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Survey Says! Five Steps to Help You Master Customer Surveys

  • 5 min
  • December 19, 2016
    • Survey says!
    • titan tips
    • Listen to your customers

Whether you’re taking steps to improve an existing website or carrying out an entirely new site build, a customer survey can lead to valuable insights. The takeaways from an effective customer survey can help everyone involved better understand (and cater to) user needs. That, in turn, can lead to increased site engagement, conversions, and revenue. Who doesn’t like that, right?

Unless you’re starting a new business you likely have access to past or current customers as well as data from Google Analytics or other performance tools. Direct feedback from consumers, as well as digging into Google Analytics to assess user behavior, can help you understand what your customers find more valuable, as well as what might lead them to not carry out a purchase or other goal.

Today we’ll be focusing on creating effective customer surveys that your customers will find easy to engage with, and how survey data can help you improve your company’s new online experience. Even a small customer survey can make a big difference.

As you might imagine, for online businesses email is the natural solution when sending out a survey. After all, you’ve probably been gathering email addresses as part of the purchasing process. Now you can use your email list to better understand how real world customers feel about your site’s user experience, design, and content.


Customer Survey Tools and Setup

We tend to like Typeform for surveys because of its attractive design, but SurveyMonkey certainly gets the job done as well. Whatever tools you use for your email survey there are some important steps to take:

1)    Define the goals of your survey

Do you want to better understand how customers feel about the design of your site? If they find the user experience to be intuitive? If they find the content helpful? All of the above? Defining these issues will help you formulate clear and concise questions.

2)    Include your branding

Survey tools like Typeform and SurveyMonkey allow you to include your own company logo and colors. Like any other email you send to past, current, or prospective customers you want your survey to look professional and reflect your brand.

3)    Create your survey questions

When creating your questions, it’s important to again reference the goals of your survey. With clear goals in mind a smaller, more manageable, list of questions can be created.

Make questions easy to understand

– Customers taking your survey likely will be moving quickly. Don’t push them away by including questions that are long or perhaps a bit muddled. Instead, each question should cover only one very specific topic, and be easy for everyone to understand regardless of their technical proficiency level.

Keep the number of questions small

– For any customer survey the engagement level and number of questions typically depends on the consumer type, but for the typical e-commerce consumer staying at or under 10 questions is a good start.

Multiple choice or text field questions

– If you are including multiple choice questions, work to ensure the answer to each question – whether positive or negative – provides you with insights and is clearly aimed at the goals of your survey. If text field questions are included, keep in mind a large number of responses will require more time and effort to review and gather takeaways. In such cases it might be better to stick to multiple choice questions, allowing a simple export of the results to provide insights at a glance.

4)    Getting your survey seen and, importantly, completed

When sending out your survey it’s important to write an intriguing email headline, as well as a short message explaining how long – or, preferably, short – the survey is. This message is where you want to provide the recipient with some comfort and understanding that taking the survey will be quick and easy.

To help encourage customers to fill out a survey, business owners sometimes also provide gift cards or other incentives. This can go a long way, and many marketers find that making a financial investment to obtain survey results is more than worth it.

5)    Collecting Responses

After a sufficient number of responses are collected it’s time to analyze the results and determine what action to take as a result. Working with your user experience, design, and/or copywriter you will be able to incorporate what was learned from your survey into your overall strategy for a new project or use it to specifically address issues on your current site.

Regardless of what type of project you are taking on, your customers are the people whose needs and pain points must be addressed to achieve success. With that in mind, it makes all the more sense to ask them directly.


Questions? Comments? Get in touch with our Digital Strategy team at



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