How to Create an Effective Customer Survey

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Inci Vardar
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Business relationships are a lot like romantic relationships. They start out of need, curiosity, or infatuation and evolve through understanding. For a long-lasting relationship, healthy dialogue is the key. That’s why when a prospective couple meets, they need to conduct a customer survey and repeat it from time to time throughout their relationship. So they never have to break up thus the dumped one avoids a costly win-back strategy.

After all, every brand loves its customers, don’t they?

What Is a Customer Survey?

Customer survey, also known as consumer survey, is an essential tool for obtaining information on customer satisfaction levels. Surveys don’t only demonstrate customers’ opinions on current products and services, but also make it easier for you to identify future needs and expectations. This controlled feedback is necessary for keeping up the good work, determining areas of improvement, and also creating awareness of challenging situations before they become unsolvable bigger issues.

The illustration of two people placing stars on a rating board. It says "Better customer satisfaction levels improve brand reputation."

But why should you initiate conversation in the first place? Wouldn’t they inform you if they were unhappy with you? To make matters worse, would this provide them with an excuse to think of something negative just to test your limits? 

Well, in real-life romantic relationships this kind of thinking ends up with couples breaking up out of the blue. They don’t last long because they are not caring enough to ask each other’s opinions on matters which would affect their relationship. In some cases, one side would be extremely dedicated to the relationship and that person bombards with too many irrelevant questions which become only annoying rather than constructive. In this day and age, it is more than easy for a customer to find an alternative service or product. The solution lies in the balance. If you ask the right questions at the right time, this makes you an involved, caring person. 

But first, you need to determine your purpose.

What Is the Purpose of a Customer Survey?

The most obvious answer to this question is maintaining a happy, healthy, long-lasting relationship with your customers. However, this is a rather broad answer to a question that consists of many small parts. These small parts come together to create a complete user profile that helps you know your customer’s needs and preferences better.

Knowing about a person takes time and needs healthy attention. If you ask too many questions at a time, the user will be overwhelmed and the response rate will be low. Define a smart goal; keep it short and specific. 

When you’re determining your purpose, think of your organization as a whole. A customer can form opinions about your manufacturing quality, product variety, service personnel’s attitudes, after-sales services, complaint management, social responsibility, and so on. Make a detailed list of the customer-related features of your business and prioritize your survey questions.

To conduct an effective customer feedback survey you should either focus on “one topic only” or “one topic at a time”. There are different types of customer satisfaction surveys for each approach.

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): This ”one topic only” type of survey for customer satisfaction asks the consumers if they would recommend your product or service to someone else. With only one question it measures satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. The question can also turn into instant action. If the consumer wouldn’t recommend you for some reason, you can ask them to name three improvements that would make them reconsider their decision. And if the answer is positive, you can ask them if they would like to make that recommendation right now.
  • Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT): This type of survey is more scalable. You can measure different areas of satisfaction with multiple questions. A simple rating system can work as well as a 5-minute in-depth questionnaire, depending on your goal.
The illustration of a person sitting beside a survey chart that is surrounded by cog and clock icons. He works on a laptop computer.
  • Churn Survey: Churn survey is helpful when the brand or company says “I understand that you’re unhappy and decided to leave… But why? What have we done wrong?” Churn surveys reveal the areas that you can improve in your business and provide you with a second chance to win your customers back. Either you can lure them back with special offers or gain valuable knowledge to avoid further churn.

What Kind of Feedback Can You Collect?

First of all, you can learn if your existing products or services address consumer needs and expectations sufficiently. If not, you can make improvements in design and functionality according to responses. Or even create another product line meeting those needs. 

Surveys can tell you if some clients are about to leave you for a more suitable alternative or if you can make them stay, and even recommend your brand to others thanks to a timely, exclusive offer. 

Some surveys are just small reminders that you are there for your customers when they need help. For example, you can help them choose the ideal Valentine’s Day gift with a fun test.

Demographic and psychographic information can be a decisive factor in your next marketing campaign. Another way to collect feedback is to create a QR Code for your survey form and place it on your website, in your marketing materials, or on your product packaging.

5 Tips for Conducting Effective Customer Satisfaction Surveys

  1. Know what you’re looking for 

For example, if you are a delivery service provider, your customer experience survey should be about speed, condition of the delivered good, attitudes of the courier, etc. Don’t stuff the survey with less relevant questions. The longer the survey, the less responses it will receive. However, don’t stuff all your concerns into one question either. Using the words “and/or” in a single question (e.g. Are you happy with our products AND services?) makes it faulty.

  1. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes

Better yet, imagine that you and your customers are a bunch of 6-year-olds. Ask your questions in their simplest form. Never use complicated terminology, leave no room for misunderstanding. Vague, leading, or complex questions lead to unreliable answers. And finally, don’t make your customers feel uncomfortable. Let them skip some questions if they don’t want to answer. 

