How to Create a Customer Survey That Rocks?

Surveys can provide you with invaluable insight into your customers. However, they rarely elicit high response rates. In fact, the average response rate is 33%, according to SurveyAnyplace. Even that is not bad, considering how important the data is and how cheap this method of gathering customer feedback can be. However, you can do better if you create a survey that rocks and downright motivates people to complete it.

Here’s how you do it:

4 Tips for Creating a Great Customer Survey

1.Choose the right type of questions for you

The most common types of survey questions are:

· Binary scale (yes or no questions).
This is a great option for gathering information for databases as it’s easy to process. However, these questions in a survey won’t provide insightful details. And you can’t use too many of them as it’ll result in survey fatigue and your customers dropping it halfway through.

· Multiple choice.
These questions help with gathering important data for customer segmentation. Choose the answer options carefully based on exactly what you want to accomplish with this survey. Be sure to limit the number of these questions so as not to lose the customers’ interest.

· Scale.
These questions require a more complicated survey design as they work best when there are scale buttons involved. Be sure to label the scales in a way that your customers will be able to easily understand and interpret correctly.

· Open-ended.
These questions can get you more details, thus they are extremely valuable. However, they are also the biggest ‘hit or miss’. The average person loses interest in under 10 seconds, so they might not want to bother typing out a detailed response. Therefore, you should only have 1-2 questions like this per a survey at most. You’ll also need to process these answers in person as they can’t be effectively analyzed by a machine.

2.Get inspiration from successful surveys

When designing a customer survey that rocks, you should learn from those who have already succeeded in this. In this case, the best example will be brands that strive on customer satisfaction in highly competitive industries.

KFC is one of the best choices in this as it’s renowned for its close work with customers as well as some of the most successful marketing campaigns (and some least successful as well). However, one thing is for sure, you can learn a lot by studying the customer satisfaction survey by KFC. From this you can learn not only best applications of this tool but also effective wording of both questions and answer options.

3.Pick the right time for your survey

Depending on the type of data you want to gather through your customer survey, you should send it out:

· Right after the interaction to know how satisfied the person is with the interaction itself.

· After a short period of time after the purchase (2-3 days so your customers actually get to use whatever they bought) to learn the level of satisfaction with the product/service.

· At different points of the customer lifecycle so you can learn how satisfied they are with your brand’s performance in general.

You should use all three of these opportunities with three different survey types to get most valuable data.


In the business of customer surveys KISS stands not for the rock band but for ‘keep it short, silly’. Remember that the consumers of today are always in a hurry. Therefore, to get a response out of them, you need to make it so your survey doesn’t take much of their time. Aim for something they can complete in under a minute.

And be sure to optimize it for mobile as the majority of people today complete surveys from their smartphones (CustomerThermometer). Don’t forget to include emojis to involve a more positive emotional response.

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