Top 20 Mistakes to Avoid While Making Customer Feedback Survey

If you hear your customers complain just too much about your organisation or products, trust me on this, this isn’t a problem! The real trouble is when they don’t! Actually, when they say nothing at all! If you design a Customer Feedback Survey to dig out what’s really on their mind, you might want to do it without any unwanted goof ups.

After all, a Feedback Form that makes you think your company could all rise ‘n’ shine like the spring breeze and gives you absolutely nothing to ponder about is doing you more harm than good. If you are not getting just enough responses to your Customer Satisfaction Surveys, or if your customers are flattering you with the ‘All Good’ type feedback, every time, you’ve got your knees deep into … you should probably realise there is something you are not doing right.

But, worry not, here is the list of some most frequent mistakes that survey makers do and those you can avoid while making the Customer Feedback Survey for your organisation:

  1. Who is it that you really want to hear from?

Yeah okay, you think designing a survey and giving it out to every possible customer of yours on the planet can help you with the goals. Well, maybe not! If you feel there was a problem with your product X, to dig in more, you simply send a feedback form to customers who bought X and not Y or Z.

  1. Never forget to mention your Brand!

Your customers must be able to identify the person/ organisation that asks for their views. They must know clearly about what or about who it is that they are speaking. So, do not forget to include your company’s brand name, logo, colour themes, etc. whichever way you can, into the questionnaire.

  1. No introduction? – Not a good thing!

Well, as appealing as it may seem, starting out with the questions straight up, is never the right way to begin your customer feedback survey. A little effort with a few lines about why the responder must complete the survey can go a long way in achieving the perfect data collection.

  1. Don’t feel like proofreading it? Your Bad!

Now that you’ve put your brand name up there, you can’t really mess with your reputation, can you? Spellings and Grammar, how much ever petty they seem to you in comparison with all other survey making aspects, they sure do matter a lot to your responders. So, keep your questions clear & concise and always double check your survey structure & wordings.

  1. Did you put in too many questions in there?

The first rule that all survey makers need to keep in their minds is the KISS rule! Yes, just keep it Short and Simple & ask your customer only the bare minimum. People simply despise time eating monster surveys. Asking typically 5 – 10 questions saves you both a great deal of time & efforts.

  1. Mandatory Questions – NO!!!

If you are making all or almost all the questions in your survey compulsory to respond, you could never make a bigger mistake! You are significantly reducing the response rate for your customer feedback form this way, as your customers are likely to leave the whole thing over a few answers.

  1. You better not indulge in too much of Demographics!

While collecting general information e.g. age, education, occupation, income, etc. may seem like a good survey practise, try to avoid it unless your research really asks for it. Also, if it is so, always include them at the end because the questions may seem a little intrusive to the customers, right at the start.

  1. Trying to figure out, what you’ve already figured all out?

What could be bigger a blunder than to send a survey / questionnaire to your customer’s email id and then asking him or her to fill up their email id into one of the questions of the survey. Quite illogical! Duh, it’s plain insulting for both you and your customer.

  1. Think you can get away without acknowledging?

‘Customer is the King’ you might have heard the old saying! And kings do not do you a favour if you fail to acknowledge them. By responding to your customer feedback form, your customers are kind of obliging you.

  1. Are you going to just neglect the Smartphone/ Tab generation?

Hands down, pen & paper type surveys give you the easiest time collecting data. But, with all the tech-savvy generation making up the new consumer market, you might need to reconsider if you want to stick to the old ways. Collecting feedback on Mobiles or Tabs or PCs is truly a win-win for all! Just design a neat, user-friendly survey with an app and roll it out.

These are some of the most common mistakes that can ruin your customer feedback survey. But, while this might seem all… this isn’t…. here are a few more. We hope you keep a check on these and create yourself the most efficient & insightful user feedback survey:

  1. Missing out the Title for the Questionnaire/ Survey

Imagine a watching a Video without a title. You might not know what its heading to until a few minutes or simply might lose interest because you just can’t decide whether it is meant for you or not. A customer satisfaction survey without a title is worse! The only thing you can ‘get done’ by sending off an untitled questionnaire to a customer is – turning him/her off towards responding at all.

  1. Using too many Jargons or Technical terms

When designing a survey form, pay heed to the thesaurus at your disposal. Didn’t quite get that statement, did you? Well, the lesson to be learnt here is that all the technical terminology your organisation uses is something that your customers do not need to understand and quite frankly, neither they ever will. It’s always better to ask them about a certain Mobile App feature rather than one “Android X.0Y – Compatible Service ABC” … Aye?

  1. Giving choices that do not cover all possible Replies

How frustrating could it be to be asked to choose your favourite colour from the palette that actually doesn’t even carry it? Getting the picture? Always think of all possibilities when you are including a choice question into your customer feedback form. There is also an escape plan when you can’t. Put up a choice that says something like “Other: _________________ (please specify)”.

  1. Asking too many Multiple Choice Questions

Answering to the Multiple Choice Questions is the easiest thing you could ask your customers to do. Agreed! But think twice or maybe thrice or … c’mon give it a hard thought – do you really want your questionnaire to look like some Entrance Examination Question Paper? Give your responder a little room to express herself/ himself with relevant text fields too.

  1. Putting in too many Text fields for Responses

Having said the above, you really need to learn the art of ‘Balancing the Act’. Well if your customer would not like an objective sort Question Paper, he/ she would definitely hate the Subjective type. Quite obviously your responder would soon lose all interest in the survey as soon as they realise it is more like writing an exam.

  1. Overdoing the Yes/ No kind responses

Your customer satisfaction survey, of course, has got to have a few ‘Yes/ No’ type questions; for one – they help keeping it short and simple. However, if you keep asking your customers to nod their heads from right to left or up to down at every step… you really won’t get too far. A survey form overfull of only Yes & No questions is more likely to mislead your analysis rather than guiding it to a sane decision.

  1. Asking two different things with same Question

To kill two birds with one stone” – as tempting as it may sound, this is a saying for the survey draftees, strictly not to go by! You must never try to fulfil two objectives with a single question. For instance, asking your customer, if “he liked the ‘colour’ and the ‘variant’ of the car he purchased from your company”, will distract you more than your customer in your survey findings.

  1. Giving out no Discounts or Returns or Giveaways

Yup! It’s a bad… bad world. Nobody wants to do something for you without expecting a little something in return. Even you desire your customers’ unending trust and loyalty in your brand with every new sale, let alone your customer. Besides, being a little grateful to your customer feedback survey responders with appropriate giveaways or discounts, would not do you much harm!

  1. Not taking the ‘Anything else?’ Answer at the end

There is always a possibility that you missed something out in your feedback form or that your customer wants to say something more to you than you asked. Well, this might be important… so why miss it? Letting your customer convey her/ his feelings at the end with a ‘anything else’ kinda question is a good … nope, great idea.

  1. Sticking to Pen & Paper

Now that’s what one could call a blunder in today’s time! You simply cannot expect your customers to jot down responses, one after another, on the papers for you; not when they all gotta catch planes. Yes like figuratively speaking! Sticking to the same old, same old pen and paper tool would only make your customer satisfaction form much less reachable.

Well… you are on the right path, now that you have taken care of these commonly seen goof ups that most survey makers do and so, you know what to do while drafting your feedback form; okay, at least you know what NOT to!


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About Nakul Mehra

Nakul Mehra is the founder of Survtapp Customer Feedback SaaS, leads a Digital Transformation agency and has helped over 1,000 brands since 2007. Connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

View all posts by Nakul Mehra