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5 Worst Customer Survey Questions

3 min read
Customer Experience
5 Worst Customer Survey Questions

You send out customer surveys to get valuable feedback and insights.

You know the purpose of each survey, and keep the questions focused on that purpose.

You keep the surveys short out of respect for your customers’ time.

And you send those surveys out at all the right touchpoints to ensure your customer’s memory of their experience is as fresh as possible.

If you’re still not getting the results you’re after, you may be making one of these survey question mistakes.

To get better insights and make your surveys a better experience for your customers, steer away from asking these five questions.

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1. The Yes/No Question

Are you satisfied with your customer service experience?

This question is nearly useless to you as a business. It gives you no context and is difficult for a customer to answer.

Most customer experiences aren’t all-or-nothing. Part of their experience might have been great, but maybe some aspect of it could use improvement. The yes/no question gives them no way to tell you what their experience was actually like.

Instead, consider using a rating scale, such as:

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is completely unsatisfied and 10 is completely satisfied, how satisfied are you with your customer service experience?

2. The “Buy Me a Drink First” Question

How much income do you make in a year?

Asking sensitive questions right out of the gate can be a huge turnoff to customers.

It’s a bit like asking someone to marry you on the first date.

If you need to know this information, lead up to it. Ask some easier, less personal, more general questions first and let the respondent become comfortable with the survey.

3. The Multiple-Purpose Question

How easy was it to set up your product, and how long did it take you?

There are two questions there, and your customer is going to have two answers.

It’s impossible for your customer to answer this question accurately in one space, and for you to really understand their experience.

Break this into two separate customer survey questions.

Remember: one question at a time leads to better customer insights.

4. The Required Question

Making every question required is going to turn off a lot of customers, and dramatically increase your survey abandon rate.

Even making some questions required can cause customers to bail on your survey before they complete it. Or they’ll simply pick an answer at random to get through your survey – and you’ll end up with bad data.

Don’t make your survey questions required. If you’re worried about customers skipping questions on your survey, put more effort into writing the questions well!

5. The Confusing Question

There are many ways to confuse your customers on a survey – and they’re all bad ideas.

Confused respondents give poor survey results and end up being frustrated customers.

Beware of:

  • Answer sets that don’t match the questions. This is a no-brainer. Proofread your survey thoroughly to make sure the answers make sense with the questions. Get someone else to check it too.
  • Indirect questions, such as “What do you suggest we do to improve our product?” That is much too general, and it’s open to a wide range of interpretations.
  • Leading questions, such as “Do you agree that our service was exceptional?” Even subconsciously, this kind of question would lead the customer to give inaccurate responses.
  • Multiple-choice answer sets that aren’t mutually exclusive.
  • Multiple-choice answer sets that don’t include an “other” option.


Designing a Survey That Gets Results

Customer surveys are a great way to gain insights about customer experience, customer service, your position in the marketplace, and even customer loyalty. Make sure you’re asking the right questions – and avoiding these five mistakes – to get the best possible results from your customer surveys.

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