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The Definitive Guide to Surveys


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Introduction to Customer Surveys

Customer surveys are a common method of gathering customer feedback. Surveys help companies conduct market research, measure customer satisfaction, and understand consumer expectations. 

Brands use survey software to get answers to important questions about the customer experience, as well as brand experience, product experience, and employee experience. 

Why are customer surveys important? It's important for companies to listen to the Voice of the Customer (VoC) and use customer insights to inform important business decisions—and surveys help them do just that. If you don't understand your customers—their motivations, preferences, behaviors—how will you meet their needs, exceed their expectations, improve the customer experience, and keep them coming back for more? 

Are customer surveys effective? Customer surveys are an effective way to gauge customer satisfaction and listen to the Voice of the Customer in order to de-risk business decisions, drive revenue growth, improve customer satisfaction, innovate and co-create products, and improve marketing effectiveness.

What do customer surveys attempt to measure? Customer surveys measure customers' attitudes and experiences along the customer journey. A common customer experience metric companies track is customer satisfaction (CSAT) to better understand how customers feel about your products or services.

Companies can use a survey platform like Alida Surveys to conduct customer surveys. 


Types of Surveys

Different surveys serve different purposes, which is why it is essential to understand which types of surveys are best for your business. Most common survey types include interviews, focus groups, panel sampling, telephone surveys, mail-in surveys, kiosk surveys, and online surveys. While every type has its merits, we’re going to focus on one of the most effective and common types: online surveys.

Here are some interesting facts to consider:

  1. The average response rate for email surveys is roughly 24.8%.
  2. Monday is the best day to get the highest amount of complete email surveys for B2B businesses. For B2C companies, there is no best day to send surveys, but Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays all lead to relatively high response rates. 
  3. Response rates can soar past 85% when the respondent population is motivated and the survey is well-executed.
  4. Response rates can also fall below 2% when the respondent population is less targeted, when contact information is unreliable, or where there is less incentive or little motivation to respond.

Online surveys can be broken down into different categories, depending on the data and insights you’re looking for. 

  • Customer Satisfaction Surveys
  • Healthcare Surveys
  • Market Research Surveys
  • Net Promoter Score
  • Marketing Surveys
  • Employee Satisfaction Surveys

Let's take a closer look at each type of survey.

Why Customer Satisfaction Surveys Are Important

Customer satisfaction surveys are used to measure the satisfaction level of your customers regarding your services, products, and experiences. While simple in their essence, customer satisfaction surveys are probably the most important survey type to cover for any business, regardless of industry. The surveys can be used to understand the customer needs, improve your products and services, and segment customers by their score. They are usually paired with rating scales to measure changes over time and gain a much more insightful picture of customer expectations.

On a higher level, customer satisfaction surveys can help a business create targeted marketing campaigns, streamline sales processes, improve both existing and future customer communication, and ultimately, improve the bottom line. 

Customer satisfaction is one of the pillars of every successful business. It reflects the willingness of customers to do business with you and even recommend your products and services to friends, which means free marketing, sales-qualified leads, and more revenue.

High levels of customer satisfaction are also strong indicators of retention, loyalty, and continuous repurchasing. Understanding why a customer enjoys doing business with you is essential since it allows you to recreate the same experiences for different users in the same segment, thus gaining more customers. 

Similarly, lower levels of customer satisfaction lead to high churn rates, bad recommendations, and ultimately, losing existing customers. However, this data is no less important. Knowing why a customer is dissatisfied with your brand allows you to make appropriate changes and re-establish yourself as a likeable business in their minds.

9 Customer Satisfaction Statistics

  • An average business hears from 4% of their dissatisfied customers.
  • 95% of customers share bad experiences with others.
  • For a billion-dollar company, a minor shift in customer experience can result in a $11.6 million reduction in churn, $6.4 million more purchases, and $10.3 million from word-of-mouth marketing.
  • 33% of Americans say they’ll consider switching brands just after a single instance of poor customer service. (American Express)
  • U.S. companies lose more than $62 billion annually due to poor customer service. (
  • 77% of customers would recommend a brand to a friend after having a single positive experience. (Tempkin Group)
  • Consumers are willing to spend 17% more on a company that provides outstanding customer service. (American Express)
  • 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service. (HubSpot)
  • 96% of customers say customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand. (Forbes)

Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions Overview

There are two types of customer satisfaction survey questions – open-ended and close-ended. Both types are used to aggregate customer data on a detailed and/or macro level to understand what your business is doing right, and what you could be doing better. The data includes your customers’ general satisfaction with your products/services, experience with your customer support team, loyalty to your business, the possibility of bringing new customers onboard, etc.

Before we get to sample questions, let’s have a look at the three most important customer satisfaction metrics you should be keeping track of.

1. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

CSAT shows the overall number of satisfied customers in a percentage format. To measure CSAT, you can ask something like this:

“How satisfied are you with our product/service?”

The answers should include “Very satisfied” “Satisfied” “Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied” “dissatisfied” and “Very dissatisfied.” It’s important to make it extremely simple for customers to understand what you’re asking. Don’t try to be fancy, don’t use any uncommon words. Be straight, and precise. 

To calculate CSAT, take the number of satisfied customers and divide them by the total number of customers, and multiply the result by 100%. Example: 78 satisfied customers/100 total customers*100%=78%. The higher the percentage, the better. Satisfied customers are considered those who answered “Very satisfied” and “Satisfied”.

2. Customer Effort Score (CES)

The customer effort score measures the ease of customer interaction and problem resolution when handling a customer query/request.

“The company made it easy to solve my issue.”

The answers should vary from “Strongly agree” to “Strongly disagree”.

To measure CES, you should assign numbers to all answer options, from 1 (Strongly agree) to 5 (Strongly disagree), and calculate the average result. The lower the result, the better.

3. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The NPS allows you to measure the likelihood of new and repeat business. The survey question looks like this:

“How likely are you to recommend our company to friends and colleagues?”

