Customer Service Surveys: Best Practices & Guidelines


SurveyMonkey, a popular online survey platform, conducted a study recently where it asked 400 users how many surveys they would typically complete. The response was remarkable. Only 10% of those surveyed said they were likely to complete all surveys they came across. As many as 28% of respondents said they would complete only a few. There is no doubt that a quick post-purchase customer service survey can be critical for customer retention and improving the customer experience of your online store in today’s competitive e-commerce business environment. From your store’s testimonial page to online review sites, happy customers are the loudest proof prospects might need to visit you online and have a look at what you have on offer. Conversely, poor reviews can trigger attrition and harm the reputation of your business.

However, in your enthusiasm to get feedback, it is important not to go overboard. Remember, the customer experience could well be impacted negatively if you ask too many questions or survey customers too often. For surveys to be effective, only ask the most relevant questions. It is also important to personalize the survey by segmenting your customers properly.

While a survey is designed so that you can understand what’s on their minds, it must be designed in a way that encourages them to participate and express their thoughts. It is critical to view a survey as an extension of the overall customer service experience you aspire to provide customers. In this context, a survey by data analytics provider, Avora, revealed some interesting facts. 71% of customers surveyed by Avora said that surveys interfered with their user experience.


Best Practices for Customer Service Surveys

With that in mind, we have compiled the top 5 best practices followed by brands around the world to help you get quality feedback without annoying your customers.

Keep it short

Customer service surveys that take longer than a few minutes to fill are likely to be ignored. Short attention spans combined with overflowing inboxes play a big role in this. Though you may want to get the maximum possible information, you should always keep the customer’s convenience in mind when framing survey questions. For example, if a large chunk of your customers lives in a different time zone, it is likely that your email survey could go unnoticed.

The other drawback: your survey data may not be representative of the customer’s true state of mind. Some customers may want to get through a long-winded survey by clicking away randomly.


According to experts, surveys with a maximum of 5-6 multiple choice questions have been found to be the most effective. Audio surveys are growing in popularity too as it reduces the effort required on the part of a customer.

Explain why it matters

It is important to tell customers why participating in a survey is worth their time. Explain what you expect to do once you have collected the data from the survey. Stress on the fact that their opinion matters to your company. Provide some context as to the reasons for conducting the survey. For eg: overseas customers unable to contact customer service after business hours, etc. This can lead customers to contribute their feedback in the hope of receiving better service in the future.

Let customers know exactly how long your survey is likely to take. This will certainly help them decide whether to take the survey at that moment or come back to it later.

Offer incentives

Write-a-clear-Call-to-ActionCustomers are likely to want something tangible in return for completing surveys. Top brands offer coupons and freebies to encourage their customers to provide feedback. Physical incentives can boost actual survey participation rates and help you gain insights from a larger percentage of your customer base. Loyal customers will likely appreciate the gesture of a free gift and it can also be a perfect opportunity for promoting your brand.

Write a clear Call to Action (CTA) that answers the ‘What’s In It For Me?’ question that inevitably runs through a customer’s mind when presented with a survey link.

Avoid the use of jargon or complex sentences

Surveys are meant to be intuitive and easy to fill out. A lucid language that is easy to comprehend is the best way to elicit genuine feedback. If the questions on the survey are technical in nature or require a lot of thinking and contemplation, customers are likely to avoid filling it or might abandon it halfway through. Closed-ended questions are the most effective. However, an open-ended question may be included at the end to invite feedback related to specific issues that customers may be facing. This can provide qualitative inputs to your team about the typical customer journey and reveal the customer’s mindset.

Keep the KISS principle in mind when framing survey questions. Begin with close-ended Yes or No questions and end with a request for subjective feedback.

Include ‘answer later’ or ‘return to question’ options

Making survey forms easy to read and navigate is one of the most critical factors determining the success of the survey. For example, customers on mobile devices may inadvertently click on options that do not reflect their opinion or they may want to review their answers before submitting the survey form.

Creating a user-friendly survey form with easy navigation functions and a progress bar positioned at the top can help to reduce the survey abandonment rate and help you get better returns on investment.

Last Words

Business analytics can help you decode valuable insights from customer survey data. This requires experience and specialized skills. Outsourced customer support providers like Helplama can help you track the performance of your customer support team and generate business reports- affordably and consistently. This can give your business the ability to predict customer behavior and make better operational decisions.

Helplama’s team of customer support experts can quickly help you elevate your CSAT score and create measurable outcomes, thanks to our extensive integrated reporting and analysis capabilities.To learn more, contact us at today!