Blog Improve your user experience by listening to your customers.
survey questions 101

Survey questions 101: over 70 survey question examples + types of surveys and FAQs

January 23, 2020 by Hotjar team Research & Insights, Marketing

How well do you understand your prospects and customers? Do you know who they are, what keeps them awake at night, and what brought them to your business in search of a solution?

Understanding customers is the key to improving and growing your business—but you won’t be able to understand your customers unless you learn more about them. One way to do this is by asking the right survey questions at the right point in their journey.

This piece will give you a thorough overview of different types of survey questions you can use, how to word them for maximum effect, when and why to use them, and includes over 70 examples of effective survey questions for ecommerce, Software/Software as a Service (SaaS), or publishing companies.

Table of contents


Before diving into a list of questions (though you can skip right to it if you prefer), let’s cover a few survey question basics:

What is a good survey question?

A good survey question is one that helps you get clear insights and business-critical information about your customers, including:

  • Who your target market is
  • How you should price your products
  • What is stopping people from buying from you
  • Why visitors leave your website

With this information, you can tailor your website, products, landing pages, and/or messaging to improve the user experience and (ultimately) maximize conversions.

short-form-answer
AN EXAMPLE OF SURVEY QUESTION THAT, IF ASKED ON A WEBSITE PAGE, WILL GIVE ACTIONABLE ADVICE AND HELP YOU IMPROVE IT

Why is it important to ask good survey questions?

A good survey question is asked in a precise way at the right stage in the buyer’s journey to give you solid data about your customers’ needs and drives.

The format you choose for your survey—in-person, email, on-page, etc.—is important, but if the questions themselves are poorly worded you could waste hours trying to fix minimal problems while ignoring major ones a different question could have uncovered. We'll explore the dos and don'ts of good question writing towards the end of this article.

How to run your surveys

The format you pick for your survey depends on what you want to achieve, and also on how much budget/resources you have. You can:

  • Use a feedback tool and set up a website survey that pops up whenever people visit a specific page → useful when you want to investigate website- and product-specific topics quickly, relatively inexpensive
homepage-ecom-hotjar-poll-example
A website poll built with Hotjar and placed on Colgate's ecom website
  • Use a survey builder and create a survey that people can access in their own time → useful when you want to reach out to your mailing list and/or a wider audience (you just need to share the URL the survey lives at), has more space for people to elaborate on their answers, relatively inexpensive
survey-example.png
A survey built with Hotjar, about Hotjar, that we recently sent out to our website visitors

  • Place survey kiosks in a physical location where people can give their feedback by pressing a button → useful for quick feedback on specific aspects of a customer's experience (there’s usually plenty of these in airports and waiting rooms), relatively expensive to maintain
  • Run in-person surveys with your existing or prospective customers → in-person questionnaires help you dig deep into your interviewees’ answers, relatively cheap if you do it over the phone but more expensive time-wise if done in a physical location you need to travel to/from, and costly if done in a lab

To run both on-site surveys (that appear on a website page) and online surveys (that exist on a separate URL), you will need dedicated survey-building software like Hotjar. Here is what the dashboard looks like: after choosing the type of survey to run, you will be able to build and include as many questions as you want in the exact order you need them.

hotjar-survey-dashboard.jpg
Hotjar's survey dashboard

Build and send a survey today 🔥

Use Hotjar to build your survey, place it on your website or send it via email, and get the customer insight you need to grow your business.

Free forever. Get started!
hotjar survey

6 main types of survey questions

Before we dive into our list of 70+ question examples, here is a quick overview of the six different survey question types they belong to, with a few examples for each:

  1. Open-ended questions
  2. Closed-ended questions
  3. Nominal questions
  4. Likert scale questions
  5. Rating scale (or ordinal) questions
  6. 'Yes' or 'no' questions

1. Open-ended survey questions

open ended questions

Open-ended questions give your respondents the freedom to answer in their own words, instead of limiting their response to a set of pre-selected choices (such as multiple-choice answers, yes/no answers, 0-10 ratings, etc.). 

