CX Blog

How to create surveys that your Customers LOVE to Respond?

Written by: Kushal Dev | Co-founder, Customer Guru

Effective listening to customer provides invaluable insights to businesses. Data received from a customer survey is a goldmine of information that companies cannot afford to miss! Customer Experience management solutions have allowed companies to listen to the Voice of Customer at multiple touch points. In a bid to understand their customer needs, companies conduct billions of surveys around the globe every year. But what results are these surveys really driving?

Email open rates hover mostly around 20% according to this Smart Insights article based on the 2015 email benchmark compilation from Silverpop.

Source -

Source –

research on consumer surveys shows that “80% of customers have abandoned a survey halfway through.

Email open rate of 20% with survey drop-off rate of 80% reduces the response rate of your survey even further. A huge problem!

In this competitive landscape when everyone is trying to capture your customer’s attention and consumers are selective in engaging with brands, a well designed and executed survey not only helps you get your customers mindshare but also puts out the message that you care.

We have all tried responding to these “quick” surveys which turn out to be endless series of questions taking much longer than your definition of “quick”. In my opinion, responding to a survey should be an effortless experience and not take more than a couple minutes. When consumers are making effort in responding to your surveys, it’s important that companies also show them the love! Put in effort in designing surveys which customers would like to respond to and also derives invaluable information for you.

Define the customer journey and the touchpoint to survey

Thinking from a customers point is key. Customers can have multiple journeys in your organisation. For an insurance provider, it could be policy purchase or claims. In healthcare, it could be counseling, operations, post-op care, or follow-up checkups. Think about the journeys the customers take in your organisation. Multiple channels have made customer journeys complex with multiple touch points. More touch points offer also offer increased opportunities. Identify the ones that matter and the touch points which are critical in each of these customer journeys.

Focus on giving a one company experience to customers

When listening to the customers at these touch points identify the departments that are critical in delivering a WOW experience. However, focus on providing a one company experience to customers. This is possible only if there is a defined process and departments have a collective mission of delighting customers. Everyone in the organisation needs to put in their best effort in supporting departments that directly impact these critical touch points.

Do not forget to Close the Loop

In a business scenario where the number of customer interactions is huge, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data. When you conducted a survey you chose to actively seek out for feedback. They did not voluntarily connect with you. In a such a scenario, it’s only ethical to reach out to all the customers who made the effort to respond. Consider what bandwidth your company has to handle and respond to individual responses. If you’re committed to closing the loop on every piece of customer feedback, you might want to avoid surveying all your customers until you’re staffed to handle large response volumes. It’s not just about an automated message which seems as robotic as it really is but it’s about taking action on the feedback and informing customers on the action taken to resolve their issues.

Customer support cartoon

Be courteous and interesting

Remember the messaging in a survey is also key in reducing the survey drop off rate. Be careful on asking personal information. It’s not very comfortable for anyone to answer direct questions like “What is your age?”, “What is your annual income?”. Respect not only with the time they spend in responding to your survey but also the language you use. However, you don’t have to be boring. It’s the age of the millennials guys. Talk in a language they understand. Make your surveys

Ensure your surveys are mobile friendly

According to this research by, there are around 2 billion smartphone users globally. This figure is poised to rise at around 10% every year. With a quarter of the world being smartphone users and majority of them being millennials, it’s a channel you cannot ignore. People are checking and writing emails on their phones. If they do not like what they see on their phone, it’s most likely to be ignored and in the worst case, marked spam. So spend a good amount of time to ensure that your surveys are mobile friendly.

Avoid the survey fatigue

How often do your customers buy from you? Does it make sense to survey them in every interaction? Set an objective of a survey, one needs to consider if it’s a relational survey conducted annually or bi-annually or transactional survey conducted more often. Reaching out to every customer every time he or she completes the trigger action might overwhelm your customers and make them stop responding altogether.


Keep surveys short and easy to respond to

Every extra question increases the dropoff rate. I am a big FAN of Net Promoter System®., a loyalty metric developed by Fred Reichheld, a Bain Fellow and founder of Bain & Company’s Loyalty Practice, which helps companies achieve results through customer and employee loyalty. A simple question – “How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?” rated on a scale of 0 to 10. It can go along with a followup question on the prime reason for giving this score. It is an easy to respond question with a gold mine of information in the “Why”.

Would you like to kickstart Net Promoter System℠ at your organisation? Click here take the first step and get your FREE guide.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas.

Reach out on

Recommended Articles

19 Customer Experience resolutions for 2019

As we bid goodbye to 2018 and usher in 2019, we have made some customer-centric…

Why is Customer Loyalty important to a business?

What is customer loyalty? Customer loyalty is when a customer chooses a particular brand over…

Customer Experience

How is Customer Experience defined?

Customer Experience is the only true differentiator for brands today. It is a very broad…