The answer is presented as a rating scale ranging from 0 to 10, where 0 stands for “Not at all likely” and 10 “Extremely likely”. The responses are then grouped into 3 categories:

  1. Promoters – customers that have given 9 or 10 rating points. These are the customers that will most likely become repeat buyers and recommend your company to others.
  2. Passives – customers that have given 7 or 8 rating points. These customers are generally happy with you, but can potentially be turned to competitors if persuaded well.
  3. Detractors – customers that have given below 7 rating points. Those customers are most likely to stop doing business with you soon and may go as far as spreading negative word-of-mouth marketing.

To calculate the NPS, you need to calculate the percentage of promoters and detractors, and subtract detractors from promoters:

% of Promoters = number of promoters/total number of respondents * 100

% of Detractors = number of detractors/total number of respondents * 100

NPS = % of Promoters - % of Detractors

A good NPS score varies from business to business. For instance, the average NPS for auto dealers is 39-40, and for internet providers, it is 0-1. It is possible to get a negative NPS score. NPS below zero usually indicates that your business has a lot of issues to fix. On a very general level, a good NPS score is in the range of 0 to 30, while an excellent NPS score is above 70.

With the key metrics covered, let’s get to the sample questions. Below is a list of the most insightful customer satisfaction survey questions, and what data can you get through them.

  1. “How likely are you to purchase our products/services again?” – These types of questions help measure customer loyalty and understand the possible churn rate. Answers range from “Extremely likely” to “Extremely unlikely”.
  2. “How long have you been with our company?” - These types of questions help measure customer lifetime value. There are a few ways of developing the answers, but one of the most common ways is the following: “I haven’t made a purchase yet”, “Less than six months”, “Six months to a year”, “1-2 years”, “Over 3 years”, “This is my first purchase”.
  3. “How well have we handled your questions and concerns regarding our products/services?” – These types of questions help measure the efforts of your customer support team. The answers should range from “Extremely well” to “Extremely poorly”. Also, include a “N/A” field to filter those customers that never contacted customer support. Similar questions include “How will you rate our customer service?”, “Which customer service channel do you prefer?”, etc.
  4. Product/service-related questions - Product/service-focused questions are aimed at understanding various aspects of your business. For instance, you may be interested in the quality of your product, the effectiveness of your service, the pricing of your service, all everything at once. Here are the most notable questions:
  • “How would you rate the value for money of our product/service?” - Answers range from “Excellent” to “Bad”.
  • “Please rate the quality of the product” - Answers range from “Very high” to “Very low”.
  • “How well does our product/service meet your needs?” - Answers range from “Extremely well” to “Very poorly”.

With each question type, you can go into as much detail as you want regarding any specific aspect you’re interested in. However, keep in mind that asking highly detailed questions may be considered impolite in some situations. Moreover, having too many details to work with may put you off-track and make you focus on the wrong aspects of your business.

How Healthcare Surveys Can Improve Patient Experience

Healthcare surveys help bridge the gap between patients and healthcare professionals. In an overwhelming number of cases, patients and their doctors don’t meet eye to eye, which can lead to confusion, uncertainty, and even doubt. This is also strengthened by the fact that close to 90% of patients would like to know the details about their doctors’ education and background, yet only close to 50% of healthcare businesses provide this info.

Why Are Healthcare Surveys Important?

Health is one of the most important topics in our lives. It is also extremely sensitive. Patients are often shy or reluctant to share details regarding their condition or issue, yet those details may be essential for providing care. Surveys give patients the option to respond to questions privately, revealing all the important details without any discomfort.

Approximately 33% of US hospitals use healthcare surveys as a way to find out about patients’ health and safety habits, which will come in handy during various steps of the patient experience. Likewise, healthcare surveys are used to measure the efficacy of the patients’ safety habits, to make sure that they understand all the risks and special characteristics of their treatment/condition.

Finally, these surveys are effectively used to measure employee satisfaction to better understand and take care of healthcare staff.

Healthcare Survey Questions Overview

There are dozens of ways to construct a healthcare survey, and it will all depend on what you’re looking to find out. Every survey you send needs to have a clear goal. Avoid being too broad or too general. It’s better to send a few separate, short surveys over a couple of days rather than have your patients spend 40 minutes answering endless questions.

As we’ve mentioned, there are a few types of healthcare surveys – Patient satisfaction-related and employee-oriented.

Patient satisfaction surveys measure the patients’ experience with your support staff, facilities, and doctors. Ask your patients to fill in the survey concerning their experiences after each visit. You can also send short surveys to evaluate and adapt to their needs before their next visit.

Patient satisfaction should be at the heart of every healthcare practice. The satisfaction of patients has decreased in recent years. The main reason has of course been the COVID-19 pandemic and the chaotic work of healthcare providers. Nonetheless, things have just started to clear, and it’s important to make patient satisfaction the number one priority again.

Regarding employees, there are several surveys you can send to measure your healthcare staff's happiness, professional skills, performance, patient safety culture knowledge, training and incident reports, etc. It’s important to take good care of your staff and measure the key metrics to take appropriate steps.

Below you’ll find a list of popular healthcare survey questions and ideas for various healthcare verticals.

General Health Surveys

You can survey the patients in your area to find the health issues of patients, filtered by age, gender, or location. Based on the feedback, you’ll be able to identify staffing requirements and create new services, as needed. This can also serve as a lead generation technique if you send out health education programs after the survey is completed.

Dental Care Surveys

One of the golden rules of dental care is consistent treatment. Using surveys is an excellent way to gather basic, yet important information regarding your dental care practice. Questions like “How did you hear about us?”, “Why did you choose our clinic?”, “How regularly do you get dental care?” can put you on the right track in terms of marketing and educating your audience.

A series of questions regarding oral hygiene will help you prepare in advance of a patient’s visit, thus enabling you to provide a more personalized and knowledgeable approach to each case. Finally, based on the answers you’ll be able to set up regular appointments more easily, giving you more opportunities to impress your patients with great service, who in turn may choose to refer your clinic to friends and family members.

