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The Basic Customer Satisfaction Mistakes You Need to Know

The Basic Customer Satisfaction Mistakes You Need to Know
The Basic Customer Satisfaction Mistakes You Need to Know

Obviously, customer satisfaction is very much crucial for the success of your business. At the same time, client satisfaction can be very much an enigma. It is probably easier to figure out if a customer has been completely dissatisfied with your services when you’re in a brick and mortar store – but when it comes to eCommerce and online businesses of any kind, things become a little more complicated. 

You can’t just assault your customers with live questions about your services and how satisfied they feel about them. You can’t break into their homes to see if they use the blender they bought from you every day. Also, you most definitely can’t read their minds via the power of optic fiber either. 

What you can do, however, is run a client satisfaction survey or questionnaire. Done right, this type of endeavor can provide you with precious answers and action points on how to make your business better for your customers. 

How do you run a proper satisfaction survey, what types of surveys are there, and what are some customer survey questions and survey examples? We have dealt with customer satisfaction surveys before, but let’s dig a little deeper this time and show you the absolute basics of how to create a survey that works

Read on and find out more. 

What Are Customer Satisfaction Surveys and Questionnaires? 

As we have established in the intro, an excellent way to determine a customer’s satisfaction is to run a customer satisfaction survey or questionnaire. 

Basically, instead of guesswork and magic, you can use your customers’ opinions and see what they like, what they don’t, and what you can do to be better. 

Sounds easy, and it isn’t rocket science of any kind. 

However, you have to do it right.

To do that, you must first understand the main difference between a customer survey and a customer questionnaire. 

Both of them are used interchangeably (most times), but there’s a slight difference in meaning. Namely, the “survey” refers to the entirety of the process: from collecting the data to analyzing it. “Questionnaire,” on the other hand, refers to the entirety of the client survey questions included in your surveying campaign. 

When it comes to making sure your surveying efforts pay off, both the process and the customer feedback survey questions are necessary – you cannot put one above the other. 

That is precisely why we will talk about both the surveying process per se and the survey questions example. Let’s dive in! 

Customer Satisfaction Survey Mistakes to Know 

We could write entire books on how to create a comprehensive customer satisfaction survey. Unfortunately, there is no recipe – you can’t take a customer satisfaction survey template and apply it to your business 100%. 

Yes, you might be able to take a bunch of customer service survey questions and apply them to your business. Do keep in mind that there has to be an appropriate level of adaptation involved in the process!

No two businesses are 100% alike, even when they have similar products and target similar buyer personas. In consequence, we wouldn’t recommend taking a survey or questionnaire blueprint and apply it to your business as such. 

Additionally, keep in mind some of the most common customer satisfaction surveys mistakes: 

Not knowing what you want

Determine if you want to run a qualitative research or a quantitative one. The first one is usually connected to open questions (meaning that customers can answer how they want and they are not limited by a given set of answers, like in the case of quantitative research). It is also worth mentioning that qualitative research is conventional after quantitative analysis, as it will provide businesses with more insight into questions for which you have received broad or inconclusive answers during the quantitative research.

Making your surveys too long

People don’t want too much of their time to be taken by surveys of any kind – so try to be succinct and avoid complex questions. Keeping it short also means that you should probably limit your open-end questions as much as you can (unless there is no other way to find your answers). 

Getting too personal

Yes, you probably need demographic data for your research. However, it is essential to mark all personal questions as optional. Otherwise, many might be deterred by these parts of the questionnaire and leave it behind altogether. 

Being inconsistent

Pick a scale and stick to it. For instance, if you plan on using the NPS score, stick to it throughout the survey. Consistency will help you make your data statistically relevant.

Not giving anything in return

Offer rewards. While it is possible to run a customer satisfaction survey without offering anything in return, rewards can be a pretty good incentive when it comes to pulling those customer satisfaction questionnaire answers from those who are using your products. 

Being statistically irrelevant

Make sure you have the numbers. Depending on what type of product you sell and depending on what kind of survey you’re running, numerical significance can be quite important when it comes to drawing actual, reliable conclusions. 

Being intrusive

Don’t make your customers answer your questions. Chances are they’ll click the X button and leave if they feel too pressured. 

Being ungrateful

Regardless of how exactly you attracted users towards your survey, remember to thank them for their participation. It can make a world of difference! 

Types of Customer Survey Questions

Asking the right questions will give you the right answers – or, at least, it will provide you with the most relevant answers. While the wording of your survey questions is definitely essential, it is also crucial to know about the main types of customer survey questionnaires and how the typical survey questions are used in different situations. This is precisely where many people make mistakes. 

So, without further ado, here are some of the most popular types of survey questions to ask your customers: 


This category is the classic question where you offer respondents multiple answer options from which they can choose. 


These questions are perfect when you are running qualitative research and want to learn more about specific aspects (usually, things for which you have already collected a fair number of answers). 


Most of the time, this type of satisfaction survey questions are used to establish connections between demographic information and specific aspects of the product. 


Dichotomous questions examples are quite simple – basically, they are your “yes” or “no” questions, but they can come in different variations as well. Do make sure you ask these questions when answers can be narrowed down into “yes” or “no.” For example, if you ask “Do you like Van Gogh?”, some people might find it hard to answer with a simple “yes” or “no” (e.g., they might like Starry Night, but not all the other works signed by Van Gogh)


These are questions that come with multiple-option answers in a grid format, usually formatted as a scale (e.g., from “I love it” to “I deeply dislike it”)

Likert scale

Put (very) in simple terms, Likert/ scale questions are Matrix questions that are associated with a particular level of importance or weight. Classic scale questions examples are those with five answer options ranked from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree” – but keep in mind that the difference between Matrix and Likert questions lies not in the type of answers, but in how you process them in the survey system

You shouldn’t use these types of Likert questionnaires randomly – each of them can offer a particular kind of information, and they are valued differently. We strongly encourage you to run proper research before creating a questionnaire, so that you make informed decisions about your future surveys. 

Customer satisfaction surveys might sound very complicated – and they are, up to a certain point. However, once you nail down the basics, and once you know what the purpose of your survey is, everything will come easier! 

Here at 123FormBuilder, we can help you with the creation of a customer satisfaction survey form that is entirely customizable, and that will collect all your respondents’ answers in a safe, organized, and useful way. Check out our tool and see how it works! 


Originally published on September 14, 2019

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