Surveying your mobile customers is a great way to find out more about who they are, what drives them back to your app, how they feel about your app, and what they’d like improved. Every customer has unique preferences, tastes, likes, and dislikes. Intuitively, customer individuality makes perfect sense. We’re all different.

Yet at the end of the day, many brands know little about their customers on an individual, human level. Even some of the most customer-centric brands are guilty of overemphasizing aggregate metrics, like star ratings, net promoter scores, and trends in retention and per-customer revenue. They trade unique characteristics, habits, and preferences of the customer as an individual for a big-picture view of the “customer” as an abstract concept.

This myopic viewpoint is not only flawed, but costly. When a brand combines individual customer data points to calculate such averages, it sacrifices the individuality of each customer. It sacrifices the knowledge of what drives brand affinity for the simplicity of data collection and management.

These are questions you can only answer by looking at the individuality of each customer:

  • What do they care about in your product?
  • How can you earn and maintain their business?
  • How can you prevent them from ditching your brand for a compelling alternative?

In short, what makes a customer a customer?

Here are five types of survey questions to ask to better understand customer emotion and sentiment, and lay the groundwork for a competitive advantage through a comprehensive understanding of your customers.

Five types of mobile survey questions

1. Gather product feedback

Do you know how your customers feel about your app? What about a particular feature you are planning to roll out or have rolled out? How do you know which feature will have the biggest impact on your customers?

If you haven’t considered some of these questions, you can use a survey to gather feedback from your customers on your product. Asking for feedback before building something ensures you are enhancing features that your customers will be excited about; understanding how a new release is affecting those who use your app ensures that you can keep those customers around. There is also an added bonus of your customers feeling heard and appreciated, which can also make them stick around longer!

Mobile survey, how would you rate this feature

2. Tap into situational feedback

Surveys are a great way to capture feedback on recent orders, interactions in your store or with a staff member, or your teams’ handling of a current moment.

For example, during the COVID pandemic, Apptentive customers have used surveys to ask their consumers for feedback on how they were handling business changes, what more they could do as a company, and what their customers wanted to see from them. These mobile survey questions include:

  • What can we do to help?
  • What do you need from us right now?
  • What are we doing right and should continue?
  • What are we doing wrong and should stop?
  • What are we missing that we should/could be doing?

3. Understand customer emotion

If you’re looking for a snapshot in time, a rating on a particular feature, or to track a satisfaction score over time, a survey can be a great solution.

Survey examples can include:

Mobile survey, NPS+

4. Improve beta testing

Once you’ve developed your beta tester persona, found your beta testers, and distributed the app with instructions on what you expect, you have to make sure this process will deliver the results you need. Surveys are a great way to ask beta testers for their input.

Consider questions like:

  • Overall, how would you rate the beta program?
  • Did you find it easy to know your responsibilities as a tester?
  • How easy was it to report issues you encounter?
  • Do you have any comments/suggestions for the beta program?

5. Feedback on ads

Surveys are a great way to measure the effectiveness of ads within your app, or to gather feedback for advertising partners. Depending on how you segment your customers base to determine which group is shown ads, a quick survey can help you understand how the ad landed. Even asking a question as simple as, “Do you remember seeing an ad from [advertiser name]?” can be enough to help you baseline its effectiveness.

Ad recall mobile survey

Mobile survey best practices

The data from a survey is only as good as the questions asked. How you phrase your questions and the answers you provide are both extremely important. Here are a few tips to create the most effective surveys:

  • Personalize your questions. Write questions that feel as if they are directed at each customer individually. Begin your questions with phrases like, “How do you feel about…” and, “What you do think of…” The importance of a survey is to hear what your customers think—there is no wrong or right answer.
  • Ask simple, direct questions. There isn’t a lot of real estate to use on mobile devices. Your survey questions need to be simple and direct.
  • Provide definite answers. The more specific your survey answers are, the easier it will be for you to analyze the data. Try to avoid number rating scales if you can as it is difficult to precisely gauge an app experience with numbers.
  • Capitalize on the “Other” answer. One of the most overlooked answers to many questions is “Other.” Where appropriate, including “Other” as a possible answer, followed by the generic “Please Specify” can be an incredibly useful method to learn something important from your customers you may not have expected.

Read more: More Mobile Customer Feedback = More Revenue