ClearForms offers a survey function, but it's not designed to be a simple survey to stand alone and collect general information from a group of people. Sometimes a permit applicant will be required to gather community feedback or other data from multiple people as part of an approval or permit process. We created the Survey step type to allow for the inclusion of feedback or information from a group people who are not the applicant, the workflow administrators, or reviewers. 

For example, the Survey step is used as part of Special Event / Block Party permits so that neighbors who can give their consent to close their street for a proposed block party. In another workflow, each local employer is able to have its employees report their commuting habits through a Survey step for a Transportation Demand Management workflow. Another example is a Mural Permit using a Survey step so that community members can provide feedback on a proposed mural. Survey steps can also be used to gather feedback from a group of evaluators of a grant application.

The Survey step lets you create a survey with multiple questions and a publicly accessible link that can be distributed to specific survey participants or shared with the larger community. Responses to the survey can then be aggregated and included in the process, and all the results are always linked to the specific application or submission. Here's a screenshot of your configuration options.

CityGrows example survey step page

For example, if there are 10 different people applying to host block parties during the coming month, and they've each started a process, there will be 10 different links and survey results will automatically be linked to a specific proposed block party process.

When you set up a Survey step, you have the option to determine whether the responses will be Identified. In that case, the applicant will be able to upload a list of survey responders' emails and send them individual invites to the survey, and track whether each has responded. The applicant can send reminders to those who don't complete the survey if the admin has selected Identified for the type of survey.

Whether a survey is Identified or not, there's also always a link that can be distributed for additional survey respondents who haven't been invited (for example, if an applicant only has email addresses for some of their neighbors, and wants to distribute the link on a postcard to others).

Survey Identifed switch

Identified surveys:

You can also set a default invitation message that your applicants will see when they are prompted to distribute the survey via email (when they type in or upload email addresses). Setting the invitation message is optional.

Non-identified surveys:

The applicant gets one link and can distribute it however they like (through email, social media, or offline means) to gather survey responses, There's no limit on the number of survey responses for either type of surveys.

It's very important to carefully set up your instructions on your Survey step, so when your applicants get to it they understand what they're supposed to do!

The ClearForms team is happy to help you determine whether a Survey step is appropriate for your workflow, just get in touch with us via the live chat option.

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