Our top tips for creating customer surveys

First published on April 26, 2017
Last updated on May 23, 2023
Are you interested in finding out what people think about your business? Why not create an online survey?, in this blog we explain the essentials and list some tools you can use.

Why create customer surveys?

The reason you create a customer survey is to gather information to improve your business. By asking the right questions that gather the right information you can gain valuable insights, you need to have a clear focus and intent, communicate the purpose and most importantly act on the information you gather.

So how should you go about it? Below are a few tips to make it a little easier.

What type of information should I ask?

It’s important to do your research and work out what you want to find out about. The first thing you should clarify is “What is the purpose of the survey?” Once you have established what that is then you need to design your questions to gain insight.

Make sure your questions are quite specific, for example if you are looking to write more content for your Website don’t ask the question, “What would you like me to write?” instead be very specific “Would you like more information on local events?”

How long should the survey be?

When you ask someone to complete a survey, they are in fact doing you a favour, so don’t take advantage of their good will. We recommend a maximum of 10 questions and it’s also helpful to indicate how long the survey should take and what you’ll do with the information. The trick is to keep it short and simple.

Asking opened ended questions that give the participant the opportunity to expand their thoughts will also be beneficial but only ask questions that meet your end goal.

Who should I send them to?

We recommend that you send them to your exisiting database, be that from enquiries from your website, past clients or people that called and asked for information. Remember that the information you are requesting should reflect the relationship you have with the customer. Ask questions of your website visitors only questions that relate to the website and customer service questions of only those who have already visited your business.

Offer an incentive to participate

It doesn’t have to be a huge incentive, but offer them a chance to win, it could be a gift card, a discounted room, entry or tour, you could team up with a local business, promote their product and send a sample of their product to the winner. The both business could promote the survey online through their social media channels. Remember my earlier tip about making sure the survey is relevant to the audience.

What should I do with the information?

Your intentions should be clearly articulated at the beginning of the survey to ensure a better response, but follow through is also essential. If concerns are raised you should addresses them and communicate back to the participant. Surveys that require the participant to provide a name will probably have a more honest response. The worst thing you can do is not act on the results.

A nice touch would be a timely follow up email to the respondents thanking them again for participating and outline the results and what you have done, you could even offer a discount for repeat customers.

Promote your survey

  • You can promote your survey across all your touch points.
  • For your online presence, for example on your website, at the bottom of your blog posts and on your social media pages.
  • For the customer service surveys, in your “post visit” emails.

What tools are available to assist me?

There are many products on the market, most offering a free option with the basics and then offering a “premium” option with more bells and whistles.

If you want to find out more information there are reviews online, simply Google “customer survey tools”.

Below is a short list of the one’s we found to get you started, but there are many more!

Survey Monkey


Google Forms

Client Heartbeat


Zoho Survey

Pop Survey

Survey Planet

Some final tips

  • Remember a small proportion of people will lie in surveys, so just keep that in mind, but if you see a repeating pattern it might be a real issue that needs addressing.
  • Don’t forget to clearly articulate your privacy policy and a link to it.
  • Don’t forget to thank them for participating at the end of the survey!

Good luck Tribers!

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