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Customer Feedback

11 Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Feedback Surveys

March 10, 2023

Crafting effective customer feedback surveys is an art. To get feedback from your customers, you must think like them and make their feedback experiences smoother than they may be expecting. 

  • What are the types of questions that your customers would be more willing to answer?
  • What is the perfect length of the survey questionnaire that would encourage customers to share feedback?
  • How to make your surveys more engaging?
  • How to correctly phrase the questions so you can capture actually helpful and relevant feedback?

There’s a lot you must take into consideration when creating feedback surveys that your customers would actually want to take. The more effective you are when creating survey forms, the more insightful data you will be able to capture.

To make it easier for you, we have listed and explained the common mistakes that companies make while creating surveys. Make sure to read each point carefully and create the perfect surveys that would help you fetch super useful customer feedback.

Let's now read in detail about each survey mistake and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Not Setting the Survey Goal Clearly

You cannot precisely build an effective feedback survey if you do not know what you’re looking to achieve in the first place. So, set down the goals of your feedback strategy to be able to clearly understand what is it that you wish to ask your customers.

For example, if you are looking to measure customer service experiences, you would use a CES survey questionnaire. If you wish to get more data on leads to increase conversion, you can use attribute and product feedback surveys and strengthen your business development function.

Make sure to begin with defining your goals as well as what kind of feedback would be required from your customers to achieve those goals.

2. Creating Long Questionnaires

The attention span of humans can be as low as 8 seconds. This means that if you create long survey questionnaires, chances are that your survey participants would leave the survey halfway. If you want your customers to not only take your survey but also complete it, make sure to create short surveys with no more than 4-5 questions.

And as discussed above, if you set clear survey goals, you would be able to create separate surveys for each goal and be able to capture critical feedback with just a few questions.

Streamline Customer Feedback Management with Actionable Insights

Build omnichannel experience for your customers and collect feedback throughout customer journey to improve satisfaction, loyalty, and engagement with Zonka Feedback.

3. Not Mentioning the Time to Take Survey

If your survey audience doesn’t know how long a survey is and how much time it would take to share feedback, they may not be willing to take or complete the survey. However, if you clearly specify the number of questions and expected time to fill out the survey, they would know what's coming. And this can dramatically improve your survey response rate.

You can mention the number of questions and the time to take the survey right on the survey welcome screen. You can also add a progress bar so respondents can see how many questions are still remaining.

4. Asking Double-Barreled Questions

A double-barreled question is a big No when creating feedback surveys since they focus on more than one thing at a time and leave customers confused. This affects the quality of responses and also leads to a poor feedback experience for your respondents.

This is an example of a double-barreled question:

How would rate the customer service and agent’s performance in helping you resolve your issue?

This question focuses on two things at a time: the customer’s effort in doing business with you and the agent’s performance when resolving the customer’s issue. So, if a customer had a pleasant customer service experience overall but is specifically not happy with the agent’s attitude, they may not be able to report the same with a single question (in this case, a double-barreled question).

So, what you can do instead is ask for feedback on each customer service aspect separately. This question can be broken down into two questions:

  • How would you rate the customer service experience with our brand?
  • How would you rate the agent’s performance while helping you resolve your issue?

Each question clearly specifies what you’re looking to understand from your customers, and would, therefore, help you capture feedback that is actually useful.

5. Asking Leading Questions

This is one of the most common mistakes people make when looking to build customer feedback surveys. A leading survey question already consists of information that you may be expecting from your survey respondents, which creates bias and affects the feedback quality negatively. Here’s an example to help you understand better:

How amazing was our product?

This is a leading question that hints at the product being amazing. It’s almost like telling your customers that the product was amazing, which then affects the genuineness of customer feedback.
Instead, here’s what you can ask in your feedback survey:

How would you rate the product on a scale of 1 to 5?

This is a simple and clear question that allows respondents to share their level of satisfaction with the product, thus helping you generate clear and genuine feedback.

