Did you know that customers expect companies to anticipate their needs even before they ask for help?
But how is that possible?
— With customer feedback.
Customer Feedback is a great way to understand your customer’s needs, preferences, and expectations even before they ask for it.
However, the process to create an effective feedback process is time-consuming and takes a lot of research into designing the right survey with the right set of questions. But wait, there is a solution to that.
— Survey Templates.
They save you time in the survey-building process as you don’t have to create surveys from scratch.
So, let’s understand survey templates, their benefits, features of ideal survey templates, along with some free survey templates and survey questions designed for different purposes and industries to address different pain points.
What are Survey Templates?
Survey Templates are pre-designed forms that come with everything that you need in a survey – questions, different question types, customizable themes, and many other features.
They are a valuable tool when it comes to data collection – they save time, ensure consistency, and provide a structured framework for conducting surveys.
Now, that we know what survey templates are, let’s dig a little deeper into all the benefits it offers.
Benefits of Using Survey Templates
Here are some advantages of using survey templates:
- Time-Saving: Survey templates provide a pre-designed framework with ready-made questions, reducing the time and effort required to create a survey from scratch.
- Consistency: Templates maintain consistency in survey design. All questions and response options are presented uniformly, ensuring that respondents receive a standardized experience.
- User-Friendly: They are user-friendly, even for individuals with limited survey design experience.
- Variety of Templates: Survey platforms offer a variety of templates designed for different purposes, including customer feedback, employee engagement, market research, and more.
- Easy Customization: You can modify the questions, add new ones, and personalize the survey to suit your needs.
- Built-In Logic and Features: Features like skip logic, randomization, and branching options help optimize the survey experience for your customers.
- Data Analysis and Reporting Tools: Efficient survey platforms include built-in data analysis and reporting tools that facilitate the interpretation of survey results.
Whether you’re conducting market research or customer satisfaction surveys, using
templates can simplify the survey design process and enhance the quality of the collected.
Let’s now explore what an ideal survey template looks like.
What Should An Ideal Survey Template Have?
Follow these checklists to get an ideal survey template.
1. A Clear and Concise Goal
Before creating any type of survey, it’s essential to have a clear objective or goal in mind.
→ What is the purpose of this survey?
A clear goal will guide the entire survey design process, helping you determine the types of questions to ask and the audience to target. Without a clear goal, your survey may lack focus and not provide meaningful insights.
For example, with SurveySensum’s survey building platform, you can choose the survey template that matches your survey objective, this way you can create surveys and gather data that is useful to your goal.
So, make sure your surveys are
- Clearly defined survey objectives. Be specific about what you want to learn or achieve with the survey. Such as reasons for customer drop-off, satisfaction with delivery services, etc.
- Targets the right audience. Understand your customer’s demographics, preferences, and characteristics. This ensures that your survey is tailored to their needs and interests.
- Specific questions that you want your survey to answer and make sure that these questions are directly related to your survey objective.
- Specific and measurable research goal. For example, if your goal is to assess employee satisfaction, specify what aspects of satisfaction you intend to measure and establish quantifiable benchmarks.
2. Clear and Concise Questions
Imagine receiving a survey with a question like this
→ On a scale of 1 to 5, how much do you agree with this statement: ‘The product is somewhat good, but not terrible?
What do you think is wrong with the above question? Well, the use of vague terms like ‘somewhat’ and ‘not terrible’ leads to subjective and ambiguous responses.
The correct question here should have been
→ On a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rate the statement: ‘The product quality met my expectations.’
The questions in your survey should be easily understandable to the target audience. Clarity is crucial to avoid confusion, obtain accurate responses, and increase your response rate.
So, make sure your survey has the following:
- Simple language. Avoid technical jargon and complex vocabulary. Basically make it easy for the respondents to understand questions in one go.
- Short and focused survey questions. Each question should have a single, specific purpose. Avoid multi-part or compound questions that cover multiple topics.
- Pilot-tested questions. Test questions on a small group to identify any areas of confusion.
- Concise questions as ambiguous words will only confuse your customers and discourage them from providing their honest feedback.
3. Use Limited Questions
Let’s say you received a customer satisfaction survey on your recent smartphone purchase. You started answering the questions but after answering 10 questions you realized the survey had another page with another set of 10 questions.
Do you think you will be able to pay attention to it and provide your honest feedback? No, right?
According to Hubspot, an ideal length of a survey should fall within 5 minutes with around 4-5 survey questions.
This is why while gathering survey data is important, it’s also essential to maintain the survey’s length. A lengthy survey can lead to survey fatigue and reduced response rates. Prioritize the most important questions and keep the survey concise.
For example, this customer survey template was created on SurveySensum’s survey-building platform and has only 2 questions. The questions provided in the survey perfectly capture the overall satisfaction of the customer with only 2 simple and concise questions. So ask only what is required and not more.
Here’s how you can ensure that you have an ideal survey length:
- Prioritize your questions. Select questions that directly contribute to your survey goal. Avoid adding questions that do not provide valuable insights.
- Eliminate redundancy. Ensure that you’re not asking the same question in different ways or asking multiple questions that essentially address the same issue.
