The 9 best survey questions for the most valuable insights

I set out to find the nine best questions to ask in a survey. Nine questions that allow you to fully understand the customer’s opinion. Nine questions will help you find out as many valuable insights as possible and help you make the right decisions. I think I have found them, and in this article, I will share them with you.

Why only nine questions?

If your customers are like most customers, they are not waiting for a survey. Hardly anyone enjoys filling in a questionnaire, hanging on the phone, or being accosted on the street. Everyone is busy and doesn’t have time. So if you got someone to cooperate with, you want to deal with that person as best you can. You don’t want to waste his time. It seems to me that nine questions are the right balance between the interests of the company you work for and those of the fill-in person.

The nine questions

Below are the nine questions. I give a brief explanation for each question. Of course, the way you ask the questions depends a lot on the audience you are asking the questions to. I have written down the questions here from the point of view of a brand asking something of end consumers.

1. What grade would you give us?

The fill-in person rates the company with a grade. This gives you an insight into how well the company is doing. Perhaps more importantly, you can spot trends. If you ask this question several times a year, you can see whether the company is improving or deteriorating. You ask the filler to answer on a certain scale. The most convenient is probably a 10-point scale. There is one point to bear in mind though: a ten-point scale is a lot like points in school and causes fillers to think about failing and succeeding.

2. Imagine you are the boss of our company. How would you handle it?

This is a good question because it allows the filler to express his opinion in his own way. Often a survey is too directive: an invader has a particular insight they want to share, but the survey does not ask for it. Most surveys do often start or end with the question “do you have any comments?”. However, this question fails to capture the imagination or trigger the filler’s creativity. This question does. The filler puts himself or herself in the role of the company for a moment and then thinks about how he or she can make it better from that side. You can work the answers into a list of concrete action points.

3. What uncertainties/objections/doubts did you have before becoming a customer with us?

In my view, improving sales is largely about one thing: removing all the reasons why someone does not take action. Instead of guessing at these reasons, you can also just ask them directly. If you put all the reasons together and rank them by importance, you have a clear list that you can do something with. You can then write next to each reason possible solutions to eliminate the reason.

4. How would you describe us to a friend?

With this question, you explore the company’s image. You find out what someone thinks about the company and why they like or dislike it. It can be a lot of work to interpret and structure the answers correctly. If you can, it is useful to reduce the answers to keywords so that you can create a tag cloud. This way, you can see clearly and conveniently what the image of the company is.

5. Suppose we made something, especially for you. What would that be?

This question will help you find out possibilities and opportunities you hadn’t thought of yourself. The best ideas often come from outside!

6. Have you spoken positively or negatively about us to a friend, colleague, or family member? If so, what was it about?

This question requires the fill-in-the-blank to dig into their memory. You will be told specific points of criticism or appreciation. This question may look similar to question 4, but it is really different. In this question, you ask about specific points someone has had to deal with.

7. What other providers did you consider before becoming a customer with us?

This question gives insight into where the company stands in relation to its environment. You get a good idea of who the company’s direct competition is. Based on the answers, you can better determine what the company’s positioning and branding should be.

8. Why did you decide to become a customer with us? And not with the other providers?

This question is a good complement to the previous question. This question is mainly about why someone chose the company and not one of the other providers. This question also helps with positioning and branding. You get a list of reasons why customers choose the company.

9. What would persuade you to choose us more often?

As a business, you obviously want to get as much out of your customers as possible. This question gives you insight into the ways you can do that. You can use the answers to improve your product or service.


These are my top nine questions. Of course, I should add that every company and every project is different. In practice, it is probably best to use these questions as a guideline and be flexible with them.

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