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Insight Center Resources

Industry knowledge to help you grow your business

3 Quick Tips on Surveying Your Customers

Imagine seeing a piece of art that is so beautiful it captures your attention, heightens your senses and provokes a feeling. These emotions are not directly connected to survey design, but just like captivating art, if you create a survey that touches a nerve, you’ll find yourself in a position where your customers will want to answer your questions. But where do you begin?

1. Think about the story you want to write. Before you can even begin to put together a survey, research the motive behind the creation of it. Really pin down what it is you are looking to accomplish and create questions your customers can answer that will help you do so. Forget about simple yes and no answers. It’s important for you understand why a customer feels the way they do. Ask them why and don’t only focus on negative scores. Positive feedback is just as beneficial. According to Huffington Post, “If a customer gives you the highest rating, you need to know why, so you can replicate that same experience and outcome with other customers and clients.” (1)

2. Build your survey upon a fundamental aspect of growing your business. One of the most central questions you can ask is, “How likely is it you would recommend this company to a friend or colleague?” Harland Clarke Digital recommends using the “Net Promoter Score” method. Extensive research as shown that, “Net Promoter Score®, or NPS®, acts as a leading indicator of growth. If your organization’s NPS is higher than those of your competitors, you will likely outperform the market.” Not only does this question address the participant’s interest in your company, it also indicates your value and their loyalty. (2)

3. Don’t overcomplicate your questions. Using technical jargon, run-on and complex sentences, only makes the survey participant more agitated and less likely to complete your survey. According to Harvard University, “Words used in surveys should be easily understood by anyone taking the survey. Examples: “Do you support or oppose tort reform?” “Should people held on terror related crimes have the right of habeas corpus?” (3)

Understanding these main principles of survey design is just a stepping stone into the world of knowing and understanding your customers. Forms + Surveys from Harland Clarke Digital makes it easy for you to communicate with your customers and gather valuable insights that can help your organization grow.

To learn more, contact our HCD Support team at 630-303-5000 or simply e-mail your questions to