Examples of open-ended questions:

  • What other products would you like to see us offer?
  • If you could change just one thing about our product, what would it be?

When to use open-ended questions in a survey

The majority of example questions included in this post are open-ended, and there are some good reasons for that:

  • Open-ended questions help you learn about customer needs you didn’t know existed, and they shine a light on areas for improvement that you may not have considered before. If you limit your respondents’ answers, you can cut yourself off from key insights.
  • Open-ended questions are very useful when you first begin surveying your customers and collecting their feedback. If you don't yet have a good amount of insight, answers to open-ended questions will go a long way towards educating you about who your customers are and what they are looking for.

There are, however, a few downsides to open-ended questions:

  • First, people tend to be less likely to respond to open-ended questions in general because they take comparatively more effort to answer than, say, a yes/no one.
  • Second, but connected: if you ask multiple open-ended questions in a row during your survey, people will get tired of answering them, and their answers might become less and less helpful the more you ask.
  • Finally, the data you receive from open-ended questions will take longer to analyze compared to easy 1-to-5 or Yes/No answers—but don’t let that stop you: there are plenty of shortcuts that make it easier than it looks, and we explain it all in our post about analyzing open-ended questions. There’s even a free analysis template you can pick up directly on the page.

2. Closed-ended survey questions

Closed-end questions limit a user’s response options to a set of pre-selected choices. This broad category of questions includes:

  • Nominal questions
  • Likert scale questions
  • Rating scale questions
  • ‘Yes’ or ‘no’ questions

I’ll describe each in greater detail below.

When to use closed-ended questions

Closed-ended questions work very well in two scenarios:

  • To open a survey, because they require little time and effort and therefore are easy for people to answer. This is called the foot-in-the-door principle: once someone commits to answering the first question, they may be more likely to answer the open-ended questions that follow.
closed-open-survey-question.jpg
AN EXAMPLE OF COMBINING CLOSED-ENDED AND OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS ON A WEBSITE PAGE
  • When you need to create graphs and trends based on people’s answers. Responses to closed-ended questions are easy to tabulate and use as benchmarks; rating scale questions in particular (e.g. where you get people to rate customer service or website usability on a scale of 1-10—more on this below) allow you to gather customer sentiment and compare your progress over time.
hotjar-poll-results-trends
A visualization of survey results inside the Hotjar dashboard

3. Nominal questions

nominal questions

A nominal question is a type of survey question that presents people with multiple answer choices; the answers are non-numerical in nature and don't overlap (unless you include an ‘all of the above’ option).

Example of nominal question:

  • What are you using [product name] for?
    1. Business
    2. Personal use
    3. Both business and personal use

When to use nominal questions

Nominal questions work well when there is a limited number of categories for a given question (see the example above). They’re easy for people to answer and for you to create graphs and trends from, but the downside is that you may not be offering enough categories for people to reply.

For example, if you are asking people what type of browser they are using and only give them 3 options to choose from, you may have effectively alienated everybody who uses a fourth type and cannot tell you about it.

🔥Pro tip: you can add an open-ended component to a nominal question with an expandable ’other’ category, where respondents can add in an answer that isn’t on the list. When you do that, you’re essentially asking an open-ended question, because you aren’t limiting them to the options you’ve picked.

Which browser are you using?

  1. Chrome
  2. Safari
  3. Firefox
  4. Explorer
  5. Other (allows open-ended response)

4. Likert scale questions

likert scale questions

The Likert scale is typically a 5- or 7- point scale that evaluates a respondent’s level of agreement with a statement or the intensity of their reaction towards something.

The scale develops symmetrically: the median number (e.g., a ‘3’ on a 5-point scale) indicates a point of neutrality, the lowest number (always a ‘1’) indicates an extreme view, and the highest number (e.g., a ’5’ on a 5-point scale) indicates the opposite extreme view.

