  • Added ‘Dichotomize multiple’ options for TXT exports. Previously, the ‘dichotomize multiple’ option was only available for CSV, Excel and SPSS formats. Starting this month, you will have the option to also export as TXT files (not available for SAS, SCT, SPS, or QAX formats).
  • Export all columns. If your data has multi-response questions (e.g. checkbox questions) and numeric codes, you will now be able to to select ‘dichotomized multiple’ and a .SSS format to create a data file with dichotomized numeric codes.
  • Exporting loops in questionnaire order. Traditionally, the default order for exporting looped question lists followed a response-focused order (e.g. Q1_R1, Q1_R2, Q1_R3, Q2_R1, Q2_R2, Q2_R3, Q3_R1, etc.). Now you can export looped question lists in a question-focused order (e.g. Q1_R1, Q2_R1, Q3_R1, Q1_R2, Q2_R2, etc.). This will include the option to export in TXT (SSS, Triple-S XML), Excel and CSV formats.
  • Added filter option to exclude surveys where panelists are inactive. We’ve added a filtering property to the Web API for Panel Manager that allows the ability to exclude surveys for which the panelist respondent is inactive. Enabling this will only return results where the respondent status is active.
  • Delete results via API after exporting. If you integrate with our system through an API, you can now delete a survey export task from a third party system. This prevents export task lists from growing indefinitely on the third party system.
Updates rolling out now!

Our SaaS servers are getting this update as early as this week. If you’re a client who hosts Voxco Online on your own premises, get in touch with us to schedule an update that will include these new exporting options.

Four New Software Feature Updates this November

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This month we’re rolling out another handful of helpful features that will make managing survey projects easier for our loyal users. Many of these monthly feature updates are client-requested, so don’t be shy – let your Voxco rep or support team know what new features you want to see in the future!

Here we go:

1. On-premise SAML Survey Access

SAML Survey Access is an option that is now available for our On-Premise customers (yes – we offer on-premise survey software). This will make a big difference to our on-premise users who seek an extra level of third party security when they are authenticating respondents. SAML access lets users authenticate survey respondents using a SAML claim attribute mapped to the respondent PIN. This needs to be integrated by users on their side, but now the Voxco platform will play nicely with SAML authentication providers.

2. Delete sample files off FTP

After you’ve finished uploading sample lists off of the FTP site, we’ve added a single-click option to the Import Sample process that allows for the automated deletion of the sample source file from the FTP site after it has been successfully imported.

On the sample import window, under source: FTP, there is now a check box that you can select called “Delete file after download.”

3. Saveable response variables

Users will now see that the variables they have input on the Responses page will automatically be saved when they load a new page or log off, and return later to complete what they were doing. Once the user returns to the response page, previously saved variables will be displayed as they were last left and can be edited from that point. The variables will be automatically saved on a per survey and per user basis; this should boost productivity among our regular survey programmers.

4. Survey link variables on exports

When exporting respondent and response data, a Survey Link system variable can now be added to the files. This could help users in various situations, including those who create follow-up email campaigns in separate software – the unique survey URL can now be included in the export file and imported into personalized emails that include the correct, unique survey link.

All changes coming soon

Change number 1 above is available now for all of our on-premise platform users. Contact your Voxco rep or our support team to schedule a time to update your on-site software with all of the above updates.

We’re rolling out the other three changes for our SaaS client starting this week. Call or email our support team if you have any questions about the updates and how to use them. Talk next month!

Feature Update: Enhanced questionnaire structure view

This week we started rolling out the newest version of our Voxco Online SaaS platform to include a highly requested feature. In the past, after questionnaires were written and programmed, the default preview display made it difficult to present the questionnaire structure to others and request their feedback. Well no more!

We have reviewed and updated the entire questionnaire structure preview to make it more helpful when presenting questionnaires to others.

These changes will make the questionnaire structure preview easier to understand on-screen, including the ability to add survey settings and block settings directly via the display. We’ve also added an option to export the questionnaire structure display into Microsoft Word as an HTML file. The Word file can then be formatted, edited, and presented to others:

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Now Voxco Online users can easily share questionnaire structure with non-users, who can see all questionnaire language and survey logic in one place. This is especially helpful for market researchers who regularly present questionnaire content and flow to their clients for their feedback and approval.

If this is something that could benefit your market research team, give it a try! You can access the new questionnaire structure preview directly from the survey editor with the slider under the side navigation (choose ‘Structure’):

voxco-online-questionnaire-structure-view

You can then export the previews to an HTML file by choosing ‘Print All’ or ‘Print Selected’ in the side navigation, and then choosing the new ‘Save as HTML for Word’:

voxco-online-questionnaire-structure-print-options

Stay in touch! We’re regularly updating the software with new features, many of which are requested by clients.

August Software Feature Updates

August Voxco Survey Software Feature Updates

Another month, another round of survey features being added to the Voxco platform. We’re excited to update you on what’s new now that the software was updated overnight. Here we go!

