Collecting customer feedback is an amazing way to get valuable business insights. To succeed, you have to determine why you’re collecting customer feedback and what you want to do with this data. The most common form of gathering insights is through surveys or forms. In a customer feedback survey, there are often a mix of question types – specifically closed-ended (also known as multiple choice) and open-ended (sometimes referred to as text box).
In this article, we’re going to talk about the top tips on creating customer feedback surveys and forms that we’ve learned through our decades of combined experience helping businesses.
How to ask the right questions for a customer feedback survey
1. Don’t ask leading questions
A leading question is a question that prompts or encourages the desired answer. It’s important to avoid asking leading questions, because if you do, your survey is more likely to have inaccurate results.
Asking leading questions is easy to do, so it’s important to be mindful when creating a form. For instance, instead of asking someone “Why would the bluetooth feature be appealing?” it should be phrased as “What features of the product are appealing to you?”. By asking the latter question, it ensures accuracy.
Pro-Tip: Giving examples of an answer is a leading question in disguise. Write questions clearly enough, so that examples aren’t necessary when creating your feedback forms.
2. Be specific and targeted in your feedback forms
Remember that vague wording equals vague responses. If you want detailed information in your feedback, you want to make sure that you are avoiding phrases that are ambiguous or lead to a simple ‘yes’, ‘no’, or other one-worded responses.
If you have a question that you believe could be answered with only a couple options, set it up as a multiple choice instead. This will create a balance of those simple-to-answer questions alongside those that will give customers an opportunity to voice their thoughts and opinions.
3. Ask one question at a time
It’s easy to get excited and want to ask your customer multiple questions at once. However, in doing so, your customers may feel overwhelmed and either give vague feedback or worse, not give any feedback at all.
It is better to ask questions one at a time and let them respond at their own pace. Not to mention, it will be easier to analyze the data if all ideas are separated based on each question.
4. Ask follow-up questions and build segments when possible
A good feedback form or survey is a perfect combination of closed and open-ended questions. The best way to ask follow-up questions for feedback is to start with a multiple choice question, and then ask questions based on how they answered.
This is especially true if you are highly interested in answers from a certain segment of your respondents so that the customers’ answers are grouped based on specific identifiers. For instance, if you have a 5-point scale question from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree, you may ask an open-ended question to those who agreed and then a different question to those who disagreed.
That way, you keep your questions very specific and targeted to certain customers based on what you’ve already learned about them. Once data is collected, you can build segments or profiles for them.
5. Always put yourself in the shoes of your respondents
When you know your company so well, it is easy to forget that others may not know it the same way you do. Furthermore, technical lingo may be confusing if someone isn’t accustomed to it. Keep your wording simple and easy to understand, rather than trying to impress customers with fancy jargon. Meeting your customers where they are at will ensure better response.
6. Use incentives to get more feedback form submissions
Everyone loves free stuff! If you have the opportunity to grant customers an incentive– from a discount to a gift card or cash– it will aid you in getting more responses. Plus, they’ll feel appreciated enough to where they will give you even better quality feedback. That is why when we collect survey responses, we make sure respondents are compensated.
Turn customer feedback into action
Asking efficient and smart open-ended questions for feedback will help you save time and effort. If you follow these six guidelines, you will gather better customer feedback that will aid in your business decisions when analyzing the data. You can go a step further and use our IdeaCluster™ and IntelliSegment™ tools to help you gain an even deeper, quicker, and more efficient understanding of the open-ended feedback.
We’ve got your back– getting better customer insights and feedback starts now.
Want more survey tips? Explore our research best practices to learn about other question types, data quality and more tips & tricks here.