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Guide to Customer Surveys

Guide to Customer Surveys

This comprehensive guide takes you step-by-step through the entire survey process from determining your survey objectives and selecting the best methods to organizing and writing the questions correctly.

And because this is a real working guide, it includes 34 real-world questionnaires. You’ll find questionnaires to fit your every need including recent customer transaction questionnaires, product/process improvement questionnaires, and overall customer satisfaction questionnaires. The questionnaires come from diverse industries and include mail, phone, email, and web-based formats.

To learn more about Guide to Customer Surveys, just read the introduction below.


Surveying customers to determine their level of satisfaction with a company, service, or product is often thought to be a simple and straightforward process. The company asks its questions — How satisfied were you with the product, delivery, level of service, etc.? — and customers answer. The results equal the company’s customer satisfaction level. If it acts on the weaknesses the survey uncovers, a company should be able to administer the survey again at the end of the next quarter and see its customer satisfaction rating rise.

What that formula overlooks, however, is the depth of knowledge and the process required to develop a thorough and effective customer questionnaire. There’s considerably more to it than writing questions, arranging them in a convenient survey format, and putting them in front of customers. An effective survey involves setting goals, staking out a target audience, determining the appropriate survey medium for that audience, and designing a questionnaire that meets one’s goals. It is with these details in mind that this book was written.

The purpose of this book is to pass along some of the basic, but essential, survey-building tools that customer service professionals will need to know to develop more effective customer satisfaction questionnaires on their own. This book will also be of value in helping you to evaluate the work of those who may provide your organization with surveys and questionnaires.

The focus of the book, as you will see, is on surveying external customers. But much of what can be done with external customers also applies to internal customers. Thus, if your mandate is to survey the satisfaction of internal customers, almost everything covered in this book is relevant to your needs as well.

In addition, while every effort has been made to offer a range of examples from a variety of survey media — face-to-face, telephone, written, email, and Web-based — be aware that the type of question and the question design used in one survey medium can often be successfully used in another.

In compiling the book, the author reviewed hundreds of questionnaires used by companies both large and small in many different industries in the quest to provide as many examples as possible of good survey design. Many of those reviewed had several excellent features, but many of the questionnaires submitted also included design flaws that shouldn’t be imitated. The purpose of this book, however, is not to find fault but to identify the good material to use as positive examples for readers. As a result, any references in the book to specific questionnaires refer to the positive aspects of those questionnaires. There is also a table at the head of each grouping of questionnaires indicating the areas of strength of the questionnaires to follow.

In terms of the layout of the book, the first chapter provides a thorough discussion of the core elements of questionnaire design. The criteria for good questionnaire design discussed in this chapter were used to select the sample questionnaires used throughout. The remaining chapters focus on the three most common types of customer satisfaction questionnaires (recent transactions, product/process improvement, and overall satisfaction).


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