Eye Care Surveys

Typically, ophthalmologists don’t get to see the same patient very often. However, the absence of regular visits doesn’t automatically translate to the patient having no problems. Often, people are reluctant to visit their doctor if they feel only minor inconveniences, but as we know, these inconveniences may grow into bigger problems down the line. Surveys are an excellent means of identifying distress signals and potential risks, and inviting patients for a visit, as well as preparing for a future first appointment. Here are some excellent examples:

  • “Do you feel discomfort when wearing your contact lenses?"
  • “How many hours do you wear your contacts before your eyes get tired?”
  • “Has this time decreased since your last visit?”
  • “Do you have difficulty driving at night?”
  • “Has your prescription changed?”

Market Research Surveys

Market research surveys are an affordable and reliable way to gather intelligence from your target markets regarding various topics. They are used to acquire demographic details, information on your audience’s buying habits, service preferences, and how they approach your brand. Also, these surveys can help determine what type of products/services your audience wants to have. Market research surveys are equally effective for startups, small businesses, and large enterprises. 

Why Are Market Research Surveys Important?

Continuous market research is one of the top priorities of any modern business. You need to keep yourself in the loop to have the necessary data to make the right decisions regarding products, services, marketing, advertising, customer communication, etc. Market research surveys are one of the numerous tools for conducting market research, and thanks to their accuracy and affordability, they make an excellent investment.

It’s important to not confuse market research and marketing research. Market research helps you collect and analyze quantitative data regarding a specific market. There are two types of market research – primary and secondary. Primary market research is the process of gathering intelligence that you haven’t collected before. This is one of the primary use cases of market research surveys. Secondary market research is the accumulation of data that has already been gathered by somebody else.

For example, if you’re planning to expand your business overseas, you’ll most likely need to know a few things:

  1. Which people would be interested in trying out your product/service?
  2. What kind of alternatives do they currently use?
  3. What is the price of those alternatives?
  4. Does the alternative product offer the same benefits as yours?

For this, you’ll need to conduct primary market research. Based on the data, you’ll be able to determine the market segment that’s best suited for your offers and quantify it by age, gender, income, location, status, etc. depending on what works for you.

In contrast, marketing research gathers information that can be used to identify opportunities, attract more customers, and propose solutions to customers’ problems. Getting back to our example, for marketing research purposes you’ll more likely ask customers to test a packaging design, give feedback on the price, a marketing message, or an online/offline ad. In other words, marketing research helps you find key touchpoints that will resonate with your target audience, and even help you to win some customers over from competitors.

What Can Market Research Surveys Do for Your Company?

Now that we know the importance of market research, let’s take a detailed look at what it can accomplish for your business.

1. Reach Your Target Audience

Surveys are an excellent means of extracting valuable data from customers, especially those that are important to your business. If you have a large sample of respondents (a large group of social media followers, for instance), then it’s a great place to start.

2. Research and Analyze a Market

To spend your marketing budget as precisely as possible, you need to have reliable data to work with. A good market research survey can help you understand everything you need to make data-driven decisions. Make sure to include questions regarding the aspects you’re most uncertain about (those can be anything – price, features, quality, market size, etc.).

3. Research and Test for Your Product Launch

Market research surveys allow you to get detailed information regarding your products right from your target customers’ minds. You can ask them all sorts of questions including:

  • How well is our product performing compared to your expectations?
  • How reliable is our product?
  • Do you like the marketing messages?
  • What’s your experience with our customer support?
  • Do you think you need a new product for your XYZ needs?
  • What feature would you like to see added next?
  • How does the quality of our product compare to XYZ competitor’s product?

4. Understand Your Competitiveness

Market research surveys allow you to understand where you stand concerning competition. There is no better way to do this than to directly ask your target market. With the right questions, you can find out whether your marketing messages make sense to them and if they are more inclined to buy your products.

5. Market Segmentation

Market segments are small groups of customers that share common attributes like demographic information, geographical location, product usage, buying habits, brand affinity, lifestyle preferences, etc. Market research surveys can help you group your customers into segments to make unique offers, personalize communication, and improve marketing efforts.

6. Test Everything

Do you know what makes people spend thousands of dollars on a new iPhone, even though they can get two or even three times cheaper alternatives that will, for an overwhelmingly large part, offer the same functionality? Because brands like Apple, Nike, and BMW constantly analyze their target markets. Based on the data, they fine-tune their products, services, and marketing messages to fit their customers, who in turn refuse to spend less on alternative products. Market research surveys allow you to test just about anything – marketing messages, branding, positioning, pricing, communication – whatever you need to make your offers irresistible for customers.

Market Research Survey Questions Overview

To understand what types of questions you need to be asking, first, you need to determine a couple of things. Since you don’t want to spend too much of your audience’s time, you need to be specific with your questions. Also, you don’t want to be sending out surveys just for the sake of it – they need to have a specific purpose.

1. The Goal

First, define the goal of the survey. What are you trying to achieve with the data? How will your solution benefit the customer or your company? For example, your goal could be expanding into a new market.

2. Research Objectives 

The research objectives are essentially the pillars of your goal. They work well when formulated in the form of a question. For instance, if your goal is to expand into a new market, a research objective could be “What type of similar products do people currently use in XYZ market?”

3. Define the Sample Size 

To define a sample size that will be statistically correct, you’ll need to determine two things: the number of people in your audience and the error margin of your surveys. The first one is self-explanatory and the second one is directly linked to expenses. The higher the error margin, the fewer people you will need to survey. Likewise, the lower the error margin, the more accurate your data becomes. Below is a table with populations with relation to the number of required respondents based on error margins:


3% error margin

5% error margin

10% error margin






























So for instance, if your target audience is ~1000 people, you will need 100, 350, or 810 respondents to constitute 10%, 5%, and 3% error margins, respectively.

4. Audience Targeting

It’s important to target the right audience with your surveys. You need to find a good mix between sample size and audience criteria. If the specifics of your audience are too narrow, it will get hard and expensive to find enough respondents. It’s often a good idea to take a large sample of respondents and use screening questions at the beginning to either qualify or disqualify the respondents.

Here is a screening question example: “How often do you use the XYZ product/service?”

Answers can be “Very rarely”, “Once every few days”, “Everyday”, “A couple of times a day”, “More than 3 hours a day”.