SFTP Support

When uploading survey results to an external site, or downloading raw data files for importation into the Voxco survey platform, we now offer full SFTP support in addition to the pre-existing FTP service.

SFTP is an even more secure method of transferring data that uses a private and safe data stream. Its major benefit is that it encrypts the connection between your computer and the FTP server, never sending file data or passwords as clear text.

SaaS Support for Twilio

Twilio allows its users to programmatically make phone calls and send text messages using its web service APIs. Now, Voxco clients who regularly use Twilio’s short codes when auto-sending SMS text messages can now be fully compliant with provider requirements by enabling an automated response for keywords like ‘help’, ‘stop’, or ‘unsubscribe’.

Survey Widgets Compatibility

Ok, this one isn’t new, but we’d like to highlight it anyways. Survey Widgets offers the ability to add even more innovative features to your online surveys (e.g. enhanced sliders, rotating image galleries, or dynamic image rankings). Fun surveys enhance the respondent experience and drive completion rates & response quality. Their entire library of widgets are fully compatible with Voxco Online and Voxco Mobile Offline.

Lookup Table Filter Conditions: New Operators

You can now more easily return values which are or are not in a list of comma-delimited values by using the new In/Not In operator.

AllRows Piping Command

You can combine the above operator with the new AllRows piping command to generate a CSV list of all answers across a loop.

The command can also be used to return a list of all answers for all mentions of a specific question across all rows of a loop.

For example:

Q1 Checkbox question with choices 1,2,3

  • Q1 loop 1 = 1
  • Q1 loop 2 = 1,2
  • Q1 loop 3 = 3

[Q1.AllRows] will return 1,1,2,3

Update Details

Have any questions about the above functions or compatibilities? Contact your local support center or your Voxco rep. We’re happy to help you get the most out of your Voxco survey software!

July Software Feature Updates

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Voxco regularly integrates brand new features to our online survey software. Sometimes these are based on client requests, sometimes they’re just add-ons that our hard-working development team thinks would be an awesome addition to what is already the industry’s most flexible survey platform.

We’re going to get in the habit of sharing these new features with you via the blog each month as they are released. The features below were updated onto our SaaS platform yesterday, July 20.

Keep an eye out for future updates. For now, here’s what’s new this July!

Windows 10 Support

We now support Windows 10 for all browser-based elements of our platform, including Design, Pronto dashboard, and Supervisor bar for 1.10.5. So you can finally accept those pesky Microsoft update notifications! 😉

Scheduled sample imports & updates

It’s now possible to schedule one-time or recurring sample imports from an external data source.

Users of Voxco Panel Manager can now also schedule one-time or recurring sample updates to automatically update your survey with new panelists.

Task notifications

You can now select that the platform sends automated email notifications to project stakeholders once a task is completed or if it fails. This is helpful for keeping track of the successful execution of distributions and other key project tasks.

Panelist field configuration

You can now specify which panelist fields are required for a panel. This enforces validation every time you import panelists, update panelists, edit an individual panelist or add a new panelist. One more way to ensure that your panel is on-target, every time.

Link panelists to surveys via Survey Sample Import

We’ve added a handful of new automated options for linking panelists and surveys via the existing Survey Sample Import feature. You can now link samples to panels via Panelist ID, Email, Username, Phone, and more.

Copy distributions

Project managers who execute numerous similar survey projects can now further streamline their distribution set-up by copying distribution settings from a past survey. Some small feature changes can make a big difference to project productivity.

New respondent filter options

We’ve added several new options for the the survey respondent filter. You can now identify respondents based on the number of days since the following activities occurred:

  • A respondent started a survey
  • A respondent terminated a survey
  • An email or SMS invitation was sent
  • An email or SMS invitation has NOT been sent
  • An email or SMS invitation was received by a respondent
New survey data cleaning options

You can now choose to clean the answers of calling questions on pre-load. When this option is selected, a pre-load cleaning Branch To action will clean the answer of the calling question.

SMS Invitations

Reminder that since our Voxco Online 5.5.1 update, we have offered the ability to send SMS survey invitations.

As a communication channel, SMS text messages are growing in popularity and offer new reach to the channels with which you can invite respondents and panelists to complete surveys.

If you’d like an overview of how Voxco SMS invitations work, please reach out to your Voxco rep.

Translating custom questions

Can be done via the Translation module, just like other question types.

New features available now!

If you’re using the Voxco platform via the cloud, these new features are available now. If your platform is hosted on-site (yes, this is something we offer!), contact our support team to schedule an update.

To see the full details on each of the above updates, please view the individual sections in our online help section.

Onwards and upwards – see you next month!

Software Update: Voxco Online v5.5.1

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At Voxco, we are constantly developing software features that make our platform better, faster, and more intuitive. We are excited to announce an upcoming minor update to Voxco Online from version 5.5 to version 5.5.1.

The new version introduces two brand new, in-demand features: panelist attribute synchronization and SMS text invitations.

