7 Steps to Creating Compelling Customer Surveys

The benefits of surveying your audience

How do you get to know your customers? Did you do some demographic research? Market research? Really really good guesstimating?

While alternative strategies have merit, nothing is quite as powerful as asking your customers directly. After all, nobody knows them better than they know themselves!

When it comes to customer happiness, surveys are your secret weapon. If you don’t have time, or can’t afford to sit down with your customers and have a one-on-one conversation, sending a thoughtful, well-written survey can be key to understanding their needs.

Interested in sending your customers a survey? Here are our seven steps to survey success:

1. Set a Goal

Surveys measure satisfaction, dissatisfaction, wants, needs, desired features, and more. You can use a survey to discover all kinds of interesting information about your customers and how they feel about your product.

When designing your survey, deciding who to distribute it to, and selecting questions, it’s important to have a single, specific goal in mind.

Before you start, write a two to three sentence description of your goal. Are you trying to develop new features for your product? Interested in exploring app satisfaction? Looking for website feedback?

2. Decide Who You Want to Hear From

Surveying your entire customer base can be expensive, but studying only segments of the market can cause you to miss out on valuable insights. The most effective survey takes a slice right out of the middle of your audience, getting information from a substantial subsection of your market. It’s also important to survey only relevant people. You don’t want to accidentally send a survey about your mobile app to customers who don’t use it!

3. Select a Distribution Method

Once you’ve chosen your goal and audience, it’s time to choose the method of delivery. It’s important to keep in mind the fact that people love short, easy surveys—and nobody likes it when their workflow is interrupted.

Surveys can be included on landing pages, in emails, or even included in website popups (but  be very careful when using popups—users and Google don’t always like it). Select the method that makes the most sense for your audience.

4. Draft your Questions

Keep your goal in mind when choosing your survey questions. You want questions to be short, sweet, and as relevant as possible.

Some tips to writing the perfect questions:Asking the right questions in a customer survey

  • Keep ’em brief, keep ’em simple
  • Only ask questions you need the answer to
  • Avoid biased language and leading questions
  • Keep survey design and rating scales consistent
  • Try to frame questions as a yes/no option whenever possible
  • Ensure your questions are as specific as possible

5. Review and Send

Once you’ve set a goal, selected a method for distribution, put together your list, and written out your questions, it might feel like it’s time to hit send. But before jumping into action, take a moment to examine your survey altogether.

Do all the elements of your survey make sense? Does it look right? Is it going to reach the right people at the right time and in a way that makes sense?

If you’re sending your survey in an email, does it have a strong call-to-action and headline? Is the survey properly branded?

When you’re happy with how everything looks, it’s time to send it out into the world!

6. Collect and Review Responses

Once you’ve collected all your responses, you can put that information to work! Take the insights from your data and use them to improve your services, website, product, and more. If you asked the right questions to the right people, their answers could make a huge difference in your business.

7. Improve Your Surveys for Next Time

Once you’ve collected and interpreted your data, there’s one last step—improving your survey for the future. Did people open your email? Are you losing them before they click the call-to-action? Are they finishing the survey?

Take a look at your open rate, click-through-rate, and completion rate, and use this data to improve your survey for next time. Nothing is ever perfect on the first attempt, but with some practice, you can start developing and distributing impactful customer surveys that will help you better WOW your customers!

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