Customer Survey Package

I’m about to show you that with your next customer survey, it is possible to generate satisfaction rather than just measure satisfaction.

Let’s consider the customer’s perspective first.

Do any of the following 3 scenario’s sound familiar?

1. Imagine you have just started dinner and the phone rings…

You pick up and it’s someone asking you to partake in a market research survey.

Do you leap at the chance?

2. Imagine you are out and about and get asked to fill in a satisfaction survey…

You get half way through, does it suddenly occur to you how pointless the questions are?

Maybe it occurs to you “surely they will get so little usable information back they really shouldn’t have bothered!”

3. Imagine you get emailed a link to a survey with a free prize at the end…

So you start it, expecting it to take 2 or 3 minutes, but it turns into a 25 minute marathon, so you rush blindly through the rest of the answers just to qualify for the prize.

And then you get to the end and you realise it’s not a free prize, it’s the chance to win a free prize, so you get angry because you’ve wasted your time for no reward.

And just as bad, you’ve provided them with a useless response anyway because you didn’t even read most of the questions.

Sound familiar? (I’m looking at you Subway).

There are 2 major problems with Customer Survey’s these days:

  1. The customers experience is horrible. Most survey’s are boring and feel pointless
  2. The whole point of them is to provide actionable information to aid business decisions, right? Well, they they fail dismally at that

Well, I have good news for you, there is a better way.

There is a way to generate satisfaction with a survey rather than just measuring satisfaction.

  • Do you want to know more about what turns on your customers?
  • Do you want to explore opportunities to grow your customer base, or sell more to your existing customers?
  • Do you want to identify defects in your service that you can fix immediately?
  • Do you want to be customer-led and pro-active rather than fall behind your competitors?
  • Do you want to take action from the results rather than just file them on a shelf somewhere to get dusty?
  • Do you want to craft questions that won’t bore your clients to tears?
  • Do you want to ask only the most important questions because you know people will get bored if there are more than 10?
  • Do you want to motivate your customers to provide you with full answers rather than tick-the-box responses?
  • Do you want to communicate to your customers that you really care about their responses?

If you answered “Yes” to these questions, then this is for you.

This Customer Survey Package Is Not For You If…

If you already have a good feeling for what your results will be and just want the data to back up your hunch, walk away now.

I have zero tolerance for that crap.

I’ll strip back your questions to the bare basics and give your customers every chance to answer in the way they want to rather than how you or your boss wants them to answer.

This way you’ll actually get results you can take action on, rather than ones that can immediately start to accumulate dust on a shelf somewhere.

Do you need to pretty much copy the questions from previous years so you can show statistical improvement?

Too bad. I don’t care about the past. I just care about how your customers today can help you adapt to the customers in your future.

So leave your past behind and let’s tap into your customers minds and future-proof your business today.

Q: “How Much Does it Cost?”

  • $1800.00
  • No hosting fees

Q: “What’s involved?”

We will start with a short meeting. I will ask you questions such as:

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What action will you take if the results show x, or y?
  • What questions do you think we should ask?
  • How will you invite customers to fill it in? (eg by email invitation, hyperlink on your website, or advertising)
  • What incentive will you provide for them to fill it in? What’s in it for them? (“Out of the goodness of their heart” will only get you so far)

Geeky Technical Stuff

  • I use open source software. My favourite is Lime Survey (check out the demo) or Google Forms or Survey Monkey
  • If your website is on an Apache server running php and MySQL, I can host the survey on one of your sub-domains eg
  • Otherwise, I will host the survey on one of my subdomains eg, or we could purchase a new domain for your survey if you are really serious

Want to Find Out More?

    Your Name: *

    Your Email: *

    Your Phone: *

    Your Website:



    Is Honesty Really The Best Policy? Honest Marketing Even When The Truth Hurts – A Case Study

    I just helped put together a “customer satisfaction survey” for a client.

    (P.S. I used Open Source survey software – Lime Survey.  I use open source, free software whenever I can to save money for my clients.  But I don’t put up with crap. If it’s free and good quality, then I’ll use it. If it’s free and crap quality, I won’t. It’s that simple)

    Here are the 4 challenges I faced, and how I overcame them:

    • Challenge #1: Generate A High Response Rate
    • Challenge #2: Rewrite The Questions In A Way That Motivated The Respondents To Answer Them
    • Challenge #3: Generate High Quality Responses That We Can Do Something With
    • Challenge #4: Decide How To Publish The Results That Serves Our Goals For Both Current Students And Prospective Students

    Challenge #1: Generate A High Response Rate

    Don’t you hate it when you put blood sweat and tears into a customer survey (or any other marketing campaign at all for that matter), only to get a few responses back?

