Customer surveys are a great way to get feedback from your customers, but unless you ask the right questions, there’s no point in sending them out. A survey that asks the right questions, the right way, and is sent to the right audience will encourage people to answer and answer truthfully.

You’ve got to be strategic with your survey questions to discover what your customers think about the topic you’re asking them about. Here are a few ways you can boost responses from your customers and find out what they think.

Make People Feel Special for Responding

It starts by expressing a genuine appreciation for your customers’ participation in the survey. They’re taking time out of their busy days to answer questions about you, your brand, and your products, so thank them up-front.

Let them know you “want to know what you think” to demonstrate that you value your customers’ opinions. Explain how their feedback will directly impact your product development or roadmap, the content you’ll send them, and more. Try to be as specific as you can so they understand how you’ll leverage their responses to deliver even more value to them in the future.

Tell them how long the survey will take, so you reinforce the fact you respect their time. For example, at the top of the customer survey form, you could say, “we’ll need 10 minutes of your time.” Be sure to test out how long it takes by having someone else take the survey before you send it out.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

An open-ended question requires more than a yes or no reply. They encourage customers to be thoughtful about the question and their answers and may provide you with unique information you hadn’t thought of before.

The downside to open-ended questions is that you may get extended answers that don’t tell you much. Plus, it’s hard to filter and sort through if you’re creating reports from the surveys. You can avoid long answers by putting a character limit on the text field in your survey form. Some WordPress survey plugins will let you display the limit so people can moderate their replies accordingly.

Bonus tip: Vary the number of open-ended questions in your survey to avoid boring customers as they go through the survey. Research shows that 45% of survey takers are willing to spend up to five minutes completing a survey, while only a third are willing to spend up to 10 minutes.

Filter Responses with Fixed-Choice Questions

Long answers can help you uncover new insights, but fixed-choice questions can help you sort through them more quickly. Customers will have to choose from pre-selected options in the response list, and that’s it.

They’re faster to complete because there are only a certain number of choices people can make. Yes or no, multiple-choice, rating scale, and Likert scale questions are all designed to make it easier for people to respond and move on to the next question.

Likewise, fixed-choice questions also make it easier to filter the responses because, like the respondents, you’ll know what to look for. You can set your report for whatever pre-determined option you included in the question and filter the responses quickly.

Keep Surveys Relevant

Be mindful of the time it takes to complete the survey by adding options to “skip” questions that don’t apply to customers. Let them tell you if it applies or not and use that information in future surveys. Add a screening question to filter people based on their previous responses and keep them engaged with the survey.

Depending on the length of your survey, you could also add a “come back later” feature if you realize it’s a long commitment to finish it, but you want their feedback. They may be more likely to come back and complete the survey.

Good survey tools have the flexibility to add survey logic rules that let you create multiple pathways to the end of the survey.

Follow Up with Respondents

Once the deadline for your survey has passed, follow up with customers who responded to let them know the results. Most people wonder what happens to the information they send companies they deal with, so close their curiosity loop and let them know. Customers feel valued when you tell them the results because they see that you heard them and acknowledged them. Plus, if you send them the results, it increases the likelihood they’ll respond to future surveys.

Customers love telling their favorite brands what they think about them, good or bad. Crank up the useful information for your brand and company by creating better surveys. Ask better questions that get to the heart of what you want to know. Make your customers feel valued and acknowledged with each survey, and you’ll have a customer for life. Use these tips to improve the quality of your customer surveys and increase your survey response rates today.