People who have answered “Very rarely” and “Once every few days” can be disqualified.

5. Decide on the Timeline

Just like with email marketing or any other communication channel, certain times are most convenient to reach out to your audience. In general, the best times are around 9-10 AM, 2-3 PM, and 9-11 PM. Of course, each audience may have its specifics, which you will need to implement.

6. Decide on the Survey Format

With the increase in mobile usage over the past several years, it would be unwise not to consider your respondents’ device preferences. In general, respondents tend to answer from a computer during the morning and afternoon, while using their mobile device in the late afternoon and evening. Again, you will need to apply the specifics of your target audience here, too.

One last, and crucial, thing to note is that you need to actually listen to your respondents. If you send out a survey and disregard the data you receive, customers may simply choose to never respond to your surveys again, or worst case, turn to a competitor. After all, why bother with a brand that asks your opinion and doesn’t do anything to address your challenges, needs, and wants?

Net Promoter Score Surveys

The NPS survey is a widely used market research metric that usually takes the form of a single question:

“How likely are you to recommend our company to your friends and colleagues?”

It helps businesses determine the loyalty of their customers, and also understand the likelihood of repeat purchases. If a customer is likely to recommend your business to a friend, chances are he or she will keep using your products/services in the future. 

Why Are Net Promoter Score Surveys Important?

NPS gives your organization the data to quickly understand how customers feel about your business and respond to negative feedback. For example, you could organize a workflow and send discount coupons to unhappy customers, or have your customer support specialist give them a call and inquire about their needs regarding your product/service. If you can deliver a personalized approach to individual customers and resolve their issues, you’ll have a high chance to turn them into loyal customers that will continuously generate revenue for your business.

The NPS survey is a very straightforward way for brands to find out whether they are doing a good job for their customers. When it comes to word-of-mouth, both positive and negative feedback spreads faster than forest fire via social media, forums, and online reviews. And just so you know, it takes 40 positive customer experiences to make up for a single negative online customer review.

NPS surveys are extremely quick, quantifiable, standardized, and benchmarkable. It’s just a single question that provides essential data that can easily be turned into a metric. It is a well-known standard of knowing and improving customer loyalty and is used by many top brands like Apple, American Express, Netflix, and Amazon. Finally, NPS allows you to understand where you stand regarding the competition. Since everyone is using it, you can easily measure your company’s performance both internally and externally. 

Net Promoter Score Survey Questions Overview

The NPS survey is typically based on a single question, which measures the respondents’ likelihood of recommending your business to others. Customers rate their answers on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 stands for “Not at all likely” and 10 for “Extremely likely”.

Below is the methodology of classifying the respondents’ answers:

  1. 6 and below (Detractors) – Unhappy customers. There is a high chance that they will hurt your reputation via negative word-of-mouth. These customers are your top priority to contact and offer benefits.
  2. 7 to 8 (Passives) – Satisfied, yet indifferent customers that may be converted by competitors. These customers could use a small benefit or two, just to push them towards staying loyal to your brand.
  3. 9 to 10 (Promoters) – Your most loyal customers. These customers are highly likely to keep buying your products and services, as well as recommending your business to others. Show them some love!

How to Calculate Your NPS:

  • Send the NPS survey to your target audience.
  • Download all the responses into an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Within the spreadsheet, segment your respondents into Detractors, Passives, and Promoters.
  • Calculate the percentage total of each group. Simply divide the number of each group by the total number of respondents, and multiply the result by 100.
  • Subtract the percentage total of Detractors from Promoters, and you’ll get your NPS.

Your final figure will be a percentage, but since the NPS is usually shown as a number, your NPS will simply be the same, just without the “%”.

NPS surveys shine when you’re consistent with them. For example, you can automate your NPS surveys after each sale, or email the questionnaire to customers once every 3 months. This will help you monitor your progress regarding the improvements to Detractors and Passives, as well as understand the feelings of new customers towards your brand.

It's worth noting that the NPS isn’t equal for all brands and industries. For example, if your NPS is 33 out of 100, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing bad. You’ll first need to find the average NPS of your industry, and compare it to yours.

Marketing Surveys

As a marketing specialist, you have a lot of objectives to keep track of. Marketing surveys can help you gather insights on topics like customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, customer behavior, buying habits, competitor analysis, etc. 

Why Are Marketing Surveys Important?

It’s no secret that customer experience plays a key role in any business’s success nowadays. According to statistics, 74% of consumers are likely to make a purchase based on experience alone, and they would gladly pay 16% more just to enjoy a better customer experience. 


  • $1.6T is lost by businesses in the US due to poor customer experience. 
  • 32% of customers will stop doing business with a brand after just a single bad customer experience.
  • 84% of customers feel more confident about making a purchase after talking to a brand representative on the phone, compared to doing their own research online.

If you’re looking to deliver a world-class customer experience, first and foremost, you’ll need information. A well-designed marketing survey can help you understand where your customers are, what their needs are, and what expectations they have from your brand. 

Marketing Survey Questions Overview

Depending on the information you’re looking for, marketing surveys can be drafted and used in a variety of ways. Here are some of the most profound strategies:

1. Content Marketing Research - Surveys are an excellent, cost-efficient method of gathering content ideas and transferring those to your audience via their preferred communication channels. If you know what type of content your audience is interested in, it makes converting them into leads infinitely easier. Similar to any other survey, the questions will vary according to your survey goal. For content research surveys, the goals include generating media coverage, raising brand awareness, generating leads, increasing traffic, converting leads, or boosting engagement. The survey questions should look like this:

  • Which type of marketing or advertising content is most likely to catch your attention online?
  • How likely are you to permanently stop using a product or service because their marketing or advertising was unappealing to you?
  • How likely are you to click on ads online? (answers are based on the Likert scale - Very likely, Somewhat likely, Neither likely nor unlikely, Somewhat unlikely, Very unlikely).
  • Which type of marketing or advertising theme is most likely to catch your attention? (possible answers - happy, sad, scary, touching, sweet, etc.)

