Asking the Right Customer Experience Questions


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Earlier this month, I spoke at the CustomerThink Customer Experience Summit 2011, a free virtual summit featuring Customer Experience researchers and practitioners sharing leading-edge practices to engage with today’s empowered customers. The speakers showed how you can create a compelling customer experience that gives your organization a competitive advantage. For my talk, Asking the Right Customer Experience Questions, I presented best practices for relationship-based surveys for Voice of Customer (VoC) programs. Based on an earlier blog post, my talk proposed a set of survey questions that improves how you measure and improve the health of the customer relationship.

The Optimal Customer Relationship Survey

It turns out short surveys are just as good as lengthy surveys. Your optimal customer relationship survey should have about 20 questions. Here are the best practices:

  1. Measure different types of customer loyalty (retention, advocacy and purchasing). Consider how your customers can engage in different types of loyalty behaviors and include loyalty questions to reflect these different ways. This section should have 4-6 customer loyalty questions.
  2. Use general customer experience questions instead of specific customer experience questions. Specific customer experience questions add very little to our understanding of customer loyalty. This section should include about 7 general customer experience questions.
  3. Measure your relative performance. Your industry ranking has an impact on how much your customers spend. To increase your customers’ share of wallet, ask them about how you perform relative to your competitors. This section should have about 3 questions.
  4. Consider additional questions. Before you add any additional questions, consider how you are going to use the resulting data. If you do not know how you will use the data, you probably do not need those questions. To segment your customers, consider adding, at most, 5 psychographic and demographic questions, like age (B2C), job level (B2B), job role (B2B) and education level.

You can view my Customer Experience Summit presentation below and register here to watch all presentations from the Summit.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


  1. Bob, thanks so much for sharing your expertise on what questions are best to obtain feedback for a relationship survey. Your suggestions are great. Too many companies fail to explore areas that compare the company to their competition or even other suppliers. Another measurement I like to use, is the one over time. For example, during the last year, has service, product quality, etc., improved, stayed the same or deteriorated and why. Bob, once again, great stuff. Richard Shapiro, The center For Client Retention @richardRshapiro


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