5 Options to Conduct Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Customer satisfaction market research is likely the most common form of market research conducted on a daily, week, monthly, and yearly basis. It involves the simple act of reaching out and asking customers for feedback, both good and bad. Then it is up to the organization or its market research vendor to analyze and report on the feedback.

Far too many organizations ask and collect feedback but do nothing with it. This happens far too frequently and is not recommend. One of the worst outcomes of customer satisfaction surveys is to collect feedback from customers and do nothing with it. Without any change or action, customers feel misled. When someone offers constructive feedback on a product or service, they expect the organization to listen and make changes to improve.

No action leads to dissatisfied customers, stagnant growth, and even declining revenues. Over time this will take its toll on your business because your competitors will eventually cater and make changes that catapult them ahead of you. Not doing any customer satisfaction is bad, but not taking action with customer satisfaction data is equally unhealthy for a business.

With this in mind, here are 5 different options to conduct customer satisfaction surveys. These options include: (1) email, (2) website, (3) mail, (4) phone, and (5) forms or comment cards.

5 Options to Conduct Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Thinking about using a customer satisfaction survey? Here are 5 options.

Option 1: Email

As we have written about a lot on this blog, no other methodology offers more advantages than an online or email survey. First, they are cost effective for all types of business. Second, the feedback is collected quickly. Sometimes this is as little as 24 to 48 hours. Third, the data quality is high and the data is representative. About 20 years ago, not everyone had an email address, so conducting a customer satisfaction survey with email-only customers incurred a lot of bias. Now, this is less of an issue.

The process for an email survey is simple. The process moves from kickoff to workplan, survey draft, programming, soft-launch, full-launch, invites, reminders, analysis, and reporting. Response rates vary from industry-to-industry and by client-to-client but you can expect to receive between a 2% and 15% response rate on average.

Option 2: Website

This is similar to an email survey but a little different. Here, the customer satisfaction survey is placed on your website or e-commerce site. Responses are reliant on your customers finding the form or the link to the survey. Another option is using a modal pop-up window to show the survey to a random selection of site visitors (1:5, 1:10, 1:25, etc.)

Unlike some of the other options in this list, website surveys are a bit more passive particularly if you do not use the pop-up. You’ll likely capture both customer and non-customer traffic on your site, so it is important to make the form or survey relevant for all audiences.

Option 3: Mail

A dated but still effective methodology. This involves sending out a cover letter and paper survey to your customers. They are asked to fill out the paper survey and return it to your business. Commonly, market research companies include a prepaid postage return envelope to make the reply as easy as possible. If you go this route, keep the survey short. We strive to keep our paper surveys one page (either front-only or front-and-back if necessary).

Option 4: Phone

Much like mail, phone surveys are very expensive. When comparing costs it is a simple as spending 5 seconds to click send to 10,000 customers through email versus paying for callers to dial through 10,000 records or paying for printing, assembly, and postage for 10,000 pieces of mail. The true benefit of phone surveys is it is the most active and personal methodology. Having a conversation with a customer over the phone generates plenty of depth and 2-way conversation that cannot take place online or through mail. With mail and online surveys you are at the mercy of how much or how little someone is willing to type.

Option 5: Form or Comment Card

The final option for customer satisfaction surveys is handing out forms or comment cards at locations. If you have plenty of foot traffic, this might be a great option. This option works well for restaurants and retail stores. The comment card can either be filled out at the table, dropped in a comment box on the way out, or mailed back to the place of business.


Think about using a third-party market research company to assist with your customer satisfaction research. Why? These firms have lots of experience, tools, know-how and can also ensure the feedback is confidential and anonymous. This helps with response rates and ensures customers who are both happy and unhappy (and everything in-between) share their feedback. If customers know there is no middle-man they are very likely not to be as honest or constructive with their feedback.

Contact Our Customer Satisfaction Survey Company

Drive Research is a market research company located in Syracuse, NY. We work with businesses across the country to assist with their market research needs. This includes all of the options above.

Interested in discussing more?

Contact us at info@driveresearch.com or call us at 315-303-2040.

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