Examples of Likert-type questions:

  • How strongly do you agree with the following statement: [company’s] payment process is simple and painless.
    1 - Strongly disagree

    2 - Somewhat disagree
    3 - Neither agree nor disagree
    4 - Somewhat agree
    5 - Strongly agree

  • How satisfied were you with your customer service experience?
    1 - Very dissatisfied

    2 - Somewhat dissatisfied
    3 - Slightly dissatisfied
    4 - Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
    5 - Slightly satisfied
    6 - Somewhat satisfied
    7 - Very satisfied
on-site-survey-google
An example of agreement scale from google

When to use Likert scale questions

Likert-type questions are also known as ordinal questions because the answers are presented in a specific order. Like other multiple-choice questions, Likert scale questions come in handy when you already have some sense of what your customers are thinking. For example, if your open-ended questions uncover a complaint about a recent change to your ordering process, you could use a Likert scale question to determine how the average user felt about the change.

5. Rating scale questions

ordinal questions

Rating scale questions are questions where the answers map onto a numeric scale (such as rating customer support on a scale of 1-5, or likelihood to recommend a product from 0 to 10).

Examples of rating questions:

  • How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague on a scale of 0-10?
  • How would you rate our customer service on a scale of 1-5?

When to use rating questions

Whenever you want to assign a numerical value to your survey and/or visualize and compare trends, a rating question is the way to go.

A typical rating question is used to determine Net Promoter Score® (NPS): the question asks customers to rate their likelihood of recommending products or services to their friends or colleagues, and allows you to look at the results historically and see if you're improving or getting worse. Rating questions are also used for customer satisfaction surveys and product reviews (such as Amazon’s five-star product ratings).

Hotjar-tracking-NPS
An example of Net Promoter Score being tracked over time within Hotjar's dashboard

Tip: when you use a rating question in a survey, be sure to explain what the scale means (e.g., ‘1’ for ‘Poor’, 5 for ‘Amazing’).

6. ‘Yes’ or ‘no’ questions

yes no questions

These questions are super-straightforward: they require a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ reply.

Examples of Yes/No questions:

  • Was this article useful? (Yes/No)
  • Did you find what you were looking for today? (Yes/No)

When to use ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions

  • ‘Yes’ and ‘no’ questions are a good way to quickly segment your respondents. For example, say you are trying to understand what obstacles or objections are stopping people from trying your product. You can place a survey on your pricing page, ask people if something is stopping them, and follow-up with the segment who replied ‘NO’ by asking them to elaborate further.
sales-page-hotjar-poll-example-crop
  • These questions are also great for getting your foot in the door. When you ask a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question, it requires very little effort to answer. Once a user commits to answering the first question, they tend to become more willing to answer the questions that follow.

“Understand your customers’ pain points and then establish processes to reduce customer effort. The reason I am saying this is that customer pain points differ from one industry to another and even from one company to another.

Check the consumer complaints section of your website and identify the most common problems faced by customers. Read customer reviews on your website or on third-party websites to understand what customers say about your brand. Conduct a survey of your customers to identify the key aspects that you can improve to provide a better customer experience.”

70+ survey question examples

Below we collected a list of good survey questions that you can ask, and categorized them across e-commerce, software/Software as a Service (SaaS), and publishing.

You don't have to use them word-for-word, but hopefully seeing this list will spark some extra good ideas for the surveys you're going to run right after reading this piece 😉

9 basic demographic survey questions

You ask these questions when you want to get some context about your respondents (and also so you can segment them later). A tip from us: don't ask these questions for the sake of it—if you're not going to use some of the data points (e.g. if gender is irrelevant to the result of your survey), move on to the ones that are really useful for you, business-wise.

