A guide to customer satisfaction survey design

You can gain incredible insights from your customer satisfaction survey, but you need to ask the right questions, at the right time.

Customer loyalty can be a key differentiator in today’s competitive market. Creating a customer experience based upon customer feedback and satisfaction can have an amazing impact on referrals, customer churn and profitability.
However, quality insight depends on asking the right questions. See below for some of the most common mistakes:

1) Using an incorrect scale.

If you are asking a yes/no question, the answer alternatives shouldn’t be a scale from 1 to 6 – the answer choices should be yes, no and I don’t know. Make sure the answer choices make sense in the context of the question.

2) Asking leading questions.

Questions that consciously or subconsciously prompt the answer for the reader will not get you accurate customer survey results.

For example, if you ask, “How satisfied are you with the following services?” the word “satisfied” may trigger an artificially positive response.

You need honesty in your customer feedback, not just positive responses. A better question to ask would be, “Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the following products?” and provide a scale for the respondent to rate their experience.

3) Using an out of balance scale.

Both ends of an answer scale need to be equally weighted.
For example “How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the following services, on a scale of 1-6, where 1 is dissatisfied and 6 is very satisfied,” you should put “very” in front of “dissatisfied” to balance the imperative of the answers.

4) Using questions that are too generic.

To get helpful feedback from customers, you need to make the questions as specific as possible.
Don’t just ask how satisfied customers are with your service overall or measure your Net Promoter Score, ask specific questions about each element of the product or service that you provide.

5) Asking irrelevant questions.

You need to ask questions that are relevant to the purpose of your research.

Ask yourself this question – “How are we going to use the results from this specific question?”

If you can’t answer that question in a satisfactory way, remove the question from the survey.


What problems or successes have you had with your customer survey design?  Contact us today for a free demo.



This post is originally from the Questback blog.