As we mentioned in our previous post on why customer surveys are a great source of primary market data, they’re also a great way to engage your customers that show them you’re listening. 

Here are a few recommendations to get you pointed in the right direction: 

Create survey goals that are clear and attainable

Nothing is more disheartening than not hitting a goal. If you’re new to your customer survey strategy, ensure your initial goals are both clear and attainable. Once you have established benchmarks, it’s much easier to move the needle in the right direction. 

Determine what style of survey you want to use

The style of survey you choose to use will depend largely on the goals you have identified. They’ll likely center around gathering a significant size of data in order to make an informed decision, segment your customers, and build a set of recommendations.

You may be looking to: 

  • Determine how your customers perceive your brand vs competitors
  • Segment your customers based on their demographics or level of satisfaction
  • Measure their interest in a new feature or product 
  • Improve your operational efficiencies by identifying pain points  and areas for improvement
  • Measure the relevance of your marketing communications

Whatever your goals may be, ensure they ultimately revolve around improving your customers’ experience with your brand, products, and services.

Align key internal stakeholders around goals, timeline, and your reporting plan


It’s not uncommon for sales, customer success, and other customer-facing teams to operate in silos, especially if your business doesn’t have an integrated CRM. But misalignment among these teams can lead to clashing goals, inaccurate or inconsistent communications and ultimately a poor customer experience. 

It may also mean valuable data is simply going unseen. To ensure this doesn’t happen, schedule a kick off meeting to align customer facing team leads around the goals and timeline for your customer survey campaign. Doing this ensures the survey won’t conflict with the communications or promotions other teams have on deck.

Meet your customers where they’re comfortable

Before selecting your channel, check in with your customer success and sales teams to identify the most widely used customer channels — and follow suit with your survey. You may find that one customer set is more responsive to email, while another is more likely to answer a pop-up question while engaging with your product. 

If you already have clearly defined customer segments based on lifecycle stage, the product or service they’re using, or business profile, you may choose an omni-channel approach. It’s also a good idea to coordinate directly with your sales and customer success teams so they’re aware of the project.

Leave open-ended questions for last

Data shows that surveys have a higher completion rate when they’re short and easy to complete. If you’re going to include an open-ended question (which is good idea), make it the last one and ensure it’s optional. This way, you’ll be sure to capture the critical data. Any additional long-form responses can serve as a bonus. 

Listen first, then act on what you’ve learned

Showing your customers that you’re willing to listen is only the start. How you choose to put what you’ve learned into action is the most critical step of the customer survey process. In our next post, we’ll talk about ways to make your customer survey data actionable.