Do’s and don’ts of gaining customer feedback online

In today’s increasingly multi-channel customer contact environment, many companies are now trying to utilise the online channel to gain customer feedback. In fact technology’s impact on the voice of the customer is of growing influence.  But in order to maximise the value we need to understand how online surveys differ from traditional surveys? What are the considerations for online surveys? In order to help companies maximise the value of that feedback and provide help with online surveys we have pulled together a simple checklist of tips for online surveys.


  • Implement research standards that ensure the questionnaire is customer friendly and that the findings will be actionable – this is true whether online or offline.
  • Remove the scroll bar to stop customers scrolling through the questionnaire and skipping questions.
  • Make navigation simple (use forward and backward buttons where appropriate).
  • Use a progress bar to let people know roughly how much of the questionnaire they have completed so far.
  • Make the questionnaire’s “look and feel” complement your corporate branding as people want to trust where the information is going.
  • Keep it short, sweet and to the point. Customers will usually spend 10 minutes on online surveys, strangers will spend only half that time.
  • Make sure the questionnaire works on all the major browsers.
  • Ensure pages load quickly – too many fancy graphics and people will leave the questionnaire
  • Use drop down options where possible – typed responses are not only a chore for the respondent but can also stray off the point.
  • Try to put more than 1 question on each page as it will make the questionnaire appear shorter
  • Let customers know what you are going to do with the data.
  • Ideally tell them the findings and what you are going to do because of them. It tells people you value their input and encourages them to provide more feedback in the future.


  • Make them have to scroll down the page to complete questions as it makes the questionnaire look longer and nobody wants to complete a long questionnaire. It can lose up to 8% of people on every page they have to scroll down.
  • Use option grids to complete a question. Between 10-15% of respondents will drop out when faced with a grid.
  • Make respondents download extra software in order to complete the questionnaire.
  • Use animations – it all takes up valuable time.
  • Run the survey without first piloting it.
  • Offer incentives unless absolutely necessary. They can generate multiple submissions, and attract professional competition entrants who are interested in the incentive only and not in helping you improve the service.

Obviously each piece of research is unique and the above online survey guidance should be taken as guidelines only. But perhaps the most important point is whether the customer feedback is gained online or through other means, the greatest value to the customer is that the findings are acted upon, and that they receive an improved service.

Take the next step

To discuss how to maximise the value of online customer surveys, please contact Customer Champions.

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