  • What is your name?
  • What is your age?
  • What is your gender?
  • What company do you work for?
  • What vertical/industry best describes your company?
    e.g. Ecommerce - Retail
    Ecommerce - Travel
    Ecommerce - Other
    SaaS
    Marketplace
    Agency/Consulting
    Lead Generation
    Other (Please specify)
  • What best describes your role?
    e.g. Manager
    Specialist / Team Member
    Associate
    VP Director
    C-Level Executive (CEO, CMO, etc)
    Other (Please specify)
  • In which department do you work?
  • What is the total number of employees in your company (including all locations where your employer operates)?
  • What is your company's annual revenue?
example-basic-question.jpg
An example of basic demographic question

20+ effective customer questions

Particularly recommended for ecommerce companies:

Before purchase

  • What information is missing or would make your decision to buy easier?
  • What is your biggest fear or concern about purchasing this item?
  • Were you able to complete the purpose of your visit today?
  • If you did not make a purchase today, what stopped you?

After purchase

  • Was there anything about this checkout process we could improve?
  • What was your biggest fear or concern about purchasing from us?
  • What persuaded you to complete the purchase of the item(s) in your cart today?
  • If you could no longer use [product name], what’s the one thing you would miss the most?
  • What’s the one thing that nearly stopped you from buying from us?

Other useful customer questions

  • Do you have any questions before you complete your purchase?
  • What other information would you like to see on this page?
  • What were the three main things that persuaded you to create an account today?
  • What nearly stopped you from creating an account today?
  • Which other options did you consider before choosing [product name]?
  • What would persuade you to use us more often?
  • What was your biggest challenge, frustration or problem in finding the right [product type] online?
  • Please list the top three things that persuaded you to use us rather than a competitor.
  • What other products would you like to see us offer?
  • Were you able to find the information you were looking for?
  • How satisfied are you with our support?
  • How would you rate our service on a scale of 0-10? (0=terrible, 10=stellar)
  • How would you rate our support on a scale of 0-10?
  • How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague? (This is an NPS question)
  • Is there anything preventing you from purchasing at this point?

30+ product survey questions

Particularly recommended for SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) companies:

Questions for new or trial users

  • What nearly stopped you from signing up today?
  • What would persuade you to use us more often?
  • How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague on a scale of 0-10? (NPS question)
  • Is our pricing clear? If not—what would you change?

Questions for paying customers

  • What convinced you to pay for this service?
  • What’s the one thing we are missing in [product type]?
  • What's one feature we can add that would make our product indispensable for you?
  • If you could no longer use [name of product], what’s the one thing you would miss the most?

Questions for former/churned customers

  • What is the main reason you're canceling your account? (please be blunt and direct)
  • If you could have changed one thing in [product name], what would it have been?
  • If you had a magic wand and could change anything in [product name], what would it be?

Other useful product questions

  • What were the three main things that persuaded you to sign up today?
  • Which other options did you consider before choosing [product name]?
  • What was your biggest challenge, frustration, or problem in finding the right [product type] online?
  • Please list the top three things that persuaded you to use us rather than a competitor.
  • Do you have any questions before starting a free trial?
  • What persuaded you to start a trial?
  • Which other options did you consider before choosing [product name]?
  • What other products would you like to see us offer?
  • Was this help section useful?
  • Was this article useful?
  • How satisfied are you with our support?
  • How would you rate our service on a scale of 1-10? (0=terrible, 10=stellar)
  • How would you rate our support on a scale of 1-10?
  • Is there anything preventing you from upgrading at this point?
  • Is there anything preventing you from purchasing at this point?
  • Is there anything on this page that doesn't work the way you expected it to?
  • What could we change to make you want to continue using us?
  • If you did not upgrade today, what stopped you?
  • What's the next thing you think we should build? (can be multiple choice)
  • How would you feel if we discontinued this feature?
  • What's the next feature or functionality we should build?

20 effective questions for publishers and bloggers

Questions to help improve content

  • If you could change just one thing in [publication name], what would it be?
  • What other content would you like to see us offer?
  • Was this article useful? (Yes/No)
  • How would you rate this article on a scale of 1-10?
  • If you could change anything on this page, what would you have us do?
  • If you did not subscribe to [publication name] today, what was it that stopped you?

