Online surveys help you to do research and gather feedback. What are different types of surveys, how to create a short and effective survey, and what to consider when looking for an online survey tool? In this blog, we answer these and other questions.

What is an online survey?

What is the meaning of a survey? An online survey is a questionnaire your target group can fill in on the internet. It helps to do research and to collect insights or data. Given answers and gathered data are mostly stored in a database, which helps to analyze them.

Different types of online surveys

There are different types of surveys. Here are some examples used in research surveys.

Customer surveys

Customer surveys help you to understand your customers by collecting their feedback at every meaningful touch point. To what extent does your organization, product or service meet or even exceed customer needs? And what can you do to improve this?


What does a customer survey look like? There are different methods to collect feedback from your customers. Three frequently-used survey techniques are:

  • Customer satisfaction research
    Customer satisfaction indicates to what extent the products and services meet the customer's expectations. To what extent is an organization able to meet or even exceed customer needs? 
  • Net Promoter Score research
    The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a KPI and management tool for measuring customer loyalty by using the recommendation question. 
  • Measuring Customer Effort Score
    The Customer Effort Score tells you how your customer or client experiences your service. The main issue, is how easy you can make your customers’ experience when they have a question or a complaint. 


Measuring and Managing CX

Want to read more about these different KPIs used in customer surveys? Download our e-book ‘Measuring and Managing CX’.

Employee surveys

With employee surveys, you can investigate if your employees are engaged with their employer and energized by the work they are doing, more known as employee engagement research. But you can also use a survey for investigating other things, like your company’s culture for example. The feedback gathered from your employees can be used in day to day and strategic decisions, to improve employee loyalty for example.

When looking at employee surveys, you can build a custom survey, or use one of the most common survey methods, like for example:

  • Employee NPS research
    The Employee Net Promoter Score, or eNPS, is a KPI used to measure the loyalty of employees to a company, and is directly correlated to an employee's short-term intentions.
  • Employee Energy Pulse
    The Energy Pulse measures how much energy employees get from the work they do. It is a simple method to check the energy level in the organization regularly.
  • eXperience Culture Scan 
    The eXperience Culture Scan asks employees their opinions about the culture of your organization and measures how far it is from the ‘ideal CX culture’. 

Surveys for gathering other information

The methods mentioned above are just some examples. With online surveys, you can gather any data from any target group you want.

For collecting feedback, you can use different channels. If you have a database with e-mail addresses, you can send out an e-mail invitation. If not, you can invite people by other channels, like your website or social channels for example. There are a lot of possibilities, but make sure to select the channel that best suits your target audience.

How to build a survey? Five tips

Creating effective surveys is just not easy. There are so many things you have to take into account. What does a survey look like? It has to pleasant to fill in for the respondent, because what good is a survey if nobody completes it? And a survey needs to gather exactly the insights you are looking for.

We give you five tips for building effective online surveys.

Tip 1 | Use proven survey methods

First, think about the purpose of your survey questionnaire and what information you want to collect with it. As described above, there are different proven research methods for employee or customer surveys. When selecting one of these, you don’t have to think for yourself which questions you need to ask to collect the right insights.

Tip 2 | Make sure your surveys are short

The most important thing to understand when creating a survey is how survey fatigue works. Make sure to ask as few questions as possible. The longer your survey, the fewer people are willing to take it, and the less accurate the results will be.

Start creating short surveys with a free CYS account

Tip 3 | Don’t forget to ask ‘why’

When asking a score in your survey, do not forget to ask why your respondent gives this score. This information is so much more important than just the score itself. It provides insight into the story and emotion behind it and helps to discover what goes well and what you need to work on.

Tip 4 | Don’t ask questions you know the answer to

It is no longer ‘done’ to ask questions you know the answer to. Organizations have a lot of information and data available, in CRM or other systems.

By linking this information to your survey results, you don’t have to bother your customers or another target group with these questions and you can keep your survey short and have to ask the essential questions only.

Tip 5 | Use terms your target group understands

When setting up a survey you will deal with two target groups: the one who gives the answers and the one who receives the data. The latter is used to process terms that are often not understood by the customers. What terms are used in the organization that needs to be defined differently?

This is what an effective customer satisfaction survey looks like


Looking for an online survey tool

You might be confused when selecting the right tool for your surveys as there are a lot of different online survey tools. There are a few things you need to consider when looking for an online tool.

Predefined survey questionnaires

Do you want to create a custom survey, or do you prefer to use an existing survey method? Some tools offer ready to use surveys with predefined questionnaires that you can adapt to your organization and situation, which saves you a lot of time and thinking.

Improvements and priorities at a glance

Another thing to consider if you want to store the feedback in a database, so the tool helps you to analyze the data. Good survey software not only allows you to collect feedback and data, but it also assists you by translating this feedback to improvements and priorities.

Without spending too much time analyzing, it will show you, for example, the points of improvement per region, store, or department to improve customer or employee satisfaction.

Dashboards and infographics

The last thing to think about when looking for an online survey tool is whether you need reports and dashboards too. With good survey software, scores, and insights about customers and employees are automatically visualized into, for example, cool infographics or attractive reports that you can easily share with others within your team or organization.

InfographicsCreate your online survey with CYS software

With CYS software creating powerful and responsive online surveys is very easy. In no time, you can build a survey form, as you can choose from a lot of predefined pages and survey questions. Every page type is pre designed and fully responsive. And you can adapt everything to your needs and branding.

In the video below, Birgit explains how easy this is with the help of her favorite CYS feature: the intuitive questionnaire builder. Every section is customizable. For instance, you can embed the color theme of your organization in the survey along with other angles of branding.

About CYS

CYS software is so much more than a survey tool for collecting feedback and doing research. In our software, you can integrate multiple data sources and combine and manage all data in any way you want. All data can be used in your surveys.

And you can create stunning looking insights with customized dashboards and cutting-edge infographics with CYS too. All data is visualized in real-time and available on any device.

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Looking for an online survey tool?

Request a free online demo with one of our experts. In just 30 minutes, you'll discover how to create an online survey with CYS software.

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