How to write a good customer survey

You’ve been tasked with creating a new customer survey, one of two things generally happens: A blank page (or screen) is staring at you OR you’ve written a thousand questions – and you know no-one is going to fill that out!

Aaargh! Take a breath, and go back to the beginning.

What was the reason for creating the survey? (If it’s because everyone else seems to do it, you need to take a step further back and understand how YOU will benefit from it).

If you really don’t know and are just trying to establish if your customer are satisfied – STOP!!! Change that objective to finding out if they are raving fans (a much more beneficial objective) then it might be that a simple measurement questions is all you need.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the most widely used and it can provide a range of good quality information.

Getting Started:

  • Start with Strategy: What you want to know, from who, and what will you do with it? This isn’t the time to be nosey – only ask for feedback on things you will actually DO something with.
  • Deployment: How will you tell customers this will be coming? What is the most relevant time to send / ask?
  • Be specific: Don’t try and tackle the world and every question in one survey, focus specifically on one or two areas, this will keep the survey shorter and easier for the respondent to complete. Unless you’re Netflix or Clarkes, their favourite TV show and shoe size just aren’t relevant! Think about the key areas you will be able to take action on. Using your website? Simplicity of dealing with you? Benefits of working with you?
  • Think of the flow: start with easy ‘no-brainer’ questions and lead into ones that require a little more thought
  • Don’t forget branding!: Your logo, colour schemes, this is a communication from your business, it should look the part.
  • Speak in the language of your customer: No jargon or acronyms! Aim your questions at a 10-12 year old ie: not patronising, but clear and unambiguous.
  • Keep it short: 60-90 seconds to complete is the target for most, longer than this you will likely need to segment or incentivise (eg: £50 voucher competition each month)

Remember to share your results – good and bad. If there is anything negative or lower than you’d like, share what you’re doing to address this, it will go a long way in building trust.

Good luck, and if you are hitting your head on a brick wall, get in touch via

Find out more about ClarityCX Survey Services here

Coming Soon blogs:

  • What questions to ask in a Customer Survey,
  • What software to use for customer survey,
  • What do I do with survey results

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