2. Customer Information - While it’s a well-known fact that knowing your audience is essential, many businesses still don’t have this information. Marketing surveys can help you gather insights on customer demographics, buying behavior, and the likelihood of recommending your brand to others. The latter is also known as the NPS (Net Promoter Score) that we have discussed above. This information will help you fine-tune your pricing, messaging, and advertising campaigns, and improve your overall marketing strategy. Here are a couple of examples:

  • What is your age? - You can either ask respondents to input their answers directly or give them a range (20-30 years old, 31-40 years old, etc.)
  • How often do you shop for X products? - The “X” specifies the products/services you’re interested in. Depending on the product, the answers should be similar to “twice a week, twice a month, once a month, very rarely, etc.”
  • How likely are you to recommend our brand to a friend? - The answer should be based on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 stands for “Not at all likely” and 10 for “Extremely likely”.

3. Brand Awareness - Raising brand awareness is good, but measuring the extent of your efforts and understanding the ROI is even better. Brand awareness surveys are designed to help you understand what customers really think of your brand, and whether they associate it with corresponding products/services that you offer. The questions should look like this:

  • What is the first brand that comes to mind when thinking about X product/service?
  • Which brands do you recognize from the list below?
  • When you’re looking to buy X product/service, which brand comes to mind? (this question can work both as an aided and unaided question.
  • Which of the below-mentioned aspects influenced your choice? (answers include availability, price, quality, personal experience, recommendation, etc.)
  • Have you seen X product advertised in the last month?
  • Please rank the below factors in order of importance when shopping for X product/service. (Answers can be brand, convenience, recommendations, price, etc.)

Sometimes, like when you’re expanding into a new market, it's a good idea to mix in a few basic customer demographic survey questions - age, gender, and income - at the very end, just to get a little extra information and save some time. 

To learn more about brand awareness surveys, read: The Beginner's Guide to Brand Awareness Survey Questions 

What Are Employee Surveys & How Do They Help Businesses?

Employee satisfaction is one of the key success factors for any modern organization. Loyal, happy employees drive the most sales and effectively push the cart to the finish line each time you’re undertaking a new project. Also, replacing existing employees can be quite costly for a business. To put things into perspective, replacing an individual employee can cost about two times their annual salary. This happens because turnover has many hidden costs that do not appear on your spreadsheets.

Why Are Employee Satisfaction Surveys Important?

Employee satisfaction surveys allow you to learn about many aspects of your team’s work, all of which lead to higher employee morale, satisfaction, and engagement with your organization. It’s important to check whether the benefits that your company provides – wellness programs, pay, career development, work environment, etc. – resonate with your workforce.

However, even the benefits may not be everything. For example, respectful treatment of all employees is the number one employee satisfaction factor in the US, a survey conducted by the Society of HR Management. The more you know about your employees, the easier it is to make them feel satisfied and appreciated. 

Employee Satisfaction Survey Questions Overview

A well-designed employee satisfaction survey should touch on all of the below-mentioned points:

  • Compensation – See if your employees are happy with their paychecks.
  • Financial benefits – These include retirement accounts, life insurance, savings, debt control, financial advice, etc.
  • Inclusion and belonging – The philosophical approach to work (as seen by the employee), these questions include topics like challenges, stress, expectations, professional growth, micromanagement, your company’s brand, how likely the employee is to start looking for another job, etc.
  • Overall company benefits – These include work-life balance, workplace flexibility, paid leave, and day-offs, etc.
  • Health benefits – This covers health insurance and all related topics like filing claims, finding a doctor who is acceptable by the health plan, etc.
  • Career development – These questions cover training and education, and professional growth opportunities presented by your organization.
  • Work environment – This is about personal impact at the workplace, diversity, corporate culture, social responsibilities, workplace safety, job security, etc.
  • Manager/supervisor performance – A lot of the time, employees quit because they were unhappy with their supervisors. Ask employees whether their supervisor is attentive, easy to talk to, provides feedback, rewards for good work, provides guidance and advice, etc.
  • Team performance – These questions include topics like team member professionalism, their skills, honesty, responsibility, team meetings, team communication, internal criticism, fair distribution of responsibilities, change management, team size, etc.

After getting the questions together, it’s important to ensure that your employees will honestly respond to all the questions in the survey. For this, you will need to ensure three things:

  1. Employee confidentiality – First, make the survey anonymous so that each employee will have no second thoughts on how to answer the questions.
  2. Clear language – Make the questions easy to understand. Don’t try to use fancy wording, you’re not trying to impress people with your literacy level.
  3. Wording consistency – Keep the wording consistent between surveys and from year to year. This will make it much easier for employees to subconsciously remember the question since they have seen it before, and be more likely to give an honest, detailed answer. In addition, you want to be measuring the same aspects of your organization’s performance to quantify the improvements. 

The Business Case for Consolidating Survey Solutions   Get the Infographic

4 Rules for Writing Survey Questions

There are four key rules for writing the wording of survey questions, three relating to the respondent and one to the researcher. The survey questions must collectively answer the research and business questions that the study was commissioned to deal with, in a fair and non-biased way.

The four rules for writing survey questions are:

1. The respondent must be able to understand what the question is asking. This means using language that is clear and intuitive. It means asking questions that are sufficiently specific. For example, don't ask "How much do you earn?, be specific, "What is you annual income before taxes and stoppages?"

Unclear questions are the number one menace of surveys and the main reason why companies don’t achieve desired results with the help of surveys. Creating survey questions may seem simple, especially if you already know the survey goal, however, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind:

  • The questions (and their answers) need to be crystal clear - This means that there can be no mistake or no possible alternative way to understand or answer the question. 
  • Respondents can’t read your mind - When writing a survey question, some aspects may seem very logical to you since you’ve been thinking about them for quite some time. However, it may not be the case for your respondents. For instance, if you ask “How much do you earn?”, clearly thinking that the answer should be the annual income before taxes, some respondents may reveal a different figure, like income after taxes, or monthly income. Instead, you should be asking “What is your annual income before taxes and stoppages?” There is no way to go wrong with this one. 
  • Short sentences and easy wording - If you’re using complicated wording, there is a high chance that respondents will simply leave the survey. If you’re asking two questions in a single sentence, you will often get greased, incorrect answers. Furthermore, some of your respondents may have limited English skills and understanding. You need to use language that is clear and intuitive. It means asking sufficiently specific questions.