  1. Identify the right time and place

You shouldn’t wait for your customer to complain or worse, they might not even bother complaining before leaving you for a less attractive but more friendly competitor. There’s a time and place for every question. For example, you ask about customer support performance right after the interaction because in a few hours it will be completely forgotten. You may have 10 questions that concern your products, support services, website content, user preferences, and such. This kind of questionnaire requires convenience and can be sent through email during lunch break.

  1. Pay close attention to design 

We can all admit that surveys are usually boring. Embracing a welcoming, clean, and easy-to-interact design creates better results. A playful manner in wording comes with the risk of being vague or leading. Though you can achieve variety with multiple-choice or open-ended questions along with ratings. If you have a lot of questions for some reason, separating them into segments will make the survey less overwhelming.

The illustration shows a survey chart with different interaction styles like rating, ticking a checkbox, and typing.

5. Don’t forget to thank the participants

They dedicate their time and effort for you to improve your business. Furthermore, the acknowledgment itself can contribute to your brand’s perception. Offering incentives like discount coupons or donations for non-profit organizations makes the surveys more attractive to consumers. You can also offer follow-up messages in order to let your customers know that their opinions create change.

Important Aspects of Great Customer Survey Questions

You can ask a variety of questions depending on the information you aim to get. Asking short, specific, and easy-to-understand questions is the only common denominator.

The most common questions are about product or service usage. Many questions can be asked to consumers, such as how long they have been using the product or service, the frequency of use, the features that can be improved, and in which areas it makes their lives easier.

Demographic information helps you create buyer personas. Identifying common characteristics of selected groups will have positive effects on marketing endeavors, customer retention rates, and lead generation. However, keep in mind that these are personal questions such as age, gender or sexual orientation, location, employment status, or even income. They shouldn’t be kept mandatory and make sure they don’t irritate or offend anyone. 

The illustration of a young man standing beside a survey chart and holding a huge pencil.

Psychographic questions aim to gather information on customer behavior, such as habits, preferences, and tendencies. In relationship terms, it’s knowing that your partner likes their coffee black, hates being interrupted by an SMS, spends about 3 hours on social media in the evening, tries to go vegetarian, and worries about the climate crisis. Fortunately for your business, you only need to learn what’s relevant. 

Lastly, you can learn about your product, service, and employee performance with customer feedback. But you won’t need to flood your audience with extra questions to achieve that, thanks to Juphy’s actionable reports and monitoring features.

How Juphy Helps You to Monitor Customer Feedback from Many Platforms

Juphy is an advanced unified inbox that helps you manage all your customer queries including email, social and reviews. Besides supporting all the social media platforms you currently need, it also offers social listening on your social media accounts. 

Juphy, as a combined solution, helps you maintain a happy, healthy, long-lasting relationship with your customers by;

  • Ensuring that you provide top-notch customer support: Juphy collects messages from multiple platforms into a single dashboard. With its clean and user-friendly design, no message goes unnoticed. You can answer the messages right from your inbox in record time. Some of the messages you receive might be complaints or negative feedback from unhappy customers. An article in Harvard Business Review suggests that customers “who have had complaints that were satisfactorily resolved” tend to return even if they stopped using your products or services. 
  • Letting you track older conversations: Sometimes you can satisfy your customers just by knowing about their journey. With Juphy, you’ll have the entire messaging history of customers in the shared inbox. So if they are experiencing correlated problems, they won’t have to explain the same issue to dozens of different support staff. 
  • Filtering messages according to keywords and sentiments: If you want to know what social media users think about your brand, you can set automation rules to auto-tag or flag specific keywords. In the reports tab, you can view the number of messages according to sentiments. This can give you a brief idea of the general opinion around certain issues. 
  • Analyzing your audience: In the reports tab, you’ll see the message distribution by communication platform and the people who contact you the most. This data shows which platforms your customers prefer when they want to reach you, which is probably the platform they use most frequently. On the other hand, people who contact you the most can easily turn into brand loyalists and even advocates if they are treated accordingly. 
  • Reporting team performance: Juphy’s reports tab provides you with valuable information about your team’s performance. General and individual response rate and average response time helps you allocate the workload better and improve your customer satisfaction levels in return. With great service comes better reviews, which leads to better retention rates. A steady increase in incoming positive messages may indicate increased customer acquisition as well.
Two images of Juphy’s reporting tab.

How to Use Juphy’s Analytic Tools to Create Better Customer Surveys?

With all the actionable data in your hands, you can create more to-the-point questions and build effective customer satisfaction surveys. Monitoring the sentiment around your products or services provides valuable information about customer expectations, without even asking them directly. Having an idea on the favorite platforms of your most active followers can allow you to create platform-specific surveys. And most importantly, sensing that something’s not right swiftly can help you make improvements before small dissatisfactions become larger problems.

Terence T
Marketer, Small-Business
“I like that fact that I can streamline customer support and manage multiple channels using a single inbox via Juphy. My business in Singapore relies on Google My Business, Whatsapp and Facebook a lot since my customers are on these platforms. Having a tool like Juphy makes it easy to manage the communications and demands that my customers place on me and my team. No more jumping between tabs and browsers, logging in and out multiple platforms and channels! What a relief!”
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