How to craft a great customer survey

Thereasa Roy
March 5, 2022
How to craft a great customer survey

Customer surveys are ideal channels for getting all the essential information you need about your business with regard to your clients. Such surveys give you an insight into your customers' thoughts on the particular subject you're researching.

However, conducting a customer survey or customer research isn't just about sending out some questions, getting feedback, and analyzing the responses. There's more that goes into crafting a great customer survey.

And while conducting customer interviews may appear like a simple task, it can be overwhelming if you aren't sure how to go about it. In this article, we'll discuss pro tips on how to design a great customer survey. So, keep it here.

Tips for creating a great customer survey

Let's get started.

Set a realistic goal

The most crucial step when crafting a customer survey is defining your goals.

What do you want to achieve from the survey? What kind of feedback do you expect from your clients? etc.

So, what's a clear and attainable goal in a customer survey? Well, let's find out.

Suppose you want to understand why your business is adversely losing customers. In this case, your survey should revolve around getting information on why clients are avoiding your products or services. Your goal here's to know the reason for the decline in the number of customers and not any other information that may not be relevant for the particular survey.

Having a clear goal for your survey helps you figure out the feedback and insights you want to get from your clients. It also makes the crafting of survey questions easy.

If you have many topics to address, consider using multiple customer interviews.

Make the survey simple and precise

Generally, we live in a busy world where most people don't have a lot of spare time. Therefore, when crafting your customer survey, be sure to consider the time factor.

Your survey should be simple and precise. If your survey appears complicated or takes a long time to complete, most respondents are likely to skip it.

If possible, keep your customer interviews between 3-5 minutes. Doing this saves your respondents from survey fatigue, which might negatively impact its outcome.

Ask clear questions

Ensure all your survey questions are clear, relevant, and serve a particular purpose towards your goal.

When formulating your questions, revisit your goal and ensure they're all geared towards it. It's advisable to eliminate any questions that aren't in line with the survey. Feel free to cut out your questions until you're left with a few relevant ones. This may take a lot of time to complete, but it pays off in the end if done accordingly.

Also, ensure the questions are specific and provide all the possible answers for multiple-choice questions. However, it's advisable to avoid leading questions because they're likely to promote false responses.

For example, don't ask questions like, 'How satisfied are you with our services?', as the term 'satisfied' may trigger the respondents to give false-positive responses. Instead, make your question neutral by rephrasing it to something like, 'How do you rate our services?' Followed by another question, for example, 'Anything you would like us to improve on?'

And since you don't want your survey to be too long or complicated, try to maintain it at between 5-10 questions.

If you feel incapacitated to formulate relevant customer survey questions, you can use online survey tools like Typeform and SurveyMonkey. These tools provide you with pre-made templates based on your needs, making crafting your customer research questions less overwhelming.

Use open-ended questions

Your customer survey should be a blend of different types of questions.

Most products teams fall into the trap of relying solely on questions designed to derive responses from a preselected set of options, for example, 'Yes' or 'No' or 'Satisfied' and 'Not satisfied' questions.

So, a great way of formulating your customer survey is by adding some open-ended questions. These questions are important because they encourage the respondents to give straight positive or negative feedback while addressing issues you might not have covered in the survey.

With open-ended questions, you also get to elicit the respondent's original thinking. This way, you'll understand why the respondents gave a particular response to a specific question.

Generally, open-ended questions reduce restrictions on the respondents' feedback.

Write an enticing subject line

After drafting your customer research questions, the next step is to come up with an enticing subject line. A subject line aims to tell the audience that you'd like their help with completing a survey.

And since most customer interviews are sent via email, you should see this as an email subject line. It should be clear, concise, and use active language. Something like 'Have 2 minutes? We need your help with our survey.' Or 'Give us your feedback & win a gift hamper.'

Basically, you should come up with a killer subject line. This's the perfect time to put your creativity to good use!

Craft an effective invitation

Your enticing subject line should be followed by a compelling invitation. Here, you're inviting the respondent to your survey. Think of it as a birthday invitation mail. Make it as inviting and captivating as you can. Don't be too formal with your words. Sugarcoat your invitation clause to grasp your respondent's attention!

Start by warm greetings and then state whom the survey is for or its purpose. Also, mention the time it'll take to complete the survey and any incentive linked to it.

Don't forget to include a quick close. This may be a thank you line or a signature.


At this point, you're done drafting your customer survey. So, what's next?

The next crucial thing to do is review what you've already created.

Go through your questions, subject line, and the invitation clause. Look out for any missing information that you'd like to add or irrelevant content that needs replacement.

Also, be sure to check out any grammatical errors, typos, and wrong punctuations. You can ask your colleagues to help you with this—another person's opinion works magic when it comes to reviewing content.

Don't forget to test whether any links attached in your survey are functioning as expected!

Create a list

Who should your customer survey go to? Do you want to send it to your entire email list or a particular segment of your clients?

Having a list of your target clients in mind makes it easy to send out your survey. However, be careful not to be a nuisance. Don't overdo things! In short, don't send your survey to the same people over and over again. Give your clients a break!

So, creating a list reduces the chances of filling up your respondents' emails with surveys.

Hurray! You're done crafting your customer survey! You deserve a pat on your back!

Your customer research is now ready for use. It's now time to send it to your target respondents and patiently wait for their responses.

If you follow this guide keenly, you'll develop a great customer survey that meets your goals.

Wrapping up

When crafting a customer survey, you should have it in mind that a great survey isn't the one that generates the most responses but one which offers meaningful insights needed to make better business decisions moving forward.

If you need any help with your customer research, contact us today for professional assistance.

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