2. The respondent must be willing to answer. Not everybody is willing to say how much they earn; even fewer are willing to say if they have recently cheated on their partner. Making it clear that the data is anonymous and indicating why the question is being asked will normally increase the number of people who are willing to answer a question. Adding a 'Prefer not to answer' can help avoid some respondents leaving the survey when they reach a question they are unwilling to answer.

Sensitive topics include income, personal life, personal preferences, etc. Even though such questions may get skipped, your goal is to get the respondents to answer as many questions as possible. For this reason, you need to make sure they do not leave the survey. Making it clear that the data is anonymous and indicating why you’re asking a question will normally increase the number of people who are willing to answer a question, and reduce churn. Also, adding a “Prefer not to answer” option will help avoid some respondents leaving the survey when they reach a sensitive question they are unwilling to answer.

3. The respondent must be able to answer the question. There are several different reasons why a respondent might not be able to answer a question, and all of these reasons should be kept in mind when designing questions. One category is when the respondent knows they don't know. For example, "What is the speed of the internet connection to your home?" is a question that many people do not know the answer to. Some questions are inconvenient to answer, for example the question "How many tins of food do you have in your home?" would normally require that people be at home whilst they do the survey and be willing and able to go to the relevant room(s) to find out how many tins they had. A key category is where the respondent does not know their own motivations, for example "How important is taste versus convenience versus price to you when buying tinned fruit?" - this sort of question usually requires an indirect method of questioning such as conjoint analysis or regression to estimate the respondents motivational structures.

4. The researcher must be able to interpret the meaning behind the answer. For example, the question "Was the train clean and on time?" is fairly easy for the respondent to answer. If the answer is Yes, the researcher knows what is being conveyed. However, if the respondent answers with a No, their train might have been late, or dirty, or both.

Why Panelists Respond to Surveys

Respondents are the lifeblood of survey research. Without them, we literally can't do anything. But we do tend to take them for granted, often thinking of them as "sample" rather than people. They are people, however, like you or me. And for some reason, they choose to do our surveys.

Why they choose to do the surveys is important to understand because panelists are not cheap to recruit and, depending upon how rarified they are, often are difficult to find.

In order to better understand why people respond, we conducted a study with a nationally representative sample of 1000+ Americans.

What we found was that people do surveys because they want to make a difference; they want to be your trusted advisor. And in return, they want to learn about new things and know that they are being listened to and valued.

Here are five key finding from the study:

  1. Respondents do surveys because they are curious;
  • 95% agree "I enjoy learning about new things and products when I do surveys"
  1. Respondents want to be good citizens;
  • 89% agree "I feel like I am doing my part as a good consumer and citizen when I provide feedback"
  1. Respondents want to help and be respected;
  • 87% agree "I feel like I am being a trusted advisor when I provide feedback to a company on their products"
  1. Respondents want feedback;
  • 86% agree "I love it when I see the results of a survey I participated in"
  • 62% agree "I sometimes wonder if anyone ever really even sees and uses the feedback I provide through a survey"
  1. They are in it for love, and not just the money.
  • 36% agree "I am too busy to take surveys unless I am paid"

Let's sum up what we've learned with three recommendations for strengthening your relationship with your panelists:

  1. Test "new" ideas, offers, anything novel with respondents - they value it.
  2. Provide feedback from surveys, they love it and it reassures them that you are listening.
  3. Tell them they are trusted advisors and show them how they make a difference.

Here's to your relationship: may it be mutually rewarding and enduring.

Effective Survey Design Process

Depending on the size of your organization and the types of surveys you are doing, you may have noticed it can be difficult and time consuming to get multiple people to agree on what questions to ask in a survey.

To help you manage your time, below is the representation of the most effective survey design process that works for all types of surveys. It involves six steps. 

1. Define Survey Objectives and Target Groups

As we have already mentioned, it’s extremely important to focus on a single survey goal and target the right audience, who will be interested in completing the survey and providing their honest feedback. If it’s a repeat survey, make sure to keep the questions, language, and format consistent to be able to compare survey results in the future. Finally, decide on what you’re going to do with the survey results. For example, if the objective is to measure brand awareness and you’re planning to adjust your communication strategy based on the results, questions on how respondents usually get informed about changes and how to best reach them can be added at the bottom of the survey.

2. Drafting Survey Questions and Ensuring Anonymity

It would be ideal to organize discussions with the members of your target group to identify the key issues. Once you have identified these issues, translate them into questions and answers, and add other questions, as needed. Make sure to keep the language simple and clear. Try to keep the surveys short (15-20 questions) to maximize the response rate and respondent concentration. Your survey should also have a short cover letter where anonymity and the survey purpose will be explained. Lastly, ensure that respondents can report problems. 

3. Pilot and Re-adjust the Survey

Before sending it out to the masses, choose a small sample out of the whole group and test the survey with a soft launch to identify weaknesses (bugs, incorrect/unclear questions, and answers, lack of interest, etc.). If possible, ask volunteers to think aloud when considering the questions and answers. Re-adjust the survey as needed before proceeding. 

4. Sample Size and Data Collection Method

It’s important to have the right number of respondents for your survey. Assuming that you’ve done your targeting correctly, a sample of 1,000 respondents is enough to understand the views of the people regarding almost any subject. However, this number should be adjusted based on the response rates that you have had in the past. For example, if your response rate average is 50%, it’s better to survey 1500-2000 respondents to achieve the desired results. Please note that more isn’t always better here. With a 100% response rate, 1000 respondents are enough.

The data collection method (phone surveys, email surveys, online surveys, etc.) is another important aspect to consider, and it may vary depending on your target audience. Ideally, you need to use the data collection method that your audience is most comfortable with to maximize response rates. 

5. Run the Survey

When running the survey, it’s a good idea to send three follow-up emails to non-respondents to maximize the response rate. Depending on your audience and organization, more than three follow-ups can be appropriate. 

