In this Guide…

We’ll do better than give you a list of the ‘best voice of the customer questions’. We’ll help you understand what questions belong on any VoC survey at any touchpoint, in any journey.

Better still, we’ll teach you what scales to use, and more importantly how to put these questions to work for you in a VoC programme that delivers measurable financial results.

Here’s the good news:

There is a 100% guaranteed-to-deliver-results answer to the question “which questions should be on my VoC survey?

We’ve spent years helping teams all over the globe implement VoC programmes that measurably improve CX and revenue, and we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t.

But first, we need to clear up…

What do you mean when you say “Voice of the Customer survey”?

Three types of survey
Three Types of Survey
  • If you’re trying to do market research, you need to pause and talk to a professional.
  • If you’re just asking for reviews, the answer’s simple: just ask people how they feel!
  • But if you want the best customer service questions, because you want to run a Voice of the Customer programme that actively improves customer experiene… We’re here to help.

We’ve got a formula which you can apply to any VoC Survey, whether you use CustomerSure or not. Before we explain what it is, we’ll explain why it works, so come with us on a trip…

…to the Hi-Fi Store

Before founding CustomerSure in 2010, Guy was heading up a customer service department at the UK’s largest software firm.

Like you, he knew that greater satisfaction meant greater revenue, so he was committed to delighting every single customer. He tried everything to help his team deliver great service, but nothing seemed to really move the needle.

He threw countless initiatives at his team – away-days, ‘smile-as-you-dial’, customer feedback surveys, you name it, Guy tried it, but nothing really worked. Customer service was usually good or OK, occasionally poor, but rarely great.

Then one day, everything changed.

Guy needed to back up his family photos so he dropped into his local Richer Sounds for some friendly advice. He left shortly afterwards with a DVD recorder, and a satisfaction card that would change his life.

The questions on that card were:

  • Were we knowledgeable and helpful?
  • Did we have the item in stock?
  • Were you served quickly?
  • If you tried to contact us before visiting, was it easy?
  • Do you have any other suggestions?

They don’t seem like much, but Guy spotted immediately that these questions were brilliant. They were exactly what he wanted the store to be good at. No more and no less.

Just as important as what they do ask, is what they don’t ask.

They didn’t ask how he heard about them. They didn’t ask his age or what newspaper he read…

They didn’t ask questions they were interested in, they asked questions about the things that were important to Guy.

And they didn’t waste a second of his time on anything else.

This is the most important point to bear in mind when you’re picking your survey questions: What’s important to the customer?. In fact it’s so important, we’ve made it our golden rule.

Here’s how you can apply the golden rule to your own surveys:

How many questions on a VoC survey?

Nobody in the history of the world has ever complained that a satisfaction survey was too short.

They don’t even complain when they’re too long.

People just give up, and you never find out whether that customer is at-risk.

If you’re asking more than 5 scored questions it’s probably too many.

We looked at our data – millions of survey requests from hundreds of companies worldwide, and here’s how the number of questions on a survey affects abandon rate.

Abandon rate is lowest for surveys of 6-9 questions

People run for the hills if your survey is longer than 9 questions total, but around 6 is the ‘sweet spot’. Asking no more than 5 scored questions gives you a bit of breathing room.

Which Questions belong on a VoC survey?

The best way to put together a VoC survey is to work out which questions are right for your business, by examining your customer journeys, touchpoints and what your customers are looking for you to improve.

There’s no list of ‘perfect’ questions that work for all organisations, but we’ll guide you through the process of coming up with your own, and give you some templates to get you started.

1. What might need improving?

Ask yourself, “What is our business especially good at?

It’s important to think about why a customer chose you instead of a competitor in the first place. Because that reason is as important to them today as the day they chose you.

Do customers buy from you because you’re knowledgeable, friendly, fast?

What’s your secret sauce?

If standards have slipped, you’re at danger of losing customers who picked you based on those standards. So check that you’re not slipping by asking customers how you’re doing.

Use scored survey questions to understand how you’re doing against a customer’s expectations

Don’t worry about what scale to use for your questions. It doesn’t matter. And don’t chop and change your scale! The harder you make a customer think, the more likely they are to give up and go do something else.

2. Overall, how are you doing?

Ask one ‘make-or-break’ question to find out overall, if the customer is happy to stay with you or not.

Lots of people use Net Promoter for this purpose, but other metrics are available if it doesn’t suit you.

Overall satisfaction question

You don’t need to get fancy. You just need to know if you need to intervene – now – to keep this customer with your business.

3. Which Open-Ended Question Should You Ask?

By now, you’ll have grasped the secret:

  • Keep things simple
  • Follow the golden rule (focus on the customer).

Your open-ended question shouldn’t be about you finding the answer to something that’s important to you. There are other, better ways to do that.

It’s about making it easy for your customer to tell you what you need to do (or stop doing) to keep their business.

Our favourite Voice of the Customer example question is:

“What can we do to improve your experience with us?”

It’s short, simple and completely open. As your customer, I can tell you anything that’s on my mind.

It has the advantage that you’re giving me permission to be honest. And you’ve asked in a way that makes it easy for me to tell you without feeling awkward, and without worrying that I’m jeopardising our relationship, because I feel like you’re asking for my help.

You can vary the wording to fit your style and tone of voice, just keep the golden rule in mind.

Voice of the Customer Survey Templates

Now you should be comfortable making your own surveys for any touchpoint, but to illustrate the point, here’s a couple of ready-to-go templates:

Template two: VoC Survey for Manufacturing

What might need improving?

  • How would your rate the quality of our goods?
  • How would you rate our speed of delivery?
  • To what extent do we provide good value?
  • How well do we explain our specifications and features?


  • Would you recommend us to a friend or colleague? (NPS)


  • What can we do to improve your experience with us?

Template one: VoC survey after a customer support interaction

What might need improving?

  • How easy were we to contact?
  • How well did we understand your needs?
  • How well did we keep you informed?


  • How satisfied were you with the outcome? (CES)


  • What can we do to improve your experience with us?

You’re not quite done

You now know how to craft an amazing satisfaction survey that your customers will thank you for – but that alone isn’t going to add anything to your bottom line.

If you’re designing or refreshing a Voice of the Customer project, make sure you know exactly when to send your new surveys, and what to do with the feedback when it arrives.

And if you’d like someone who’s done all this hundreds of times before to help you through the process… We’d love to listen to your objectives and help you out with a free Voice of the Customer action plan.

This guide is also available in video form on our YouTube channel.

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