Customer satisfaction questionnaire: we have all answered them and we have all had enough and left them before reaching the very end. Perhaps the questions were unclear, too general, too specific, time-consuming, or just poorly written? We agreed to take the survey, happy to provide our input, thoughts and ideas to the business that seemed interested in hearing our opinion and willing to adjust and improve in order to meet our specific needs.


Instead we found that the survey questions were leading and that all resulted in standing ovations and excellent reviews of the organisation. This kind of survey only infuriates respondents, who will either leave the survey or provide you with useless data.


When you write your Customer Satisfaction Questionnaire you should avoid:

  1. Having restricted multiple choices. You create frustration for your respondents when you haven’t included an answer that they want. They have to provide an inaccurate answer, skip the question or quit taking the survey. Offer the option of “I don’t know” or “other” together with a box where the respondent can specify the answer.
  2. Asking two-part questions but only giving one response option. For example: “Were you happy with our menu and our service? Yes or no?” Perhaps the food was delicious but the service lousy; how can the respondents give an accurate answer in this case? Ask questions that give you ONE distinct answer.
  3. Asking too many questions. If respondents feel like they are being interrogated and you are pestering them with question after question, you can be quite sure that many will abandon the survey before reaching the end or they might just complete the survey without giving much thought to their responses just to get through it and hopefully get a reward for taking your survey.
  4. Forgetting the purpose of your survey. It is easy to get carried away and ask many questions just to get as much feedback and information as you possibly can. But remember that every survey must have a specific goal and the questions you ask will help you reach that goal. So don’t ask any unnecessary questions and make sure you ask the RIGHT questions. Remember, focus on your goal!


If you have followed the above advice on how not to write a customer satisfaction questionnaire, you will be able to collect useful and actionable data that will help you understand what it is your customers want and what you need to do to improve your business and satisfy your customers even more.