New subscriptions

  • What convinced you to subscribe to [publication] today?
  • What almost stopped you from subscribing?
  • What were the three main things that persuaded you to join our list today?

Cancellations

  • What is the main reason you're unsubscribing? (please be specific)
  • What’s the one thing we are missing in [publication name]?
  • What would persuade you to visit us more often?
  • How likely are you to recommend us to someone with similar interests? (NPS question)
  • What’s missing on this page?
  • What topics would you like to see us write about next?
  • How useful was this article?
  • What could we do to make this page more useful?
  • Is there anything on this site that doesn't work the way you expected it to?
  • What's one thing we can add that would make [publication name] indispensable for you?
  • If you could no longer read [publication name], what’s the one thing you would miss the most?

🔥Pro tip: whichever questions you use, the qualitative data you get from a survey will supplement the insight you can capture through other traditional analytics tools (think Google Analytics) and behavior analytics tools (think heatmaps and session recordings, which visualize user behavior on specific pages or across an entire website).

While analytics tools will tell you what is happening on a page or website, replies to your survey questions will usually help you understand why it's happening. Combining the two gives you both the context you need to solve a problem or capitalize on an opportunity and plenty of inspiration about how to do it.

Build and send a survey today 🔥

Use Hotjar to build your survey, place it on your website or send it via email, and get the customer insight you need to grow your business.

Free forever. Get started!
hotjar survey

How to write good (and effective) survey questions: the DOs and DON’Ts

To help you understand the basics and avoid some rookie mistakes, we asked a few experts to give us their thoughts on what makes a good and effective survey question.

Survey question DOs

DO focus your questions on the customer

customer

It may be tempting to focus on your company or products, but it is usually more effective to put the focus back on the customer. Get to know their needs, drives, pain points, and barriers to purchase by asking about their experience. That’s what you’re after: you want to know what it’s like inside their heads and how they feel when they use your website and products.

“Rather than asking: ‘Why did you buy our product?’ ask ‘What was happening in your life that led you to search for this solution?’

Instead of asking: ‘What's the one feature you love about [product],’ I ask: ‘If our company were to close tomorrow, what would be the one thing you’d miss the most?’ These types of surveys have helped me double and triple my clients.”

Talia Wolf - Founder and Chief Optimizer at GetUplift

DO be polite and concise (without skimping on micro-copy)

micro copy

Put time into your micro-copy—those tiny bits of written content that go into surveys. Explain why you’re asking the questions, and when people reach the end of the survey, remember to thank them for their time. After all, they’re giving you free labor!

“You are asking your audience to take time out of their day to do free work for you, so you need to be warm, personable, and even a little charming to get them to want to help you.”

Momoko Price - Conversion Copywriter at Kantan

DO consider the foot-in-the-door principle

foot in the door principle

One way to increase your response rate is to ask an easy question upfront, such as a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question, because once people commit to taking a survey, they’re more likely to finish it.

“The foot-in-the-door principle helps you create a first point of contact with a person, laying the groundwork for the rest of your survey. Start with a small question, and build up from there. But be respectful: don’t use this principle to manipulate your users into doing something they didn’t want to do; and once they commit to helping you, don’t take advantage of their time.”

fio-hotjar.png

Fio Dossetto - Senior Editor at Hotjar

DO consider asking your questions from the first-person perspective

Okay, so we don’t do this here at Hotjar. You’ll notice all our sample questions are listed in second-person (i.e., ‘you’ format), but it’s worth testing to determine which approach gives you better answers. Some experts prefer the first-person approach (i.e., ‘I’ format) because they believe it encourages users to talk about themselves—but only you can decide which approach works best for your business.

“I strongly recommend that the questions be worded in the first person. This helps create a more visceral reaction from people and encourages them to tell stories from their actual experiences, rather than making up hypothetical scenarios.

