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How to Create Actionable Survey Questions for Customers and Event Attendees

Collecting feedback from customers and event attendees is crucial for improving products, services, and overall experiences. However, to get useful insights, you need to ask the right questions. Here’s a guide for small and medium-sized businesses on how to create actionable survey questions that provide valuable, actionable feedback.

1. Define Your Objectives

Before crafting your survey questions, clearly define what you want to achieve. Are you looking to improve a specific service? Do you want feedback on an event? Identifying your objectives will help you focus your questions on obtaining relevant information that can drive meaningful changes in your business.

2. Use Simple and Clear Language

Ensure your questions are easy to understand. Avoid jargon, technical terms, and complex language. Your respondents should be able to read and comprehend the questions without any confusion. This is especially important for small and medium-sized businesses that may have a diverse customer base with varying levels of familiarity with industry-specific terms.

3. Ask One Question at a Time

Each question should address a single issue. Avoid double-barreled questions that ask about two different things at once, as they can confuse respondents and lead to unclear answers.


  • Poor: How do you rate our customer service and product quality?

  • Better: How do you rate our customer service?

4. Use a Mix of Question Types

Incorporate different types of questions to keep the survey engaging and gather a variety of data.

  • Closed-Ended Questions: These include multiple-choice, rating scales, or yes/no questions, which are easy to analyze quantitatively.

  • Open-Ended Questions: These allow respondents to provide detailed feedback in their own words.


  • Closed-Ended: On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with our event?

  • Open-Ended: What did you like most about our event?

5. Ensure Questions Are Neutral

Avoid leading questions that may bias the respondent’s answer. Your questions should be neutral to gather honest and unbiased feedback.


  • Leading: How much did you enjoy our excellent customer service?

  • Neutral: How would you rate our customer service?

6. Include Contextual Questions

Provide context when necessary to ensure respondents understand what you’re asking about. This is especially important for feedback on specific events or services.


  • Without Context: How would you rate the event?

  • With Context: How would you rate the event on June 15th, including the venue, speakers, and overall organization?

7. Prioritize Relevance

Only ask questions that are directly related to your objectives. Irrelevant questions can lead to survey fatigue and lower response rates. For small and medium-sized businesses, focusing on pertinent questions ensures you gather useful feedback without overwhelming your respondents.

8. Test Your Survey

Before sending out your survey, test it with a small group to identify any confusing or ambiguous questions. Use their feedback to refine the survey. This step is crucial for ensuring that your survey collects clear and actionable data.

9. Keep It Concise

Respect your respondents’ time by keeping the survey as short as possible while still gathering the necessary information. A concise survey is more likely to be completed, which is particularly important for small and medium-sized businesses aiming to maintain good customer relations.

10. Analyze and Act on Feedback

The ultimate goal of collecting feedback is to make improvements. Analyze the data collected and use it to make informed decisions. Communicate any changes or improvements made as a result of the feedback to show respondents that their input is valued and impactful.

When and Why to Ask Demographic Questions

Including demographic questions in your survey can provide deeper insights into your audience. For small and medium-sized businesses, understanding the demographic makeup of your customers or event attendees can help tailor your services, products, and marketing strategies more effectively.

When to Ask:

  • At the beginning or end of the survey to avoid interrupting the flow of main questions.

  • When you need to segment your data to understand different customer groups better.

Why It’s Important:

  • Market Segmentation: Helps you identify different segments within your customer base and understand their unique needs and preferences.

  • Targeted Marketing: Enables you to create more personalized and effective marketing campaigns.

  • Product Development: Assists in designing products or services that cater to specific demographic groups.

Example Demographic Questions:

  • What is your age group?

  • What is your gender?

  • What is your household income?

  • What is your education level?

Intentional Surveys vs. Simple Satisfaction Questions

Intentional Surveys are comprehensive and strategically designed to gather detailed feedback on various aspects of your business or event. They help you understand the 'why' behind customer opinions and behaviors.


  • How would you rate our event venue in terms of accessibility and comfort?

  • What specific improvements would you suggest for our product?

Simple Satisfaction Questions are brief and usually focus on a single aspect of the customer experience. They are useful for quick insights but do not provide in-depth information.


  • Are you satisfied with our service?

For Small and Medium-Sized Businesses:

  • Intentional Surveys: Use these for in-depth feedback that can drive strategic decisions and long-term improvements.

  • Simple Satisfaction Questions: Use these for quick checks on customer sentiment and immediate issues.

Sample Survey Questions

To illustrate, here are some examples of actionable survey questions for customers and event attendees:

For Customers:

  • On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with our product/service?

  • What feature do you find most useful?

  • How can we improve your experience with our product/service?

For Event Attendees:

  • How would you rate the registration process for the event?

  • What was your favorite session or speaker, and why?

  • Do you have any suggestions for improving future events?

By following these tips, small and medium-sized businesses can create effective survey questions that provide actionable insights, helping enhance services, products, or events based on real feedback from customers and attendees.

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