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How to Design Customer Satisfaction Surveys That Get Results

How to Design Customer Satisfaction Surveys That Get Results

Providing excellent customer service is no longer just an option, it’s a must for every business to thrive in its industry. Customer service plays an important role in sustaining your business as it represents the company right on the frontline. This is why businesses should ensure customers are satisfied with their services.

One of the most effective ways to measure customer satisfaction is through a customer satisfaction survey. It is a powerful survey tool for businesses to collect valuable feedback from their customers. This feedback can help identify areas of improvement, increase customer loyalty, and ultimately, drive business growth.

The right customer satisfaction survey will help you discover what your customers like and dislike about your products or services, and how you can improve to meet their needs and expectations.

In this article, we will provide you with practical tips on how to design an effective customer satisfaction survey. 

McDonald customer satisfaction survey


What makes a good customer satisfaction survey?

Before we dive into the tips for writing an effective customer satisfaction survey, let’s first break down the key elements that make a good customer questionnaire.

Clear and specific objectives

The first key element of a good customer satisfaction survey is having clear and specific objectives. Your survey should have a clearly defined purpose and specific goals that you want to achieve through the survey. For example, you can set a few objectives to measure, such as overall customer satisfaction or the effectiveness of your customer service team.

Relevant and well-crafted questions

Next, make sure to have relevant questions that customers can identify right away. For example, create questions that give insights into what your customers think and feel about your products or services. Make a statement about whether your products have solved their problems or they have issues with them. When crafting a question, avoid biased language because it often leaves a bad impression of your brand. 

Short and concise

A good customer satisfaction survey should also be short. People are busy, and the last thing they want is to spend 20 minutes filling out a survey. The longer survey will drive people away from giving honest feedback. Keep your survey short, focused, and to the point. That way, you’ll be more likely to get a higher response rate.

5 tips for designing an effective customer satisfaction survey

Now that we’ve covered the key elements of a good customer satisfaction survey let’s dive into five tips for designing a customer satisfaction survey that people enjoy taking.

1. Understanding your audience

First and foremost, it is crucial to know who your audience is and understand their traits and behaviors. You need to find out who you’re targeting and what their needs and expectations are before designing the survey. That’s because understanding your audience will help you write relevant and meaningful questions to them, and when they find the questions relatable, they will have an easier time responding to your survey.

If you don’t learn what your audience needs, you waste time writing irrelevant or confusing questions that eventually don’t get many responses. The lack of the target audience’s understanding often leads to a low response rate and inaccurate results. For example, if you’re targeting millennials, you should avoid using outdated terminology that may be unfamiliar to them. They won’t give honest answers when they don’t understand what the survey is about.

That’s why you should always begin your survey by identifying your target audience. Start by looking at your existing customer base, and answer questions like: what are their demographics, interests, and behaviors? You can also conduct market research to gain a better understanding of your target customers. Once you have a clear picture of who your audience is, you can start writing your survey questions to meet their needs and expectations.

Chipotle voice of the guest survey


2. Setting objectives and goals

Setting objectives and goals is critical when designing a customer satisfaction survey because they provide direction and focus for any business to achieve. A survey goal ensures the questionnaire is targeted and relevant to your business’s long-term needs. If you set an objective, you can write questions that easily align with your purposes.

So, how do you define your survey goals?

Identifying your survey objectives and goals requires careful planning to say the least. Without a thoughtful plan, you may ruin the whole survey operation because it simply doesn’t meet your needs: gaining honest customer feedback. This is why you don’t put an irrational objective in your survey. Instead, create goals that are measurable and achievable.

For example, here are some examples of what survey objectives could be for some businesses:

  • Measure customer satisfaction with the quality of our products/services.
  • Determine the level of customer loyalty to our brand.
  • Identify areas of improvement in our customer service.

You can then design questions for the first goal by including a rating-system review that allows people to just tap their feeling towards your products/services on the number of stars they want to leave. This is a simple yet entertaining survey method to urge customers to leave feedback on your business.  

3. Structuring your survey

Another critical element you shouldn’t miss out on when designing a customer satisfaction survey is the questionnaire structure. There are tons of survey templates you can use or find inspiration from when you are designing your own, but structuring is what businesses often leave out in their process. 

A customer survey should be made exclusive for specific businesses. In fact, they shouldn’t be the same for every type of industry because the message and structure should reflect the audience who uses the product or service. That’s why the right-structured questions can greatly affect the response rate and quality of the feedback you receive. 

Here are some tips on how to structure your survey effectively:

Create a survey flow that makes sense

The order of your questions should be logical and easy to follow. Start with general questions before moving on to more specific ones. Make sure that the questions flow naturally from one to the next.