For example, here’s a similar question, asked two ways:

Version 1: ‘What do you think is the hardest thing about creating a UX portfolio?’

Version 2: ‘My biggest problem with creating my UX portfolio is …’

The second version helps get people thinking about their experiences. The best survey responses come from respondents who provide personal accounts of past events that give us specific and real insight into their lives."

DO alternate your questions often

Shake up the questions you ask on a regular basis. Asking a wide variety of questions will help you and your team get a complete view of what your customers are thinking.

“Having run thousands of user research projects, I have found that the key is to alternate questions often. You want your team to be reading a wide variety of answers so they can truly empathize with their users.”

david-1

David Darmanin - CEO at Hotjar

DO test your surveys before sending them out

test survey

Hotjar recently created a survey that we sent to 2,000 CX professionals via email. Before officially sending it out, we wanted to make sure the questions really worked. 

We decided to test them out on internal staff and external people by sending out three rounds of test surveys to 100 respondents each time. Their feedback helped us perfect the questions and clear up any confusing language.

Survey question DON’Ts

DON’T ask closed-ended questions if you’ve never done research before

If you’ve just begun asking questions, make them open-ended questions since you have no idea what your customers think about you at this stage. When you limit their answers, you just reinforce your own assumptions.

There are two exceptions to this rule:

1) using a closed-ended question to get your foot in the door at the beginning of a survey, and

2) using rating scale questions to gather customer sentiment (like an NPS survey).

DON’T ask a lot of questions if you’re just getting started

Having to answer too many questions can overwhelm your users. You really have to make peace with the fact you can’t ask as many questions as you’d like, so stick with the most important things and discard the rest.

Try starting off with a single question to see how your audience responds, then move on to two questions once you feel like you know what you’re doing.

How many questions should you ask? There’s really no perfect answer, but we recommend asking as few as you need to ask in order to get the information you want. In the beginning, focus on the big things:

  • Who are your users?
  • What do potential customers want?
  • How are they using your product?
  • What would win their loyalty?

DON’T just ask a question when you can combine it with other tools

Don’t just use surveys to answer questions that other tools (such as analytics) can also help you answer. If you want to learn about whether people find a new website feature helpful, you can also observe how they’re using it through analytics, session recordings, and user testing for a more complete picture.

“Don’t use surveys to ask people questions that other tools are better equipped to answer.

I’m thinking of questions like ‘What do you think of the search feature?’ with pre-set answer options like ‘Very easy to use,’ ‘Easy to use,’ etc. That’s not a good question to ask. Why should you care about what people ‘think’ about the search feature? You should find out whether it helps people find what they need and whether it helps drive conversions for you. Analytics, user session recordings, and user testing can tell you whether it does that or not."

DON’T ask leading questions

leading question

A leading question is one that prompts a specific answer, and you want to avoid those because they’ll give you bad data. For example, asking ‘What makes our product better than our competitors’ products?’ might boost your self-esteem, but it won’t get you good information because you’re planting the idea that your own product is the best on the market.

DON’T ask loaded questions

loaded question

A loaded question is similar to a leading question, but it does more than just push a bias—it phrases the question such that it’s impossible to answer without confirming an underlying assumption.

A common (and subtle) form of loaded survey question would be, ‘What do you find useful about this article?’ If we haven’t first asked you whether you found the article useful at all, then we’re asking a loaded question.

10 survey use cases: what you can do with good survey questions

Effective survey questions can help improve your business in many different ways. We’ve written in detail about most of these ideas in other blog posts, and I’ve included links for each of them below.

Use case #1: to create user personas

user persona

A user persona is a semi-fictional character based on the people who currently use your website or product. A persona combines psychographics and demographics and reflects who they are, what they need, and what may stop them from getting it.

Examples of questions to ask:

  • Describe yourself in one sentence, e.g. ‘I am a 30-year old marketer based in Dublin who enjoys writing articles about user personas.’
  • What is your main goal for using this website/product?
  • What, if anything, is preventing you from doing it?

