CX Management

How to Design a Customer Experience Survey


To design a customer experience (CX) survey, think like a researcher. What is the survey’s goal? How are we going to accomplish the goal? What are we hoping to find out? What decisions and actions will the data influence?

You should also think about who you want to survey – your ‘target population’, and tailor the language, examples, and graphics to the people you to want to reach.

Choose a Type of CX Survey

There are 3 different approaches to designing a CX survey:

  1. Post-purchase evaluation: Feedback from an individual customer at the time a product or service is delivered, or shortly afterward.
  2. Periodic satisfaction surveys: Feedback from targeted groups of customers to provide periodic snapshots of customer experiences. An annual customer survey is an example of periodic satisfaction surveys.
  3. Continuous satisfaction tracking: Regular surveys (daily, monthly, or quarterly) that provide continuous satisfaction feedback on post-purchase evaluations over the entire customer lifecycle.

Understand the Key Drivers at Every Touchpoint

Use customer journey mapping to identify every touchpoint so that you’re clear on what you’re measuring and where. You’ll start to uncover the key drivers of your customer experience and identify how they affect key business metrics like revenue, customer lifetime value (CLV) or churn.



Ask the Right Survey Questions

Do you want to measure customer loyalty (NPS?) Do you want to measure customer satisfaction (CSAT)? Or do you want to measure something else?

Be sure you ask the right questions for your purpose. But if you already know the answer, don’t ask the question – survey respondents’ time is precious.

Follow Survey Best Practices

Be careful of ‘Satisficers’ – respondents who avoid engaging meaningfully with a survey – as they can potentially skew your data. They may respond randomly, continually select ‘don’t know,’ or agree with everything.

Best practices can deter satisficing:

  • Make your survey short – try to stick to a maximum of 10 questions
  • Keep the language clear, direct and unbiased, with no leading questions
  • Keep distractions to a minimum
  • Offer a small incentive, such as entry in a draw, to increase engagement
  • Test thoroughly before sending it out

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Choose Your Channel

Where do you want your survey to appear? Each survey needs to be tailored for maximum impact, focus, and ease of use. If it appears on a mobile device, keep it especially short; if it’s post-purchase, focus only on the purchase activity – don’t be tempted to throw in unrelated ‘nice to know’ questions.

Include Open Text Feedback

Make sure customers can write open text responses in your survey. These provide insights that you may not have been looking for with closed questions, and with text analytics software, it’s now easier than ever to analyze them and pull out insights from thousands of open text responses.