A free, powerful tool for interviews and Exit polls

A free, powerful tool for interviews and Exit polls

How often do our customers ask us to conduct interviews outside the normal points of sale or other measurements such as NPS or various satisfactions.

Often we need to use paper questionnaires because our software is not optimized for this type of survey.

Mystery Shopping software is not always fit for this purpose, even ours own internal, specially developed system suffers a little in these cases. Furthermore, some software has a cost linked to the number of questionnaires.

Today I would like to talk to you about a fabulous tool for doing questionnaires and web surveys: LIME SURVEY; you can find the site here 

LimeSurvey is an open-source tool that works very well and manages both interviews and evaluation tests with questionnaires and scores.

Open Source for those unfamiliar with the terminology means free, open so that anyone can download and use it for any purpose, including commercial.

We fully adhere to the open-source philosophy and have been using LimeSurvey for many years. I find it very easy to use and making surveys is quite easy. It can be connected to different CRM tools to send SMS, Emails etc.

It is very convenient to carry out surveys, you define the questions and answers, create the codes yourself and send them to participants via email. There is a panel with graphics and files in many formats can be generated to be processed later from Excel to the SPSS.

And even better it is completely free.


You can install it on your servers (if you need a hand contact me!). You just need a web space (a website) with a PHP hosting and an MYSQL database and it is not difficult to set up. The installation procedure is really easy, you just make 10 clicks and everything is solved in a few steps.

If you don't know where to buy a web space, I recommend OVH: it is a provider present throughout Europe that works well and at 5 euros per month it gives you all that you need. Check for details

Here are the steps to start

  1. Download the updated LimeSurvey version
  2. Buy the web space (with PHP and MYSQL)
  3. Copy the LimeSurvey files to your web space
  4. Install LIMESURVEY
  5. Create your first survey.

For those who do not want to buy a web space and install it there are many services that come with the complete package already installed (search for "LimeSurvey Hosted" or check out by purchasing the installed product they will provide the administration user and you can start by creating your first survey. It costs a little more but saves some time.

LimeSurvey also offers paid packages from 29 euros per month for 10,000 interviews per year, but I recommend that you have your own version installed.

LimeSurvey is a brilliant product for any type of market survey.

We use it for

  • Tips from shoppers doing surveys for us
  • The satisfaction of our customers
  • A shopper satisfaction survey
  • Make inquiries outside the point of sale
  • Do web survey by sending the link to the participants via SMS or Email.


A good feature of LimeSurvey is the possibility of using an APP developed by a third company that allows the offline compilation of the questionnaires. You can find it here This costs 69 euros per month but makes your life easier in the event that there is no connectivity where you are conducting investigations or in cases where you provide unconnected TABLETs.

OffLineSurvey automatically sends data to your LimeSurvey when there is a connection without losing any information.

Among other things, it offers the possibility of managing classic questions inside shops, with smileys to have the customer evaluation of a service in real time (called Kiosk mode).

In short, for a few euros a month we can have a stable product like LimeSurvey installed on our servers with the data completely at our disposal. It allows us to carry out interviews, questionnaires or learning tests and process reports automatically. You will have your own APP for surveys and market research that connects to your servers.

I emphasize on our servers because more and more frequently customers are asking us for information about where the data is stored, and by installing LimeSurvey on your spaces you will have complete control of the data. There are no constraints on the number of surveys, interviews, or lengths of questionnaires, everything is in your hands.

One of the features I really like is that it allows you to find Freelancers for specific customizations. If a customer asks you something that LimeSurvey does not do, you can look for a Freelancer and with a few euros you will have the functionality installed.

I would say that it is very difficult to find a better product.

If you need a hand, please write to me, I am available.

See you soon,

Fabrizio Checchi

The book about Mystery Shopping