Top 10 Tips for Creating a Successful Customer Survey

Customer survey respondent

Customer analytics and big data are all the trend, but you shouldn’t lose sight of the fact customer surveys are a tried and tested method to understand how your business is doing and what your customers want from you.

Conducting a customer survey isn’t difficult and by using a little creativity together with a great survey maker tool you’ll soon be unearthing some valuable customer insights.

Here are my top 10 tips for creating a successful customer survey.

1. Start with a tempting invite

Keep your survey invitation short and to the point. Explain the purpose of the survey and why your customer has been selected. Give an estimate of how long it will take to complete and if you really want to increase your responses, include a small reward. Don’t forget to include a link to the survey and give your customer the option of opting out if they prefer.

2. Make it timely

Forget once a year surveys, you need to plug into how your customers are feeling during or immediately after their interaction with you. For the best customer feedback try aligning your surveys with important milestones along the customer journey.

3. Use a reliable survey tool

Choose a data collection tool that makes asking questions easy and works on all devices. provides attractive forms that can be matched to your company style, which can boost completion rates and keep respondents engaged.

4. Keep it short

To catch your customers attention and to keep them focused make your survey as short as possible. If your survey is too long, you’ll be in danger of boring your customers and getting too many ‘don’t know’ responses. You should try and limit your survey to 10 questions or less.

5. Ask specific questions

Avoid asking questions about ideas or broad concepts. Stick to the facts by asking questions such as: “were you served within five minutes of ordering your coffee?”

6. Make your survey accessible

For your customer data to make sense, you need as many participants as possible. Publicise your survey in as many places as possible such as on your website, social media accounts, emails, off-line marketing materials and even by word-of-mouth.

7. Don’t ask loaded questions

Believe it or not, we sometimes (consciously or unconsciously) lead our customers to the answers we want to hear. Avoid asking questions such as: “were you satisfied with the service you received today?” and replace with: “On a scale of 1 to 5 how satisfied were you with the service you received today?” The scale you use is up to you, just remember to stick with the same scale throughout the survey.

8. Avoid unfamiliar language

Avoid technical terms and keep the words you use simple and jargon free. Make sure your questions are unambiguous and easy to understand and use an informal style of writing if possible.

9. Survey non-customers

Don’t just invite your current customers to participate in your surveys. For example, you can gather useful information by asking for feedback when shoppers abandon your online cart or leave your store without buying anything.

10. Comply with legislation

Information privacy laws and data protection laws vary from country to country. Always make yourself aware of any local legislation with which you need to comply when conducting your survey.

Creating a customer survey will reveal how your customers view you and the service you provide. Positive or negative, this feedback will open your eyes to the wants and needs of your customers, enabling you to adjust, improve and innovate!

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