Use case #2: to understand why your product is not selling

Few things are more frightening than stagnant sales. When the pressure is mounting, you’ve got to get to the bottom of it, and good survey questions can help you do just that.

Examples of questions to ask:

  • What made you buy the product? What challenges are you trying to solve?
  • What did you like most about the product? What did you dislike the most?
  • What nearly stopped you from buying?

Use case #3: to understand why people leave your website

If you want to figure out why people are leaving your website, you’ll have to ask questions.

A good format for that is an exit-intent pop-up survey, which appears when a user clicks to leave the page.

Another way is to focus on the people who did convert, but just barely—something Hotjar CEO David Darmanin considers essential for taking conversions to the next level. By focusing on customers who bought your product (but almost didn’t), you can learn how to win over another set of users who are similar to them: those who almost bought your products, but backed out in the end.

Example of questions to ask:

  • Not for you? Tell us why. (exit-intent pop-up—ask when a user leaves without buying)
  • What almost stopped you from buying? (ask post-conversion)

“I spent the better half of my career focusing on the 95% who don’t convert, but it’s better to focus on the 5% who do. Get to know them really well, deliver value to them, and really wow them. That’s how you’re going to take that 5% to 10%.”

david-1

David Darmanin - CEO at Hotjar

Use case #4: to understand your customers’ fears and concerns

understand customer

Buying a new product can be scary: nobody wants to make a bad purchase. Your job is to address your prospective customers’ concerns, counter their objections, and calm their fears, which should lead to more conversions.

Examples of questions to ask:

  • What is your biggest fear or concern about purchasing this item?
  • What information is missing or would make your decision to buy easier?

📚 Read more → take a look at our no-nonsense guide to increasing conversions for a comprehensive write-up about you can discover the drivers, barriers, and hooks that lead people to converting on your website.  

“Overall, if you want to deliver an AMAZING customer experience, the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do is LEARN more about your customers so you can custom tailor that experience to them. It's not magic. It's not science. It is simply building a tighter relationship with your customer.”

Use case #5: to drive your pricing strategy

pricing strategy

Are your products overpriced and scaring away potential buyers? Are you underpricing and leaving money on the table?

Asking the right questions will help you come up with a pricing structure that maximizes profit, but you have to be delicate about how you ask the questions. Don’t ask directly about price; otherwise, you’ll seem like you’re unsure of the value you offer. Instead, ask questions that uncover how your products serve your customers and what would inspire them to buy more.

Examples of questions to ask:

  • How do you use our product/service?
  • What would persuade you to use our product more often?
  • What’s the one thing our product is missing?

📚 Read more → we wrote a series of blog posts about managing the early stage of a SaaS startup, which included a post about developing the right pricing strategy—something businesses in all sectors could benefit from.

Use case #6: to measure and understand product/market fit

Product/market fit is about understanding demand and creating a product that your customers want, need, and will actually pay money for. A combination of online survey questions and one-on-one interviews can help you figure this out.

Examples of questions to ask:

  • What's one thing we can add that would make [product name] indispensable for you?
  • If you could no longer use [product name], what’s the one thing you would miss the most?
  • If you could change just one thing in [product name], what would it be?

📚 Read more → in our series of blog posts about managing the early stage of a SaaS startup, we covered a section on product/market fit, which has relevant information for all industries.

Use case #7: to choose effective testimonials

Human beings are social creatures. We’re influenced by people who are similar to us, and testimonials that explain how your product solved a problem are the ultimate form of social proof. The following survey questions can help you get some great testimonials.

Examples of questions to ask:

  • What changed for you after you got our product?
  • How does our product help you get your job done?
  • How would you feel if you couldn’t use it anymore?

Use case #8: to measure customer satisfaction

It’s important to continually track your overall customer satisfaction so you can address any issues before they start to impact your brand’s reputation. You can do this with rating scale questions.

