How to create a customer feedback form [+ free template]

Customer feedback forms can help guide the direction of your product or service, but the feedback you receive will only be as good as the form you create.

By Hazel Bolton, Content Manager at Formisimo

Published July 15, 2016
Last updated August 3, 2020

Customer feedback is essential for improving your product, delivery, and understanding of users. It's fundamental to good customer service. Most companies know this, but some struggle to act on customer feedback.

Why? It could simply be that many companies don’t ask for feedback. And those that do often make it hard for users to leave good feedback that is constructive in some way.

To make gathering input easier, we’re here to explain customer feedback forms. We’ll give you nine tips to help you create one on your own and provide a free customer satisfaction survey template. With these resources, you’ll be set to get more responses from customers that you can use to improve your business.

What is a customer feedback form?

Simply put, a customer feedback form is a method of obtaining answers about your product, service, and business from users. The goal of these forms is to get a better understanding of the overall customer experience at your business, so you know what parts of your product or service need improvement.

From a satisfaction survey to a user experience questionnaire, there are plenty of different ways you can get customer feedback, depending on what type of information you’re seeking. While many companies choose to create their own feedback form, you can also use premade online quizzes or even social media to get the customer feedback you’re looking for.

9 tips for creating customer feedback forms that people will actually fill out

The very best customer feedback forms are always user-friendly and ask customers the right questions. To help you create a form that does just that, here are nine tips for you to consider.

1. Leave plenty of white space

A cluttered form scares people away because it looks time-consuming and labor-intensive. White space can help reduce overall reader fatigue and help customers easily distinguish between different sections of the form.

customer feedback form whitespace

As you can see, the majority of the form pictured above is white space, giving it a clean and uncluttered look. It also makes it much easier to see exactly what and where customers should be answering questions on the form.

2. Keep your labels and fields close together

To successfully collect feedback, make sure your form is visually clear. Placing each label close to its corresponding field reduces the time it takes for a user to complete the form.

Macbook feedback form

Source: Apple

The further the label is from the field, the more the user’s eye has to travel back and forth to avoid making a mistake. This takes time, effort, and causes frustration. In the example above, Apple has done a good job of keeping the labels and form fields close together and also clearly highlighting what fields are required to complete the survey.

3. Don’t make any fields mandatory

While the previous example showed Apple doing a good job of keeping their labels and fields visually close, they still made all their form fields required. To make it as easy as possible for users to provide even small amounts of feedback, make all questions optional. If the user doesn’t want to answer one of the questions, don’t stop them from submitting the form.

Mandatory fields vs none

Source: UX Collective

The example above shows two different form styles, one with that familiar red asterisk that marks it as a required field and the other with optional fields. Whenever possible, always give your customer optional fields, so they can complete as much or as little of the survey as they want. Never forget that customers are doing you a favor—they don’t owe you anything.

4. Create a responsive mobile design

With roughly 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide, responsive mobile design for customer feedback forms has become more important than ever. Every online feedback form should include a strong mobile experience or at least the ability to resize the form depending on the device it’s being viewed on.

Mobile feedback form

Since you’re dealing with a smaller screen area on mobile, it’s even more important to keep plenty of white space and only include the most necessary pieces of information. Giant blocks of texts will stop users right in their tracks, and they won’t continue filling out the form if it includes too much content.

5. Write less, say more

Cut down the number of questions in the form, so it only includes those that have the clear goal of gaining a better understanding of your users’ experience.

The fewer questions you have, the better. Overwhelming users with a myriad of questions can be intimidating, and they may also give up quickly. Instead, focus on asking thoughtful questions that help you get the information you need. You can also reduce the length of your feedback form by avoiding jargon and keeping the language simple and consistent.

Stuck coming up with ideas? Here’s a list of possible questions to ask users about your service.

6. Include a “free text” box

The most useful feedback helps you learn something you didn’t already know. What’s hidden in your product that you aren’t aware of? Do your customers use the product differently than you expected?

The best way to gather this unexpected input is to include a “free text” box. This form feature also shows your users that you care about what they have to say. Multiple choice fields, on the other hand, only give you the answers you’re expecting in your company’s own language.

