User Experience

Writing a Customer Survey: What to Ask and Best Practices

by Sharanya Manola
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Products are built for the user. It may sound like an obvious statement, but it’s a crucial reminder of the symbiotic relationship between a business and its customers. Listening to your customers is essential for staying relevant and staying valuable. Their feedback is needed, whether it’s good or bad.

Customer feedback can help your business by reducing friction, provide an overall better experience, and keep churn rate in check.  And, according to TFM&A Insights, customers want to give feedback.

In fact, 57% of those surveyed said they want to tell companies when they were performing poorly, and 49% saying they wanted to let companies know when they were doing well. 

Sending a survey is a great way to open the channel of communication. But even if clients want to give feedback, they don’t always follow through. Surveys can get lost in inboxes, or abandoned as a result of scattered questions. 

To perfect your customer survey, be sure to have a concrete goal or aim in mind before sending. What feedback/insight are you looking for? Then make sure the entire survey is aligned with that goal. 

Take a look at this email from Flywheel, which highlights the value of customer feedback to them: 

flywheel customer survey email
Source

 

Feedback Survey Best Practices 

Let’s tackle a few best practices in regards to creating a customer survey. 

1. Keep Your Cognitive Biases In Check

While cognitive biases can fuel your conversion optimization strategy, they can also be a hindrance when gathering customer feedback. One example of this is confirmation bias, which makes you sternly believe in what you already know. Unless you actively resist it, you might end up asking leading questions that sway readers in one direction.  

Stay neutral, and keep an open mind. 

2. Survey the Right People at the Right Time

All your customers have valuable input to give in regards to your business. But as we mentioned earlier, effective surveys are specific when it comes to the insight they want to receive. 

If your goal is to improve the overall buying process, for example, it may be more strategic to survey recent first-time buyers that have the experience fresh in their minds. Conversely, surveying customers that recently churned can help pinpoint problem areas and help make changes that convince former customers to return. 

Along with finding the appropriate audience for each survey, don’t forget the importance of asking at the right time. Surveying brand new clients about their experience with your software, for instance, may yield a different (less in-depth) response than surveying them, say, after three months. 

3. Keep It Brief

 How many questions should you include on a survey? The best answer is: It varies. But, a good rule of thumb to follow is to keep it brief. Only ask questions that are relevant. 

For a better idea of the ballpark amount of questions to include, HubSpot cited that more than 10 questions can diminish the quality of responses.

Our advice is to run A/B tests to see what works with your audience and find your ideal length from there. 

number of  survey questions
Source

Here are a few more tips: 

Thank Your Customers 

Thanking your customers is a no-brainer: it’s small gesture of appreciation that goes a long way. Especially if customer feedback had a role in a new product update or process, it’s a great way to highlight the impact they have on your business. It helps make customers feel part of your company’s growth and to see themselves as change-makers. 

Make sure your note is heartfelt, and the tone is appreciative, friendly and full of gratitude. It will help reinforce positive feelings toward your brand.

 

thank you email
Source

 

Feedback Survey Questions to Ask Based On Goals

We included a few sample survey questions below, broken into distinct categories, to serve as inspiration for writing your own survey. 

To Optimize the On-Page Experience

  1. What made you visit our website today? 
  2. How did you hear about us?
  3. Did you find what you were looking for? 
  4. Any particular question you weren’t able to find the answer to? 
  5. Any piece of information you found missing from our website? 
  6. What was the most frustrating part of your website visit today?
  7. Is there anything that can make the checkout process better?
  8. Was this article helpful?

To Improve Your Product/See Where You Stand Against The Competition

  1. What was your first impression of our product? 
  2. What is the top benefit of using our product? 
  3. What problems does our product solve?
  4. Which of the following words would you use to best describe our product?
  5. What problem of yours were you trying to solve when you came across our product? 
  6. What’s one feature you would add to our product?
  7. Would you be interested in [X] feature? If so, why?
  8. If you could change one thing about our product, what would it be? 
  9. Did you have any concerns before you decided to choose us?
  10. How likely are you to recommend our product? 
  11. How likely are you to buy from us again?
  12. How satisfied are you with your purchase? 

To Assess Post-Chat Satisfaction

  1. Please rate our agent’s problem-solving skills.
  2. Did the customer service representative answer all your questions?
  3. How much effort did you have to apply to get your issue resolved? 
  4. Do you have any additional feedback?

To Discover Why Customers Churn

  1. What made you cancel your account? 
  2. What stopped you from signing up after your trial period?
  3. What can we do to make you renew/subscribe to our services again? 
  4. What originally prompted you to use our product? 
  5. What was the main reason you downgraded?
  6. What key features are missing in our product?
  7. Is there any particular thing you’d like to change in our product? 
  8. Any suggestions on how we can improve? 

Conclusion

Sending customer surveys and analyzing the responses is an investment, requiring time and effort. But the payoff is worth it. These insights help you spot trends and discover new ways to wow your customers. After all, their needs and expectations are ever-evolving and it’s your responsibility to evolve with them. 

Listening to them is a great (if not the) way to start. 

 

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