For example, at Hotjar, we ask for feedback after each customer support interaction (which is one important measure of customer satisfaction). As you can see from the screenshot below, we begin with a simple, foot-in-the-door question to encourage a response. We use the information to improve our customer support, which is strongly tied to overall customer satisfaction.

Examples of questions to ask:

  1. How would you rate the support you received? (1-5 scale)
  2. If 1-3: How could we improve?
  3. If 4-5: What did you love about the experience?

Use case #9: to measure word-of-mouth recommendations

word of mouth recommendation

The Net Promoter System (NPS) is a measure of how likely your customers are to recommend your products or services to their friends or colleagues. NPS is a higher bar than customer satisfaction because customers have to be really impressed with your product to recommend you.

Example of NPS questions (to be asked in the same survey):

  1. How likely are you to recommend this company to a friend or colleague? (rate 0-10)
  2. What’s the main reason for your score?
  3. What should we do to WOW you? (optional)

Pro tip: you can use our NPS calculator to crunch the numbers.

📚 Read more → we created an NPS guide specifically for e-commerce companies, but it has plenty of information that will help companies in other industries as well.

Use case #10: to redefine your messaging

How effective is your messaging? Does it speak to your clients' needs, drives, and fears? Does it speak to your strongest selling points?

Asking the right survey questions can help you figure out what marketing messages work best, so you can double down on them.

Questions to ask:

  • What attracted you to [brand or product name]?
  • Did you have any concerns before buying [product name]?
  • Since you purchased [product name], what has been the biggest benefit to you?
  • If you could describe [brand or product name] in one sentence, how would you do it?
  • What is your favorite thing about [brand or product name]?
  • How likely are you to recommend this product to a friend or colleague? (rate 0-10)

📚 Read more → we talk about positioning and branding your products in a post that’s part of a series written for SaaS startups, but even if you’re not in SaaS (or you’re not a startup), you’ll still find it helpful.

“The products that are most-liked aren’t necessarily the ones you sell most of. Just because a restaurant might sell a lot of lasagna doesn’t mean their lasagna is well-liked. In fact, it might be deterring customers from ever coming back.

"By knowing which of your products is most liked, you can:

  • Design the most effective sales funnel, so your most-liked products aren’t hidden away.
  • Improve your existing products to make purchasers more likely to buy from you again."

Frequently Asked Questions

A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 100 replies that you can work with.

You can use our sample size calculator to get a more precise answer, but understand that collecting feedback is research, not experimentation. Unlike experimentation (such as A/B testing), all is not lost if you can’t get a statistically significant sample size. In fact, as little as ten replies can give you actionable information about what your users want.

There’s no perfect answer to this question, but we recommend asking as few as you need to ask in order to get the information you want. Remember, you’re essentially asking someone to work for free, so be respectful of their time.

A big pile of qualitative data can seem intimidating, but there are some shortcuts that make it much easier to analyze. We put together a guide for analyzing open-ended questions in 5 simple steps, which should answer all your questions.

Honestly, the real danger is not collecting feedback. Without knowing what users think about your page and why they do what they do, you’ll never create a user experience that maximizes conversions. The truth is, you’re probably already doing something that bugs them more than any survey or feedback button would.

If you’re worried that adding an on-page survey might hurt your conversion rate, start small and survey just 10% of your visitors. You can stop surveying once you have enough replies.

Build and send a survey today 🔥

Use Hotjar to build your survey, place it on your website or send it via email, and get the customer insight you need to grow your business.

Free forever. Get started!
hotjar survey

***

Our sample survey questions should give you a solid starting point on your journey toward really understanding your users. Once you get some initial feedback, you can craft questions that dive deeper into their heads to uncover their most fundamental drives.

Do you have some favorite survey questions of your own? Share them in the comments, and let us know what they taught you about your users.

Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 16.30.26
Hotjar team

100+ Hotjarians, 25+ countries, 1 goal: to give you and your team the insights you need to create experiences your users love.