    I sure do. What a waste of time.

    For this customer satisfaction survey, we sent out 280 invitations and got 179 responses. That’s a response rate of  63.8%.

    Do you think that’s good? I sure do.

    Part of the reason for such great results might be because this group of people is particularly willing to help improve the programme.

    But here are 3 more ways I helped boost that response rate:

    Radio Buttons Example

    The survey was easy, fast and short:

    • Easy: Only a couple of closely related questions on each page. Every question was optional so there were no annoying pop-up boxes of errors when they tried to go to the next page.
    • Fast: I used radio buttons wherever I could, so the respondents could have their say with just a click.   And for the free-text fields, the size of the text-box indicated how short or long we wanted their answers to be
    • Short: A progress bar at the top let them know how much long the survey was. I kept the questions to a minimum. We didn’t really need their contact details “just in case” so we didn’t burden them by asking for that information.


    Plus, I used my word-smithing skills to ensure the respondents that their responses weren’t going to end up in a report that gets glanced at once and then ends up on a shelf somewhere to gather dust (subtle techniques that I won’t describe here).

    Challenge #2: Rewrite The Questions In A Way That Motivated The Respondents To Answer Them

    Seems obvious doesn’t it?

    But have you ever been suckered into participating in a survey that doesn’t seem to care about your motivation?

    Have you quit half way through in disgust (because of the time you’d wasted up to that point), or blundered through (paying little attention to the quality of your answers) simply because you didn’t want the entire session to be a complete waste?

    I bet you have.

    Here’s an example of how I rewrote a question to motivate the respondents to answer it:

    Old Question: “Rate the following out of five: ‘The programme has helped me develop my knowledge, skills and attitudes’  1 2 3 4 5”

    New Question: “Apart from learning about Management, how else has the programme helped you? (Eg confidence, knowledge). What have you done since joining the programme that you would not have considered before? (Eg applying for that Management role). Tell us your story.”

    You might be thinking “that question is huge, no one will bother to read it, let alone answer it!”.

    Well, if you thought that, you’re dead wrong.

    143 responded to that question (a whopping 79.9% of the respondents).  The average response was 42 words (6000 words in total).

    And we got a huge amount of very quotable responses and an invaluable insight into why people choose the programme.

    Challenge #3: Generate High Quality Responses That We Can Do Something With

    Why spend so much time and effort conducting a customer satisfaction survey and then let the responses get dusty on a shelf somewhere?

    This was our opportunity to ask our customers what changes we should make to the way we operate. But first, we had to ask questions in such a way that management would know exactly what needed to be done when those results came in.

    We met that challenge by providing an appropriate combination of quick response questions and long answer questions and stimulated thinking and a high level of response.

    Interestingly, in previous paper based versions of this survey, the responses to the long answer questions were short.  In this online version, responses were much bigger and of much higher quality.  Many were 300 words+ for a single answer (that would be over a page if it was hand-written).

    It was a lot for us to read, but full of very useful information.

    Challenge #4: Decide How To Publish The Results That Serves Our Goals For Both Current Students And Prospective Students

    How did we serve both our current students and prospective students?

    We published many of the results online so that when current students come accross them, they can see that we listen carefully to what they have to say.  And for prospective students, they see unedited testimonials regarding the quality of the programme.

    Is Honesty Really The Best Policy?

    The first few paragraphs of the webpage for the survey results is shown in the screenshot below:


    As you can see, we started with the bad news “what our students have told us to work on” which talked about spelling mistakes, poor grammer, punctuation and formatting in the course materials.

    Why did we do this? 3 Reasons:

    1. This level of honesty is rare. It get’s peoples attention. Normally, when survey results as released to the public, they are edited and the unpleasant bits are either removed or watered down.
    2. It provides contrast to the rest of the page which is a list of 230 positive comments that students made about the programme
    3. It has positive effects on both target groups. Current students know that we listen to them.  Prospective students see that we listen to current students and they trust us because we don’t hide the truth, and therefore they are more likely to join us as students

    May I help you put together a satisfaction survey or market research project like this?

    Talk to me, by email, or phone (07) 575 8799.


    Sheldon Nesdale.