- Keep your survey concise. It’s a good practice to aim for a survey that can be completed in a reasonable amount of time. Longer surveys may lower response rates.
4. Structuring the Survey for Logical Flow
Imagine receiving a survey with no introduction and questions all scrambled up in such a way that the flow doesn’t make sense. Do you think you will be excited to share your feedback? No.
Your survey should make sense, it is as simple as that. Arrange questions in a logical sequence. The questions you are asking should flow naturally from one to the next, following a logical progression.
For example, this NPS survey created on SurveySensum has a logical flow. The survey asks the respondent about the likelihood of recommending a product to friends and colleagues on a simple 0-10 rating scale. And also provides an open-ended question for respondents to elaborate on their experience. So, for example, if a customer gives a rating of 9, then the open-ended question will be, ‘Please elaborate on your rating’. And if the respondent gives a 3 rating, then the open-ended question will be, ‘We are sorry about this. Please tell us what went wrong.’
So, make sure your survey has the following:
- Introductory or demographic questions at the beginning to ease respondents into the survey.
- Easy, non-sensitive questions at the start. These questions can help build rapport with respondents.
- Placement of similar topic questions together.
- Logical flow. For example, if a customer rates 9 on their experience then express gratitude and ask them to elaborate but if a customer rates 3, then apologize and ask them to share what went wrong.
5. Mix Different Question Types
There are different question types that you can use in your survey, such as MCQs, open-ended, rating scales, Likert scale, etc. Each of these question types serves different purposes. Multiple-choice questions are ideal for categorical data, while Likert scale questions capture attitudes and perceptions. A mix of different question types will provide you with a more comprehensive view of your survey objective.
So, make sure your survey has the following:
- Tailors question types to data needs. Choose question types that best capture the information you seek.
- Balance between closed and open-ended questions. Mix structured questions like multiple choice with open-ended questions for in-depth responses.
- Use of appropriate response scales. For Likert scale questions, use a balanced scale (e.g., from strongly disagree to strongly agree).
6. Keep Consistency in Survey Design
Consistency in design is a fundamental principle in survey design that focuses on keeping the visual and formatting elements of a survey uniform and cohesive throughout. It helps reinforce your brand’s identity by maintaining the same design elements as your brand’s other materials (e.g., website, marketing materials) can help strengthen brand recognition and association.
For example, with the ‘Appearance’ option in SurveySensum’s survey builder, you can easily customize the design of your surveys by adding a brand logo, customizing your font style and color, changing your background, and can also do CSS customization. This helps in creating a survey that matches your brand identity.
So, make sure your survey has the following:
- Consistency in the formatting of questions (e.g., font type and size, alignment, spacing) is the same throughout the survey.
- Use of consistent structure for questions. For example, if you use multiple-choice questions with radio buttons, stick to that format for all such questions.
- Same design template for all sections and questions, creating a unified and organized survey.
- The business’s logo, colors, and design elements are incorporated into the survey so that your customers will know the survey is from you.
7. Testing and Piloting Surveys
Before deploying the survey to the target audience, it’s essential to test and pilot it with a small group. This step helps identify any issues with clarity of your questions, survey flow, or technical problems which will help you make necessary improvements.
Here’s how to run a pilot test effectively:
- Choose a small, representative group of individuals to serve as pilot participants.
- Ask pilot participants for feedback on question clarity, survey flow, and any technical issues. Use this feedback to fine-tune the survey.
- Analyze the feedback you receive thoroughly. Look for common themes or issues, and pay special attention to problems with question wording, survey flow, etc.
- Make necessary adjustments to your survey, based on the feedback. This may involve rephrasing questions, reordering them, or fixing technical issues.
8. Significance of Anonymity and Confidentiality
The significance of anonymity and confidentiality in surveys cannot be overstated, as they play a critical role in ensuring the quality and honesty of the data collected.
In many cases, when respondents are assured that their responses will be kept confidential and their identities will remain anonymous, they are more likely to provide honest feedback.
For example, while launching surveys with SurveySensum, users have the option to create unique links to send to their customers. So, let’s say you want to conduct a pulse survey to understand the employee satisfaction levels of different departments in your company. But you want to maintain confidentiality between teams to avoid bias. Here you can generate unique survey links of the same survey for different departments. This way you can get a segregated report in the dashboard and also element survey bias.
It also helps minimize response bias, which can occur when respondents alter their answers to present themselves in a more socially desirable or acceptable manner.
So, make sure your surveys,
- Clearly define the level of anonymity and confidentiality that the survey provides. Provide it in the introduction itself.
- Explan of how the data will be used, who will have access to it, and how long it will be retained.
- Reiterates the assurance of privacy and confidentiality throughout the survey.
- Use techniques like aggregate reporting to further protect the identity of respondents when sharing survey results.
So, there you go! Your 8-step guide to creating a well-designed survey template ensures your survey is focused, user-friendly, and effective in achieving your survey goals. This approach helps to improve data quality, response rates, and overall survey experience for your customers.
