Should I Survey My Customers, Non-Customers, or Both?

When it comes to market research surveys, there are specific methodologies best conducted with customers and others for non-customers! Below are three survey project examples that reach either or both of these audiences. 

  • Option #1: Organizations may have objectives that are aligned with a customer satisfaction survey, which as you can probably guess focuses on customers. 
  • Option #2: Organizations may have objectives that are aligned with a competitive assessment survey, which focuses on non-customers.
  • Option #3: There are also brand equity surveys, which are ideal for organizations that want to get a better idea of how its current customer base fits into the market it serves.

With several survey options to choose from, it can be challenging to find the perfect methodology that is most aligned with the challenges and objectives of an organization. Our survey market research company can help steer you in the right direction!

Should I Survey My Customers, Non-Customers, or Both?

Believe it or not, there are specific market research surveys focused on collecting feedback from customers and others from non-customers. Find the type of survey best aligned with your objectives with the help of this blog post.


When is the right time to survey customers?

A rule of thumb in market research is to survey customers at least every 12 months. Some organizations may choose to only survey customers if they are making big changes such as introducing a new product or service, launching a new website, opening an online store, etc.

However, our survey market research company recommends collecting customer feedback on a more regular basis. In doing so, organizations are able to gauge how satisfaction scores change over time. 

For example, after conducting a customer survey in January, results showed an organization should reduce the wait-times when calling customer service. The organization hired more customer service representatives and paid close attention to how long customers were waiting on the phone before speaking with someone. 

The following January, the organization sent another customer satisfaction survey - including questions specific to customer service. After fieldwork was closed, the organization was able to compare results and measure if the added staff helped with customer satisfaction scores. 

There are a variety of methods for surveying customers. Examples include a yearly customer satisfaction survey, quarterly customer surveys, monthly new customer surveys, and ongoing customer surveys sent after an order is received.

Wondering when is the best time to survey customers? Learn more here.


What are yearly customer satisfaction surveys?

Yearly customer satisfaction surveys are ideal for nearly all types of organizations. These surveys likely include 25 to 35 questions and take 5 to 6 minutes to complete. 

Common yearly customer survey topics may include:

  • Overall satisfaction
  • Likelihood to recommend
  • Likelihood to switch
  • Ease of working with X company 
  • Importance of decision-making factors
  • Satisfaction with decision-making factors

The results from satisfaction survey provide organizations with a deeper look into the minds of their customers to provide strategies and next steps to better meet customers’ needs.

It is important that these surveys are conducted yearly so organizations can understand their progress and fine-tune strategies to enhance their ROI.


What are quarterly customer satisfaction surveys?

Quarterly customer satisfaction surveys are similar to yearly customer satisfaction surveys. These surveys likely include 20 to 30 questions and take 5 minutes to complete. 

Common quarterly customer survey topics may include key performance indicators such as:

  • Overall satisfaction
  • Likelihood to recommend
  • Likelihood to switch

A quarterly satisfaction survey is ideal for organizations that are in a fast-paced, highly competitive market. 

Knowing these surveys are sent four times a year allows organizations to understand how metrics change throughout the year and create strategies to increase their market share based on the customer feedback collected. 


What are monthly new customer surveys?

Monthly new customer surveys are ideal for organizations that have customers sign-up or join. These surveys likely include 15 to 20 questions and take 3 to 4 minutes to complete. 

Common monthly new customer survey topics may include overall satisfaction, likelihood to recommend, and more.

In addition to key performance indicators, these surveys also measure satisfaction with the sign-up process and gather initial feedback about their interactions with the organization. 

The results point to opportunities to make the sign-up process easier for new customers, show customers the organization cares about their experience and helps ensure customers are satisfied with the organization.


What are ongoing customer surveys?

Lastly, ongoing customer surveys are sent after an order is received. These surveys are ideal for organizations that want to better understand satisfaction with the purchasing process and how easy it is to work with the organization.

This may include high-volume online retail stores or specialty services/product vendors. 

These surveys likely include 5 to 20 questions and take 1 to 5 minutes to complete. Survey topics may include overall satisfaction, satisfaction with the last order, satisfaction with the purchase experience, and more. 


When is the right time to survey non-customers?

Competitive assessment surveys are a great way to survey non-customers. These surveys typically include 20 to 30 questions and take 5 minutes to complete. 

Non-customer survey topics may include:

  • Awareness of organizations in the market
  • Perception of organizations in the market
  • Usage of awareness in the market
  • What it would take to switch

This allows the sponsoring organization to better understand the market place and create strategies to better compete in the market. 

These surveys are typically conducted every 12 to 18 months to keep the pulse on changes in the marketplace. This gives organizations a leg up against the competition.

Learn more about common questions to ask in a non-customers survey.


When is the right time to survey customers and non-customers?

A brand equity study combines several key objectives from customer satisfaction surveys and competitive assessment surveys. These surveys typically include 20 to 30 questions and take 5 minutes to complete. 

Common brand equity survey topics may include:

  • Awareness of organizations in the market
  • Perception of organizations in the market
  • Usage of awareness in the market
  • What it would take to switch
  • Overall satisfaction with the organization currently used
  • Likelihood to recommend the organization currently used
  • Likelihood to switch
  • Ease of working with the organization currently used
  • The importance of decision-making factors
  • Satisfaction with decision-making factors

Similar to customer assessment surveys, brand equity surveys are typically conducted every 12 to 18 months to keep the pulse on changes in the marketplace. This study helps organizations get a better idea of how its current customer base fits into the market it serves.

This level of understanding of the market places helps organizations create effective strategies and next steps to improve customer satisfaction and better compete in the market. 


Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a national survey market research company located in New York. Our team has the knowledge and tools to execute both customer and non-customer surveys, depending on the objectives of your organization

Interested in receiving a proposal for a survey? Reach out through any of the four ways below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

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