How To Create The Most Effective Survey Questions

By Paul Bell, Director of Business Development, on April 20, 2017

When creating customer satisfaction surveys, it’s necessary to come up with survey questions that provide your business with accurate, actionable feedback about the key drivers of customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Collecting this actionable feedback is the key to being able to drive improvements to your customer experience.

In this blog, we’ll reveal three tips for creating customer satisfaction surveys that provide you with your most valuable responses:

  1. Ask relevant questions
  2. Place questions in the right order
  3. Include open-ended questions

Ask relevant questions

In order to get the most actionable feedback and accurate responses from your surveys, questions need to be as clear-cut and specific as possible.  A lot of customer satisfaction surveys include questions that are too general and result in responses that don't provide feedback that is specific enough to draw conclusions from. Ensure that every question asked has a clear and direct link to the purpose of your customer satisfaction survey - so it's easy for customers to respond accurately and for you to action responses to drive positive change.

When creating your survey questions, keep in mind that there may be a lot of things that would be beneficial to know about your customers, but there are some things are essential to know about them. Since best practices recommend keeping your surveys short to increase response rates, it's important to only ask questions that provide you with information that is necessary to measuring and improving customer experience. If it’s not absolutely necessary, then don’t include it. Instead, save the question in case you need to ask it at a later date. Always remember that each question’s results should have a clear, valuable use for your business.

Place questions in the right order

Where a question is asked in the survey can sometimes have an effect on the response. In some cases, the nature of a question can influence the following questions that are asked after it.

For example, asking customers for their overall rating of your product or service should be done right away. This elicits an honest response, coming from their gut reaction. Placing a question like this towards the middle or end of your survey leaves room for the other specific or critical questions to influence their response, thus nullifying their overall rating.

Include open-ended questions

Include at least one open-ended survey question that allows customers to give their own feedback. Without pre-set answers to choose from, customers are able to provide unstructured and more thorough feedback that they want to give.

Coming up with open-ended questions provides customers with the most relevant opportunities to give feedback. Depending on the type of survey, maybe just one open-ended question at the end is all that’s required. It’s important to remember that what you’re trying to achieve is a survey that’s more conversational, and allows customers to tell their stories in their own words.


Coming up with survey questions that provide you with useful feedback and data to reinforce positive customer experiences are very valuable to your business and overall customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction leads to higher customer retention and loyalty - both fundamental to your business.

Learn more about Intouch customer satisfaction surveys.
CSAT Survey