Types of Survey Templates – Common
With SurveySensum, you can get a variety of survey templates. Save these templates to create well-designed surveys to measure and improve your customer experience.
NPS surveys are used to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction. The NPS survey is known for its simplicity and effectiveness in gauging customer sentiment. It typically consists of a single question:
→ ‘On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our product/service/company to a friend or colleague?’
So, a simple NPS survey template, like the one given below, can be administered as required.
CES surveys help businesses assess the level of effort customers need to put into a particular interaction with the company or while using a product or service. The key idea behind CES surveys is that reducing the effort required from customers to achieve their goals or resolve issues leads to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
CES survey question is simple and straightforward, often using a Likert scale:
→ ‘How easy was it for you to [complete a specific task or interaction]?’
So, a simple CES survey template, like the one given below, can be administered as required.
CSAT surveys are primarily used to measure customer satisfaction with a product or service. They are designed to collect feedback on a customer’s overall satisfaction with a specific interaction, transaction, or experience. They are short and straightforward, making them an efficient way to gauge customer satisfaction.
CSAT surveys commonly use a simple question format, asking:
→ ‘How satisfied are you with [the product/service/interaction]?’
So, a simple CSAT survey template, like the one given below, can be administered as required.
There you go! Three different types of survey templates, are made just for you. Just click on ‘save template’ and start designing your surveys.
Now, let’s see some survey templates based on different industries.
Types of Survey Templates – Based on Industry
Let’s explore some more survey templates, based on different industries. Each of these templates discusses different pain points of the particular industry across multiple touchpoints and provides possible survey questions to ask. So let’s dive in!
Discover the different pain points encountered in the retail industry and some potential questions you can ask for each of the pain points.
Discover the different pain points encountered in the SaaS industry and some potential questions you can ask for each of the pain points.
Discover the different pain points encountered in the NBFC industry and some potential questions you can ask for each of the pain points.
Discover the different pain points encountered in the automotive industry and some potential questions you can ask for each of the pain points.
Discover the different pain points encountered in the B2B industry and some potential questions you can ask for each of the pain points.
These questions can be incorporated into surveys for different industries across different pain points to create well-designed surveys and gather customer feedback to improve your customer experience.
Now, that we have explored the different survey templates, let’s now understand some of the common mistakes that need to be avoided in a survey template.
Common Mistakes to Avoid In a Survey Template
Let’s explore some of the common mistakes to avoid in a survey template.
1. Identifying Common Design Mistakes
Your survey design represents your brand. Mistakes in your survey design can create confusion among respondents and can create an unpleasant survey experience.
So, here are a few common survey design mistakes you should avoid:
- Lack of Consistency: Inconsistent design elements, such as varying fonts, colors, or formatting, can make your survey look unprofessional.
- Overly Complex Layout: A cluttered or complex layout can confuse respondents. Keep the survey layout simple and easy to navigate.
- Poor Question Organization: The arrangement of questions should follow a logical flow.
- Long Blocks of Text: Lengthy paragraphs or instructions can be overwhelming. Break them into shorter, and use bullet points or headings to improve readability.
2. Avoiding Bias and Leading Questions
Creating a survey without leading questions is crucial to ensure that the responses collected are accurate and unbiased.
So, here are a few common survey question mistakes you should avoid:
- Loaded or Leading Questions: Avoid phrasing questions in a way that guides or influences respondents to answer in a specific manner.
- Double-Barreled Questions: These questions combine two distinct inquiries into one, creating confusion. Split these questions into two separate questions.
- Assumption of Knowledge: Don’t assume that respondents possess certain knowledge or information. Provide context or explanations when necessary.
- Biased Language: Be cautious of using loaded terms or language that may evoke emotional responses or sway opinions.
3. Risks of Overloading Respondents
In the spirit of getting the most out of customer feedback, businesses often make the mistake of creating surveys with too many questions which eventually creates frustration among respondents.
So, here are a few common survey length mistakes you should avoid:
- Survey Length: Excessively long surveys can lead to respondent fatigue and high dropout rates. Prioritize questions and keep the survey concise.
- Repetitive Questions: Repeatedly asking similar questions can frustrate respondents and decrease data quality. Review your survey to eliminate redundancy.
- Complex Questions: Avoid using overly complex or technical language. Ensure that questions are easily understandable and not overly challenging.
- Too Many Open-Ended Questions: While open-ended questions can yield valuable insights, using too many of them can be overwhelming for respondents. Balance of open-ended questions with structured ones.
By being mindful of these common mistakes, you can create a more effective and user-friendly survey template. This, in turn, will lead to higher-quality data and a better overall experience for your respondents.
Let’s Wrap It Up!
Now that you know the importance and benefits of choosing the right survey templates for your industry, make sure you take them into consideration while designing your next survey. Because the key to gathering the right data starts with an effective survey template.
By effectively choosing and using the right survey templates, you can collect and analyze survey data in real-time and elevate your customer satisfaction. But in order to achieve this you need a robust customer feedback platform such as SurveySensum.
With SurveySensum’s advanced features and functionalities, you can create different types of powerful well-designed surveys to capture the raw and honest experiences of your customers and boost your customer satisfaction.