Include a mix of question types

A good survey includes a mix of closed-ended, open-ended, and rating scale questions. Closed-ended questions are those that require a simple yes or no answer. On the other hand, open-ended questions allow respondents to provide detailed feedback in their own words. And, rating scales are useful for measuring customer satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10 or other similar ranges. Including a mix of questions to keep your customer engaged and the survey experience interesting.

Myteamslab how was the call quality survey


Keep questions clear and concise

The questions in your survey should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. You shouldn’t use jargon or terms that certain audiences don’t understand. Rather, use simple language and ask one question at a time. Long and complicated questions can lead to confusion and lower response rates.

Include essential questions

Essential questions are necessary to achieve for your survey to succeed or meet your goals. You should include critical questions in your survey so you can collect the information you need. These questions often include demographic information, customer satisfaction ratings, or feedback on specific products or services.

Use best practices for writing effective survey questions

Simple, specific, and relevant writing makes your survey way more effective and efficient in achieving your goals. Also, you should remove leading questions that suggest a particular answer. This gives a sense that you force people to answer such questions.  

Rather, use neutral language and avoid bias. Include enough answer choices to capture the full range of responses. And, make sure that the answer choices are balanced.

Here are some examples of well-crafted survey questions:

  • How satisfied are you with our product/service?
  • What is the main reason for your satisfaction/dissatisfaction?
  • How likely will you recommend our product/service to a friend or colleague?
  • How often do you use our product/service?
  • What improvements do you think we should make to our product/service?

4. Designing your survey

When you’ve done writing the survey, there is another step to optimize it: designing. Looks always catch the attention first before the message. Whether you like it or not, if your questionnaire isn’t visually appealing, people don’t bother checking it out let alone taking the survey honestly. 

A well-designed survey can help you captivate audiences, achieve a higher response rate, reduce respondent fatigue, and increase the quality of your data. By using appropriate fonts, colors, and graphics, you can create a visually appealing survey that is easy to read and understand. That’s why designing your survey is as important as structuring it. 

Woorise Net Promoter Score NPS


The design of your survey can significantly impact the response rate. Customers always prefer an attractive and user-friendly survey to a plain-looking one. Here are some tips for designing your survey:

Keep it visually appealing

Your survey should be visually appealing, with a professional look and feel. Use a clean and simple design, with easy-to-read fonts and colors, such as Arial or Calibri. Make sure to avoid using fancy or decorative fonts that might be hard to read.

Keep it user-friendly

Make your survey user-friendly by keeping it short and easy to navigate. Use progress bars to show respondents how far they have progressed through the survey. You should also check whether your survey is compatible with different devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

Use images and multimedia

Using images and multimedia can make your survey more engaging and memorable. However, it’s essential to use images and multimedia relevant to your survey questions. Use contrasting colors for your questions and answer choices to make them stand out. Also, use graphics sparingly, as they can distract from the survey questions.

5. Pre-testing your survey

Lastly, always pre-testing your survey so you can find potential issues before you distribute it. Pre-testing your survey is also a crucial step to ensure that your questions are clear, unambiguous, and relevant to your objectives. You can then gain valuable insights into how well your survey is designed and whether the questions are effective for your audience. 

Before distributing your survey, select a small group of respondents who match your target audience. Ask them to complete your survey and provide feedback on the clarity, relevance, and ease of use of your questions. This will help identify any issues with the survey design or questions.

slack survey email call to action


Once you’ve conducted a pilot test, analyze the results to identify areas for improvement. Refine your pilot survey based on the feedback you receive and any data you have obtained. Then, you can begin making changes to the questions and answers to gain more meaningful insights. For example, if you find that certain questions are not producing any useful information, you can remove them from the survey. 

Or, if some of the answers are not providing enough detail, you may want to add additional response options or provide more explanation for each answer option. Once you have made these adjustments, it is important to test your changes before launching your final survey. This will help ensure that your final survey is as effective as possible at gathering feedback and insights from participants.

Wrapping Up

Businesses strive to offer excellent customer service to keep customers happy, satisfied, and loyal. A customer satisfaction survey can be a valuable tool for understanding how well a business is doing in meeting the needs and expectations of its customers. However, designing an effective writing strategy for your survey can be a daunting task. 

That’s because a customer satisfaction survey isn’t made equal for any business. Therefore, you should understand who you are targeting and meet their needs in the very beginning when writing a questionnaire.

Make sure to keep your customer survey concise and easy to understand. You may use a mix of question types, including multiple-choice, rating scales, and open-ended questions to make your survey more engaging. Or, consider using incentives and reward systems to encourage customers to leave feedback.

Don’t forget to pre-test your survey before blasting it to your audience so you can quickly find out any technical issues that may arise. Lastly, it’s important to follow up with your customers regarding their feedback. This shows that you value them and their concerns, leaving out a good impression on your customers.

There you go, a complete guide to designing a well-crafted customer satisfaction survey. Follow every step in this article to create a better customer survey!

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