6. Analyze the Results

When analyzing the results, remember that all the answers should be regarded as perceptions, not facts. Take into account the response rate - if it’s lower than 20%, a generalized conclusion would be wrong to draw since your survey would be biased. Also, consider the non-respondents and try to reach out to them - why didn’t they respond? Would they have responded if the survey was designed differently? What can you do to have them respond in the future? Finally, remember that surveys are never completely accurate, even with a 100% response rate. Combine the survey results with other data sources to draw the correct conclusions.

Survey Design: Lists, Grid & Rank

Think mobile first. Designing your surveys with small screens in mind makes the overall experience better for everyone on any size screen, reduces tediousness, and can improve your data quality.

Read on for some easy-to-implement tips for list, grid and rank questions.

LISTS: Single and multi choice

Lengthy single or multi choice questions require people to scroll a lot to see the full list. Not fun. And it can reduce data quality because people are most likely to select items from the top of the list.

Rules for lists:

  • Write a short list. No more than 10, and ideally 7.
  • Split larger answer lists across multiple questions.
  • Keep individual answers short and obvious (30 characters or less).
  • Only use images if adding engagement value or absolutely necessary.

GRIDS: Single and multi choice

Grids are too large to display on a mobile device, so an alternative interface is displayed. Some research has shown that grid questions are answered differently on a mobile device, which impacts your data quality.

Avoid large grid questions by:

  • Using a multi choice question instead of a long grid. For example, ask “which attributes do you associate with brand X” and repeat it for each brand, rather than asking people to “select the brands you associate with the following attributes”.
    Or breaking the grid up into individual questions. “Select the brands you associate with being stylish”.
  • Keep your scale short (3 point scale, with answer assigned to each point) is preferable over a 10 point anchored scale. See post about the shorter scale debate.
  • Try a multi choice list question rather than a grid. Instead of asking in a grid "How satisfied are you on a scale of 1 to 10 with these attributes" you could just ask "Which of these attributes are you satisfied with?" in a multi choice question. And if you want to look at dissatisfied too, you can mask the satisfied attributes and ask "Which of these attributes are you DISSATISFIED with?" in the next question.
  • On a multi-choice grid, we have seen more attributes selected on a mobile device, because the interface is different, so it's best to avoid them altogether.

RANK: order sort

Lengthy rank order sort questions can be difficult to navigate on mobile devices as not all items to be ranked are shown on a single screen and will require scrolling. Scrolling can lead to people forgetting the options they can’t see, which results in inaccurate rankings.

Use a different way to get at the same data:

Instead of asking people to ‘rank the 3 most important’, show people a list and ask them to “select the three most important’. And then ask them to indicate which of these three are most important and least important. You get the same data, but it is easy to answer (and to program).

If you must use rank, optimize by:

  • Having people select just those attributes that are important to them. Then ask them to rank just those items selected. Ideally, allow people to select all that matter to them (or set a limit at 7). The number of things selected is an important part of the information captured by selection.
  • Limiting the number of items to be ranked to no more than what can be seen without scrolling (typically 7 short items).
  • If items are long/difficult to understand, use no more than 5.
  • Keep the items to be ranked concise and ideally only a single line which is 30 characters or less including spaces.

What You Need to Know about Mobile Surveys

Mobile happens. Whether you know it or not, every survey you send out will have someone answering it, or attempting to answer it, on a mobile device. If people can't do the survey on their device of choice, when they want to do it, what kind of bias are you introducing to your sample? You need to make sure the online survey platform you are using fully supports mobile.

There are many different online survey platforms and many of them claim to have support for mobile responding. Some offer specific mobile "skins" but beware— not all surveys taken on a mobile device are created equal. In most cases the provider modifies their existing interface so that the survey is "feasible" on mobile. At least the respondents can answer the survey, right? If you were offered a gourmet meal, but could only eat it through a straw, would that be good enough?

What's needed for mobile is a responsive web design. This is an interface designed in such a way that it can easily be viewed on any device without requiring the user to zoom or scroll excessively. When presented with a responsive web design, the survey respondent should easily be able to view the survey questions and with minimal interaction easily answer the questions. How do the mobile survey solutions you're using stack up?

When evaluating a mobile solution don't just take the provider's word for it, ask to see the survey on a mobile device. Make sure to try and answer it and take note of any annoying interactions. They will annoy your respondents as well, and it will affect your research.

With the rise of mobile usage, companies were forced to adopt mobile communication and usability, or risk becoming obsolete. According to statistics, there are close to 5.3 billion mobile users around the globe, accounting for close to 67% of the total population, and this figure has a 2.3% annual growth rate. Ignoring mobile is a big mistake. It’s a necessity for every company, whether you’re targeting an older population, younger audiences like Gen-Z, or developing countries where the internet is primarily accessed via mobile. Expand your reach, improve response rates, and decrease survey completion time.

In the future as more and more people move towards mobile devices for the majority of their interactions, having an excellent mobile user experience for respondents will be essential. Mobile happens. Are you ready?

Mobile First Survey Design

Today’s empowered customer chooses whether or not to respond to surveys or join insight communities. We know how valuable their feedback and input can be. So, it makes sense that we solicit their input on any device they want, when they want. And, more than ever that means mobile devices.

Here are four reasons why mobile is a must:

  1. Your community experience is part of your brand experience. So maximize every touchpoint.
  2. Most emails are opened on mobile and emails are almost never saved and reopened. How many people are you losing when they cannot go straight to your study and have a good experience?
  3. Millennials, Gen Z, Spanish-speaking Americas, and Business Decision Makers— these four important and hard to reach groups are heavy into mobile. If you don’t optimize for mobile, how will you reach them?
  4. Data quality suffers if the respondent’s mobile experience is a poor one. If you want to make good decisions based on the data collection, you should ensure that the data coming in is the best it can be.

Your customers make the choice whether to engage with you or not, and many of them love mobile. If you don’t optimize for mobile, who is going to lose out? You have to connect with your customers where they are, when they want, on the device they want to use. And, today that means mobile is a must.

