Survey FormYou should ask customers face to face how you’re doing. You should watch Facebook and Yelp for compliments and complaints. But if you want to get a more organized look at customer satisfaction, with learning that you can share with employees, give customers a short questionnaire and have them take a survey.

With customer surveys, you can:

  1. Identify rough spots in your customer service that need work
  2. Learn details about your customers, leading to more targeted products or services
  3. Get ideas for new ways to do business
  4. Show customers that you value their opinions
  5. All of the above and more

What questions should you ask?

 A basic customer satisfaction survey might include:

How satisfied were you with your service during your most recent visit?

  1. Completely satisfied
  2. Somewhat satisfied
  3. Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
  4. Somewhat dissatisfied
  5. Completely dissatisfied

How likely are you to recommend us to a friend?

  1. Very likely to recommend
  2. Somewhat likely to recommend
  3. Neither likely nor unlikely
  4. Somewhat unlikely to recommend
  5. Very unlikely to recommend

How satisfied were you with the professionalism of the staff (technician) during your most recent visit (service call)?

  1. Completely satisfied
  2. Somewhat satisfied
  3. Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
  4. Somewhat dissatisfied
  5. Completely dissatisfied

Were you greeted promptly upon entering the store?

  1. Yes
  2. No


Did the technician arrive on time?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Please tell us one thing that will help us improve:


But don’t just take a one-size-fits-all approach. Think of the key customer touch points for your type of business to target your questions. For instance, you might focus on customer reactions to your speed of execution, pricing, professionalism or friendliness of staff, on-time delivery, or ease and convenience of your products or services. Your end goal should be to identify what matters to customers most and work to build an organization that consistently delivers it.

How to create and distribute a survey

Remember printed comment cards? With the little pencils and the ballot box?

A longtime fixture at restaurant cashiers, these are still an effective way to conduct a survey for any brick and mortar business. For service businesses, add pre-paid postage and customers can mail them back as a postcard after a service call. See examples of a restaurant comment card from  and general business comment card from The Thriving Small Business.

Or create an online survey form and send an appeal for survey-takers to your email list.

Lots of free or low cost choices here, such as Survey Monkey, SurveyGizmo and Google Forms as well as survey features in popular email software such as AWeber or Benchmark. One cool thing: These surveys can present a different lineup of questions depending on how users answer previous questions so you can really drill down. Not so cool: Response rates to your email appeals could be as low as one percent.

Tips for creating surveys that will leave you and your customers “Completely Satisfied”

  1. Don’t wear out your welcome: Customers should be able to finish a survey in minutes.
  2. Get answers to questions that you can translate into action. Like “ If you could change one thing about our service what would it be? Why?” (For more actionable questions, see this blog post from SurveyGizmo).
  3. Ask precise questions. For instance, this is a bad question: “What is the fastest and most economical Internet service for you?” Is your customer answering for fast, economical or both? For more bad survey questions, see this blog post from Qualtrics.
  4. Look for clues in the answers, not a final judgment on your business. This isn’t the Gallup Poll: You aren’t going to get a scientifically representative sample of your customers to respond. In fact, the most useful question might be an open-ended, [FILL IN THE BLANK BOX] “How can we improve?” that tells you something you never thought about.
  5. All of the above

Image: Restaurant comment card from