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Creating Effective Customer Survey Questions: Tips and Examples

Sơn Vũ vào Jul 26, 2023

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By asking customers for their feedback, you can better understand what you’re doing well, what needs improvement, and where you can make changes to improve customer satisfaction. This information can help make data-driven decisions about product development, service offerings, and overall customer experience.

Additionally, customer surveys can also help you identify trends and areas for improvement that may not have been immediately apparent otherwise. 
In this article, we will discuss how to design effective customer survey questions that can provide actionable insights to improve your business operations and customer satisfaction.

The importance of customer surveys

Regular customer surveys are how you stay competitive in today’s marketplace – after all, it’s brand with the best customer experience that wins, and surveys are how you can stay on top of your game.
To sum it up, here are some of the key reasons why customer surveys are important for businesses:
  • Identify areas for improvement: Surveys allow businesses to pinpoint areas where they are falling short in meeting their customers' needs. By asking customers for feedback, businesses can identify common issues and prioritize improvements that will have the most significant impact on customer satisfaction.
  • Measure customer satisfaction: Surveys provide businesses with a way to measure customer satisfaction and track changes over time. By regularly surveying customers, businesses can gauge how well they are meeting their customers' expectations and identify trends that may indicate broader issues.
  • Improve customer retention: Customers who feel heard and valued are more likely to remain loyal to a business. Surveys provide businesses with an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to their customers by asking for their feedback and taking action to address their concerns.
  • Inform product development: By understanding what customers like and dislike about existing products, you can make informed decisions about new product development and prioritize features that will be most appealing to their target audience.
  • Stand out from competitors: Businesses that prioritize customer feedback and act on it are more likely to stand out from their competitors. By demonstrating a commitment to customer satisfaction, businesses can build a loyal customer base and differentiate themselves in a crowded market.

How to design effective survey questions

Effective survey questions are one that is short, concise, and to the point. You can also use a mix of open-ended and close-ended questions to get a more comprehensive understanding of your customers. In summary, the following steps are advised when designing a customer survey: 

Step 1: Define your objectives

Your questions should be created to follow a specific objective in mind. For surveys that are made to measure customer satisfaction, for example, questions such as “How satisfied were you with the experience today?” must be included to produce the best results. 

Step 2: Choose a survey method and a distribution method

Survey methods and distribution methods vary depending on your objective in mind. If you want to collect feedback on your current in-app experience, for example, it’s best that you make it a quick CSAT survey about in-app users’ sentiments towards the performance or the overall in-app experience. 
Survey methods are tricky too since there are various methods to choose from (phone calls, emails, or even in-person). For the best results, you’ll want to be where your customers are at – and this means studying which communication channel they would prefer, and which one would produce the best data for your survey campaigns.

Step 3: Create your survey questions 

Once you’ve had a rough idea of what your objectives are and how you’re going to send your survey, it’s time to create the survey questions. Your questions should be short, simple, and don't contain unnecessarily complex language. In addition, avoid vague or leading questions that might unintentionally affect your results. 
Let’s go into more detail about how you should create your survey questions. We’ll make sure to provide the dos and don’ts in the process:

1. Use an introduction 

Good surveys always have a preface that explains the necessity of the survey, and why customers should complete it. Make it under a few sentences as you don’t want to bore customers from the get-go. 
Your survey introduction should contain the following information: 
  • Why should customers complete this survey (who is this going to help)
  • How long is this survey going to take to complete
  • Will the data filled by customers be shared with anyone else 
  • Where should customers go if they have more questions or feedback
The best practice is to make the introduction no more than 4 -5 sentences long, and if there’s no need to include additional information, don’t.
DropBox survey introduction is short, informative, and to the point

2. Avoid leading/loaded questions

Leading/loaded questions are one of the worst examples you could ask because they contaminate the data and might even affect customers’ sentiment toward your company. 
Instead of asking a question that shows your bias:

We have recently updated our website to better reflect our word-class position. What do you think about it?

Ask it in a more neutral way:

We have recently updated our website. What do you think about it?” 

3. Use binary questions when necessary 

Open-ended questions are a good way to pinpoint the specific areas that you need to improve on. 

“How satisfied were you with our product?”

If the customers weren’t satisfied, try to dig deeper and try to figure out the reasons why: 

“We’re sorry you feel that way! What specific part of the experience did you dislike?”

Do note that you can also list all possible choices for customers as a kind of close-ended 

4. Start with an easy question 

You don’t want to overwhelm your customers from the get-go. Start with easy questions first and work from there since it’s more engaging for the customers this way.

Step 4: Design the survey 

The design of the survey matters too. You’ll want a pleasant-looking survey that is also reflective of your brand identity – but you don’t want to go overboard either and make it too flashy.
Designs can vary from brand to brand, but consider the following tips when designing the survey to keep customers engaged: 
  • Consistency: your design should stay consistent throughout the survey, and this means using the same font and color scheme and using a consistent layout for questions and response options.
  • Add variations of a progress bar: a progress bar or a loading bar can let customers know where they’re at in the survey, and how much longer they have to go until they’re completed with it
Progress bars help customers know where they’re at in the survey
  • Make it easy on the eye: for the survey design – just like the survey questions – you’ll want to keep it simple. Use simple colors, lots of white space, and headings to break up long text and make it easier on the eye for customers.

Successful customer survey examples from big brands

Through trial and error, big brands have mastered the art of customer surveys. From the questions themselves to the design, everything flows together to make the whole surveying process – which is typically regarded as a tedious one – feels like a joy for customers. 


Amazon doesn’t waste their customers’ time – nor theirs – when conducting a customer survey . They include two close-ended questions, with one open-ended question and that’s effective enough to measure customer satisfaction (with customer service) and customer effort (when communicating with a representative).


When it comes to streaming services, Netflix is top of their game. The platform is as customer-centric as it gets with its system of recommendations, and curations – all thanks to its dedication to studying users’ behaviors. They’re constantly collecting feedback from their users to better understand and tailor the experiences – as well as helping them decide if a particular movie selection is worth producing.


What about mobile applications? Turns out, you can also make surveys work in-app too, but the trick is it has to be convenient and quick with an option to easily skip the survey. In this way, you don’t have to contact customers for permission as this is entirely on a voluntary basis. 
Zomato – the restaurant aggregator and food delivery company – found the balance just right. Their in-app feedback screen is pleasing to the eye, doesn’t try to bombard customers with text, and the open-ended feedback form is perfect for the purpose of gathering helpful feedback on their service.

Finding the right balance

Creating neutral questions capable of driving insightful data shouldn’t be hard – but the hard part is not overwhelming customers with questions to the point of making it a tedious process for them. For effective surveys, you’ll want to define clear objectives first and consider which distribution method is the best – on your website, via phone call, or in-app – and the rest should flow naturally for you.
Looking for a solution to distribute and manage surveys efficiently across channels? Filum's Dynamic Feedback is your missing piece.

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