6. Not Branding Your Survey

When you send a feedback survey via a third-party survey tool, the survey is usually sent with the survey company’s logo and URL/domain. And when your customers come across such survey requests, they may not pay any attention to them since they do not recognize the brand. This can make your survey participation rate take a hit.

To prevent this, you can brand your surveys with your own logo, URL, color palette, background image, etc. This would encourage your survey participants to take the survey and will also improve brand recall.

7. Asking Irrelevant Questions

Let’s understand this with an example. If you ask your customers who haven’t even subscribed to your newsletter what more they would like to see in the monthly newsletters, it would be completely irrelevant and would also create a bad feedback experience. Therefore, you must be very careful about whether or not the survey questions are relevant to your customers.

To ensure that your customers only answer relevant questions, you can use survey logic. A survey logic ensures that the survey participant only sees a question that is relevant to them based on their answer to the first question. For example, if a survey is gender-specific, the first question of the survey may ask the respondent to select their gender. Based on their responses, they would see the next question that is completely relevant to them.

8. Not Optimizing Surveys for Mobile Devices

Most people today use mobile phones to browse and make purchases. Whether it’s ordering groceries, booking flights, buying clothes, etc., everything can be done easily on your mobile device. Similarly, to fill out feedback surveys, most of your customers may use mobile phones. So, make sure your feedback survey is optimized for mobile devices including phones, tablets, iPad, etc.

This not only improves the survey experience but may also increase the survey response rate since phones are more accessible.

9. Asking Vague Questions

Vague questions get vague answers. So, if you’re looking for clear, helpful feedback, make sure to clearly and specifically phrase your questions. Here’s an example of a vague survey question:

How was your experience?

In this question, it isn’t clearly specified what experience the surveyor is referring to. This can end up confusing the customers. Instead, what you can ask in your survey is:

Please rate your shopping experience on our website on a scale of 1 to 5.

This question clearly specifies what the brand is looking for. Similarly, customers would take one look at the question and would know they need to share feedback on their online shopping experience. This can improve the response quality multifold.

10. Not Including Open-Ended Questions

Usually, brands would include as many closed-ended questions as possible to reduce the effort of sharing feedback. And while selecting answers from a list of choices is easy for customers, they may also appreciate it when they can share the feedback as it is.

An open-ended question consists of a comment box where the survey participant can write their answer in their own words. This helps you understand the actual sentiment of the customer behind the feedback, which can help get to the root of common challenges faced by customers. Moreover, open-ended questions make customers feel heard and valued and feel as if they are sharing their issues with a real person.

Here’s an example of an open-ended question:

Please share feedback on your recent medical consultation at our facility in your own words.

11. Not Personalizing Surveys

Would you always be equally enthused to share feedback if you get the same old questionnaire every time you make a purchase with a brand? Wouldn’t it feel like a bunch of surveys being sent out automatically to people as they make a purchase? Once you realize this, sharing feedback doesn’t remain motivating anymore.

This is exactly what happens with your customers. When you send out a plain, boring survey questionnaire, customers may feel as if they are talking to a robot. And if they don’t feel heard, what’s the point of sharing feedback?

This is why you need some personalization in your surveys. There are some simple things you can do, for example, address your customer with their first name or specify the exact product that they purchased to collect feedback on it. This communicates to your customers that each survey is created with real human thought put into it, and encourages them to be more vocal. This may also increase your survey response rate dramatically. Here’s an example of a personalized survey:

Hi Ross! Please rate your recent purchase of King Mattress on a scale of 1 to 5.


It doesn’t matter that you collect customer feedback at all touchpoints if your feedback survey forms aren’t effective enough. Each of your surveys should be optimized so your customers are encouraged to share feedback and put thought into their answers while writing them.

This article perfectly summarizes everything you must keep in mind when creating surveys. Make sure to bookmark this page and come back when you’re creating a customer survey next.

I hope it was helpful!

Streamline Customer Feedback Management with Actionable Insights

Build omnichannel experience for your customers and collect feedback throughout customer journey to improve satisfaction, loyalty, and engagement with Zonka Feedback.



Written by Bhawika

Oct 10, 2022

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