12 Tips for Mobile Survey Design

  1. Be concise. Write less. The questions need to be short. There is only so much text that you can comfortably fit on a smartphone screen. Remember we said that your survey questions need to be short? Well, they will need to be even shorter for mobile.
  2. Always test on a mobile device.
  3. The answers should be easy to select.
  4. Survey length should be 3-5 minutes max. Limiting the number of questions in your mobile survey will improve the overall experience. Try to stick to 10 questions or fewer per survey to maximize response rates and efficiency.
  5. Use shorter scales. Great, Ok, Not Great is a lot easier to interpret for people participating and in your analysis.
  6. For single or multi-choice, split larger answer lists across multiple questions.
  7. Avoid tedious grids whenever possible. Interesting alternative: Instead of agree/disagree statements, just ask which do you agree with? Second question is: and which do you disagree with (excluding the agreed answers).
  8. Avoid rank order. Use selection instead.
  9. Limit open ends. Typing on a mobile device isn’t the most convenient thing in the world. Most users will not think twice before skipping open-ended questions, so make sure to minimize their amount for convenience and data collection efficiency.
  10. Avoid drop-downs altogether. iOS users will have to press 3 times more to respond to drop-down questions.
  11. Use images only when necessary to keep the survey design clean and improve load time. Avoid cluttering the survey with any unnecessary information, decorations, or other design elements. Keep the logo small but visible and stick to a minimalistic design. All images and the survey itself should be as light as possible. Large images will not fit on the screen properly and force users to scroll from left to right to read the questions. Also, lighter files load faster, contributing to the overall user experience.
  12. If you wouldn't do the survey, then don't launch it.

What Are Video Surveys?

And Why Should You Use Them?

A video survey is a qualitative research survey with one or more embedded video questions.

Brands use video feedback in surveys to collect qualitative insights. Videos that demonstrate your customers’ perceptions and motivations through the most personal type of insight give life to the voice of your customers to build customer empathy and influence strategic business decisions. Video surveys are preferred by C-level executives and boast 90% information retention thanks to the visual content. 

Video feedback is a powerful way to tell the consumer story. These metrics speak for themselves as video insights provide:

  • 6x more content than open end text feedback
  • 12x more feedback than text/photo content
  • Customer stories are 22x more memorable than statistics
  • 90% retention of information since information absorbed by the brain is visual
  • 59% more preferred by Executives than other modes of feedback
  • 2x faster feedback than traditional in-person qualitative feedback sessions

The advantages of video survey questions are undeniable. You'll get authentic, unfiltered responses straight from the source. 

Use video surveys to get rich qualitative understanding. Asynchronous video capture eliminates moderator bias and groupthink. Get real-time feedback, in moments you care most about. Reach people in their own environments, driving authenticity and empathy.

How to leverage video in surveys

You can use video research technology that enables consumers to share their experiences via short, self-recorded videos as an alternative and/or augment to your traditional research.

Choose a survey platform that provides an end-to-end video solution that gets you closer to your customers by overcoming the barriers to traditional video.

This takes the pain out of video analysis with automated transcription, tagging, data passing, search and filter, and sentiment and theme categorization.

Breathe life into quant studies with a simple integration and make qual studies easier than ever before. 

Video will help your brand actually see and hear the people behind the data, driving customer-centric decisions through agile, engaging video research.

With Alida Video, collecting qualitative insights through video responses has never been easier. 

Videos that demonstrate your customers' perceptions and motivations through the most personal type of insight gives life to the voice of your customers to build customer empathy and influence strategic business decisions.

Collect faster, richer qualitative feedback by combining the power of video with Alida survey functionality like targeting, logic, and segmentation to get authentic and impactful responses from those who matter most to you.

Alida Video is a value-added functionality to Alida Sparq and Alida Surveys. The functionality is wholly integrated so customers can enjoy a seamless experience in managing all aspects of Alida Video from the Alida CXM & Insights Platform.

Easily capture customer-recorded Alida Video, uncover authentic, deep insight, and inform stakeholders and decisions at the speed of business, all in a unified platform.




With Alida Video, you can:

  • Capture powerful insights with the click of a button
  • Accelerate time to insight
  • Analyze feedback efficiently
  • Share powerful stories with your stakeholders
  • Understand customer experience
  • Humanize the customer feedback process
  • Gain unparalleled insights
  • Create impact by bringing the voice of the customer to life

To learn more about Alida Video, visit

How to Collect Customer Feedback with Alida Surveys

Would you like to collect broad feedback from your customer audience and external markets? Alida Surveys is an enterprise-grade survey tool designed with 20 years of best practices with all the functionality brands need to build and distribute a survey, and then analyze results in an intuitive interface.

Alida Surveys offers brands a comprehensive and intuitive ad hoc solution so that they can learn about their customers’ experiences in a way that uncovers undeniable truths that need action. To earn customer trust and loyalty, brands deploy Alida Surveys to hear the truth in their customers’ voices and to make decisions with them, not for them.

Alida Surveys offers an enterprise-grade survey application with all of the functionality you need to build a survey, distribute it, and analyze results in an intuitive interface all while providing an engaging respondent experience on desktop and mobile.

Our survey creator enables organizations to choose from 25+ survey question types that offer an engaging respondent experience on desktop and mobile. All of the functionality you need to build a survey, distribute it, and analyze results is available in an intuitive interface.

With Alida Surveys, you will be able to:

  • Launch interactive surveys on any device and in multiple languages.
  • Apply advanced tools (including text and sentiment analysis and weighting) for critical insight on customer segments.
  • Create and share reports or export in various formats for fast, in-depth analysis.
  • Shorten the time to collect actionable data by using our activity templates or by customizing and building your brand’s own personal and shareable template library.





  • Surveys (25+ question types)
  • Advanced Question Types (e.g. MaxDiff & Conjoint)
  • Reporting & Analysis
  • Text Analysis
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Statistical Significance Testing
  • Email, URL or QR code distribution
  • Mobile App
  • 36+ languages
  • Support for any device
Whether looking to source feedback about customer satisfaction, user experience, product innovation, brand loyalty, or any other business critical initiative that requires direct customer feedback, Alida Surveys has the flexibility and depth of features to turn feedback needs into actionable data.

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