There are a couple of different ways you can set up a “free text” box. You can simply ask users if there’s anything else they’d like to share, or you can ask a specific open-ended question. For example, if the goal of the form is to get information about new product features, you could ask something along the lines of “what kind of features would you like to see us include in the future?” That way, the question is set up in a way that requires a more specific answer to help your business.

7. Create consistent rating scales

If you include more than one question with a rating scale, make sure that the scales are consistent from question to question. If 1 is the best and 5 is the worst in one question, don’t change the scale from 1 to 10 in the next question.

Rating scale

Source: Uber Engineering

Don’t pre-select any answer in your feedback form either, even if it’s the most commonly chosen option. Leading the customer to a response is likely to encourage false, unhelpful answers. Not to mention, it makes your company seem untrustworthy.

8. Don’t focus on marketing questions

Feedback forms are often used to gather marketing information and learn more about the demographics of your users, so companies can improve their campaigns. However, these questions—like “how did you hear about us?”—don’t benefit customers, so they may not feel motivated to answer them.

You always have the option of setting up a marketing survey if you still need this type of information. With that in mind, also consider incentivizing your customers. Offering a small coupon or gift card is a good way to catch a customer’s attention and make the survey worth their while.

9. Personalize your request for feedback

Use the information you already have about your users to personalize the process of asking for feedback. This can help you achieve greater brand affinity among your customers because they feel a familiarity with your business.

For example, you might send an email that says, “John, can you help us improve our service by answering some questions about your experience upgrading your account?”

Free customer feedback form template

Customer feedback forms should offer a number of ways for customers to leave feedback with different types of questions. If you simply ask your customers to write their insights, they may not feel like writing out all their answers. On the other hand, if you just ask for a rating, you won’t get the depth you’re looking for to encourage as many responses as possible.

In the customer feedback form template below, there are three different ways you can receive feedback.

Zendesk customer feedback form template

The first is a simple five-star rating scale, the second uses checkboxes, and the third explicitly asks the customer to add additional written insights.

Download this template and use it as a guide when building your customer feedback form.

Customer feedback sample: Skype

Looking for inspiration to create your own form? Skype for Business’s feedback form offers a great example. It’s simple yet comprehensive. By adding audio and video issue sections to the form, it’s clear that the people who put this survey together have thought about customer pain points as these are common issues for Skype users.

Skype rate call feedback form

Source: My Teams Lab

Skype is also likely to receive responses by offering multiple ways for customers to leave their feedback. They can give a star rating; they can provide further context through checkboxes; they can add their own written comments at the end. It’s essentially three layers that go deeper and deeper with each section.

How to create your customer feedback forms

Zendesk makes it easy to create customer feedback forms, but if you aren’t using the platform yet—you have other options at your disposal.

When you’re ready to get started with Zendesk, each of the tools listed below seamlessly integrates with the platform:

Diduenjoy logo

Diduenjoy uses a data science expert-approved methodology to help your business create engaging customer feedback forms.

Formspree logo

Formspree provides HTML code that you can customize and add to a web page on your site where you want to include a survey. You can also integrate your customer feedback responses with Zendesk.

Jotform logo

Jotform is an online form builder. Thanks to its user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, you don’t need any coding experience to run this tool.

SurveyMonkey logo

SurveyMonkey is an online survey building software. It easily organizes your customers and contacts into lists and automatically sends out surveys to them directly.

Got feedback: now what?

It’s important to think about your plan for responding to and acting on the feedback that you get. To improve customer satisfaction, listen to upset users on an individual basis and respond as quickly as possible to resolve their issues. Promising a speedy response rate to complaints may be one way to increase the amount of feedback you get.

Remember, feedback is characteristically biased to be either very good or very bad as it comes from people passionate enough to give feedback. Look for patterns in the responses you receive to understand underlying trends instead of taking broad actions based on individual feedback.

Today’s guest post features the wisdom of Hazel Bolton, content manager at Zendesk partner Formisimo, which measures how visitors interact with the forms on your website.

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