Make a Survey Online That Will Delight Your Customers, Not Annoy Them

Find out how to make a survey online that your customers will want to take and that will boost response rates and help you make smart business decisions.


Sara Staffaroni

March 20, 2019

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If you make a survey online without giving it much thought, you’ll find that your customers won’t care for it either. In fact, they’ll probably abandon your survey halfway through or avoid taking it altogether. This reaction to poor surveys is called survey fatigue. It’s not uncommon, and chances are you’ve experienced it yourself at least once.

The old school, 20-question survey is no longer acceptablecustomers value their time too much. You’ve got to design a survey that looks enticing to customers and can also get you the necessary insight. Only in doing so, will you boost response rates and get the data you need to make smarter business decisions. 

It’s not as impossible as it may sound. This article offers the secret formula for making the perfect survey onlineone that you’ll customers won’t mind taking.

Focus on relevancy and personalization

Before you make a survey online, consider the context. If you create a generic and boring survey, then your response rates will be low, and the results you do get probably won’t be very helpful.

A better approach is to send highly personalized surveys to the right people at the right time. Research shows that 79% of consumers expect brands to get to know them on a personal level and provide tailored experiences. That means brands need to incorporate personalization into every aspect of their business including surveys.

Here are a few ways to make your online survey hyper-relevant:

  • Be specific. Include specific details in your survey questions and answers (e.g. names, locations, products, and services).

  • Ask new questions. Only ask for new information in the surveys you send. If you are sending an NPS question, then at least preface repeat questions with an explanation of how you use their periodic answers as a baseline for your survey. 

  • Automate surveys. Use a survey software that integrates surveys with your CRM to automate the distribution of your transactional surveys right after a customer interaction when it’s still fresh in people’s minds.

  • Use logic mapping. Tools like survey logic, merge fields, and survey piping help you personalize your surveys as well as increase the quality of your results and completion rates.

Keep your online survey short

The ideal situation of any brand would be to get customers to take a 45-minute survey with detailed information on all aspects of their experience with the organization. However, this is never going to happen. Instead, you should stick to the essentials. Keep in mind each additional question adds extra time to your survey and decreases your completion rates. As a rule of thumb, stick to 5 questions or less.

Here is how you should cut the fluff when you make a survey online:

  • Quantitative questions first. Start with a quantitative question that you can measure repeatedly over time, like Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) or Customer Effort Score (CES). Then, frame other questions around your central purpose.

  • Keep your questions short. Your questions don’t need to drone on and on. Keep them short. You’ll get more accurate responses and more satisfied survey respondents. 

  • Eliminate unnecessary questions. You can answer basic questions you may have of your customers via your CRM, which means you don’t need to ask for demographic data or contact information in your survey. 

  • Survey logic for the win. As we mentioned above, you can also add survey logic to intelligently cut irrelevant questions.

Focus on convenience and ease

One of the best ways to see positive results is to optimize your survey design and delivery for maximized convenience. Present your survey in a way that is easy to complete and visually engaging.

Here are some ways to make a survey online that is optimized and designed for convenience:

  • Mobile-friendly. Your surveys have to be mobile-friendly. Over half of emails are opened on smartphones and consumers spend 69% of their media-consuming time on their phones. Not to mention, about 30-40% of all online surveys are taken on a mobile device. If you want responses, you have to make it possible for respondents to answer your survey via a mobile device.

  • Distribute via email. Embedding a survey question into your email invitation is another easy way for recipients to respond straight from their inboxes. This method is proven to boost engagement and reduce unsubscribes.

  • Adjust for readability. The average adult attention span is just 8 seconds, so there is no time to mess around in terms of engaging respondents. Your survey should draw attention to the question immediately. You can do this by adjusting the contrast and brightness of your background image and questions in a way that makes it easy to immediately focus on the question.

The easier it is for customers to immediately engage with your survey, the higher your response rates will be. 

Strategically place your online survey in the customer journey map

When you make a survey online, you get the best results when it appears within the right context of your customers’ journey. With the help of a customer journey map, you can find out when to strategically send surveys.

Here are some ways to effectively place your online survey within the customer journey map:

  • First, create a customer journey map. Creating a customer journey map is the best solution for identifying optimal customer survey placement. Because all of your potential options are laid out in front of you, you’ll have a bird’s eye view, and will be able to find the most strategic placement for your surveys.

  • Identify the touchpoints that impact customers’ experiences the most. Analyze each touchpoint and identify the areas where customers are being impacted the most. It’s in these areas where you want to place your online survey to gather the insight you need to know whether the customer experience is optimal or not. 

  • Improve your customer journey as you go. Each stage of the customer journey map includes qualitative information (what they are thinking, asking, and feeling at this stage) as well as quantitative information (percent of customers dropping off, key business metrics). Use these insights to improve your business, and to improve your survey distribution practices to provide an optimal experience.

Context is the name of the game when it comes to nailing survey distribution. Take the time to create, fix, and improve your customer journey mapping as you continue to get feedback.

Final words on how to make a survey online

There is a lot that goes into making a survey online. But if you follow the steps outlined above, you’ll notice an increase in customers engagement. When creating your online survey, remember to make it easy to be taken, keep it relevant, and distribute it at the right touchpoints across the customer journey. 

For more information about how to make effective surveys online, visit GetFeedback today.

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