Panelist Attribute Synchronization

Panelist attribute synchronization is a key new feature for clients who have integrated Voxco Panel Manager into their Voxco Online survey platform. The new feature automatically synchronizes panelist attribute updates with the responses of each panelist’s linked Voxco Online surveys (past, present and future).

These features will improve insights and boost panelist engagement, ensuring that no basic attribute questions need to be asked repeatedly.

  • Panelist attribute auto-synching. Panelist attribute data (e.g. email, language, gender) can now be automatically synchronized with the results of questions in your surveys. So if a question is asked on a survey that offers panelist attribute information (eg. ‘What is your language preference?’) and an existing panelist answers it, the answer will automatically be recorded as a panelist attribute for future surveys. This helps with survey targeting and so that you don’t have to ask your panelists the same questions in the future. (Default on. Can be turned off. Exclusion filters available).
  • Reverse survey data updates. You can now enable reverse data updates, which allow past survey data to be automatically updated to reflect changes made to panelist attributes. For example, if you add an attribute to a panelist that indicates college graduation, their responses in past surveys can now be categorized as coming from a college graduate. As you add more panelist attributes, past survey results will become more robust. (Default off)
SMS Distribution

New SMS distribution gives you one more way to reach an increasingly mobile-dependent population. The feature allows you to invite respondents to answer surveys via SMS text message. This distribution method adds to the diverse survey invitation channels already offered via Voxco Online.

The process is easy to integrate:

  • Phone capturing & assignment. Capture, import, and validate respondent phone numbers via completed surveys. Assign phone numbers to panelists.
  • Invite via SMS Text Messages. Once phone numbers are added as attributes, you can send or schedule SMS text message invitations.
  • Flexible distribution settings. You can target respondents based on their phone attribute status (e.g. only invite respondents who clicked on the last SMS invitation).
  • Automated list updates. Lists are auto-updated with SMS unsubscribes.

Voxco Online will be automatically upgraded to v5.5.1 for SaaS clients on Friday, March 11. Clients hosting the platform on-premise are able to schedule a time to upgrade at any time. Once the platform is upgraded, all of the features above will be in place, and users can activate SMS invitations or Voxco Panel Manager by contacting a Voxco rep.

If you have any further requests for our next scheduled software update, let us know! We’re always listening and improving the platform!

Software Update: Voxco Online v5.5

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In a constant effort to maintain our client’s trust as an industry-leading provider of powerful multi-mode survey software, we release regular software updates to make our platform better, faster, and more intuitive.

Updates are often made to address client requests for new features, or to integrate new cutting-edge capabilities and react to trending methodologies. All software updates are made to further improve our clients’ survey potential.

Here are some highlights of version 5.5 of Voxco Online (Acuity4 Survey), released October 30, 2015:

Single-cell variable enabling

Further improving your team’s ability to program complex logic conditions in Voxco Online, you can now hide or disable individual cells of a Hybrid Grid (not just rows or columns, as before) based on a respondent’s prior answers.

Mobile rendering options for single questions

It’s not always ideal to have automatic device-responsive survey rendering for every question. If you feel individual questions should appear identically on desktop and mobile devices, you’re now able to easily switch the software’s automated mobile rendering off for individual questions.

Image translations

Now ‘translated’ images are available to use for Image Selector questions, and will appear in the respondent’s chosen survey language.

For example, a French respondent and an English respondent will seamlessly see different images for given questions that match the language in which they are taking the survey. Perfect for images with embedded text.

Soft prompting for questions left blank

When a respondent doesn’t answer a given question on a page and tries to skip to the next page with a blank response, you can now suggest new, previously unseen responses for them.

For example, if a respondent leaves a question about their gender (M/F?) blank and tries to progress in the survey to the next page, you can reprompt them to answer with a newly added third option on the same question that reads ‘prefer not to answer’. You could even make ‘prefer not to answer’ their default response for those respondents who previously left that question blank.

This has two major benefits:

  1. Not offering the ‘prefer not to answer’ option up front increases the number of respondents who self-identify their gender.
  2. It then also significantly improves answer rates by differentiating between those respondents who didn’t see a question from those who saw it and consciously chose not to respond.
Reward Points visibility

Users who have integrated Voxco Panel Manager software and incentivize their participants by using a points system can now better keep their panelists up-to-date with their current points balance. Panelists can now see how many points they have collected for redemption from within a survey.

Custom-set a default URL configuration

Users can now single-set a default URL for their surveys using their own domain. Of course it can still be altered if you prefer. You now also have the choice to use either http or https by default.

Flexible back button block properties

You can now program milestones within a survey to ensure that after certain defined points a respondent cannot return to alter previously answered responses or response blocks.

Voxco Online v5.5 is out now!

SaaS users were automatically upgraded to Voxco Online 5.5 on October 30, and all of the above features are available and ready to implement. Contact your account manager with any questions about the changes or how to use some of the new features.

If you have any further requests for our next scheduled software update, let us know! We’re always listening and improving!

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