How to Build a Customer Service Feedback Survey


Getting customer feedback — and learning from it — is essential to your business’s success. Following these simple design rules will make sure you’re getting your questions answered

How much do you know about what your customers wants and needs? Staying on top of what makes customers happy can be intimidating, but you don’t need to be a mind reader to get their feedback.

A customer service feedback survey is the best way to get the powerful information you need to succeed. The feedback can be almost instantaneous, which means you can work on the negatives and emphasize the positives just as fast. Sounds like a win-win, right? Well, with some extra focus on design, your customer feedback survey can go from good to great. That’s going to increase responses and, more importantly, the value of those responses. 

Getting started on a customer service feedback survey:

Let’s start with the basics: the questions. Keep it simple! Your questions need to be short, sweet, and to the point. Clarity is key here, and when it comes to creating questions you should always start with the intent.

Ask yourself:

  • What are you trying to learn from this question?
  • Is it relevant to your business goals?
  • Will it take too much effort for a customer to answer it?
  • Are there any issues your customer had that need follow up?

Once you’ve figured out your intent, you can start writing the question itself. A study released by Survey Monkey recommends keeping questions brief, objective, simple, and specific. This isn’t the time to write the great American novel or talk up your products to sway a customer one way or the other.

Let’s take a look at the examples below:

Option 1: We only make our shoes from the finest quality Italian leather. Did you find this made your shoes more comfortable to wear all day?

Yes // No

Option 2: These shoes are comfortable to wear all day.

Strongly disagree // Disagree // Neutral // Agree // Strongly agree

Which of these options looked better to you? If you answered Option 2, you’re right on. Option 1 is riddled with assumptions about the product. Not just that, it’s long, wordy, confusing, long-winded, lengthy, circumlocutory — you get it. What does it get right? It’s a Yes/No question, which is a favorite on customer feedback surveys. Yes/No questions are efficient and easy on both survey-takers and survey-makers.

While Option 1 had some good points, Option 2 is to the point and can give the business a good idea of improvements they might need to make to their product. The intent is clear, the words are simple, all around it’s a good question. You’ll notice that its answers are on a multiple choice scale, which is another form of question that you should include in your survey. The most important thing to remember when including these scales is that they should all be consistent. Having a scale with the negative side on the left in one question and then on the right in the next question can be confusing to customers and could lead to skewed data.

Question variety

We’ve covered Yes/No questions and multiple choice questions, but what else should your survey include to make sure you’re getting exactly what you need?

If your customers are taking your survey, it means they wants to speak their minds, so let them! Open-ended questions with room to answer in their own words are a great way to learn what stuck out about a customer’s experience. You’ll gain valuable testimonials for your marketing as well as suggestions for improvement. Remember to keep your questions varied and balanced — too many open forms and you’re asking your customer to write multiple essays, too few and they don’t feel like their voice is being heard.

Question order

Now that you’ve written out your clear, concise, and varied questions you want in your survey, it’s time to put it all together. Just like the questions themselves, your survey needs to be short and simple.

Question order matters. Always start your survey with an overall experience question. Starting your survey with nit picky questions about details can impact the big picture questions you ask later on. Don’t let your customer get bogged down in the details before asking about their overall opinion.

Mobile-friendly design

Your survey should look easy, even on a mobile device. More and more we are making purchases, using services, and scheduling appointments on our phones, so if you really want to capture your customers’ first reactions, it has to be possible on the small screen. Your survey should have a lot of white space, which will give it a clean look so your customer doesn’t feel overwhelmed by the process.

Reward your customers

Consider rewarding your customer for filling out your survey, but be careful! You’re a lot better off simply thanking them for their time than you are offering a sweepstakes reward that is so unlikely it becomes totally meaningless. A sincere “thank you” goes a long way, especially if you follow up on any negative responses.

Capturing reliable customer service feedback is essential to growth and long term profit. With an effectively designed survey, you’re able to take the reins on your business’s success. Negative responses will happen, but without a survey how do you know what’s gone wrong so you can keep it from happening again? The right response to criticism can make the difference in whether your customer comes back and recommends you to their friends. Be your customer’s superhero — learn not just how to read minds, but how to change them.

Your small business is always trying to save your customer’s day, so why not make it easy on yourself? When you partner with us, we make superior customer service easy by implementing customer surveys for each of our partners and aggregating insights back to the businesses we work with. Get better feedback today with Simplr!