Discover what is behind customer behavior. Get to know your customers’ attitude effectively - through a survey! Get inspired by practical examples and concrete survey questions.
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Let’s begin with a simple illustration:
Try to ask three different people why they bought a new laptop. Their answers might be totally different:
David: “My previous laptop broke and this one was in a great sale.”
Michael: “My love brand launched a new model, I need to have it.”
Clara: “My current laptop can no longer handle the things I need for my job. I had to buy a more powerful one.”
Now try to decipher the thinking that preceded the purchase of a new laptop. Could it have been like this?
David: “I hope my laptop will keep working as long as possible. I need it only for my e-mails. When I want to chill I watch TV. However, I should look after a new one. It would be great to catch a sale because laptops are usually not very affordable for me.”
Michael: “I am so excited about my love brand. I see its products are always one step ahead. Besides, everybody in my social bubble has laptops from this brand. They showed me how cool these laptops are. I am very curious about the new features and apps, it is going to be so much fun!”
Clara: “I decided to move forward in my career as a 3D artist. I bought new software that saves approximately 20% of my time, however, my current computer doesn't have the processing power I need. For a long time, I was looking for a computer with parameters that would suit my work. I don't look at the price so much, it's a work expense for me.”
Everybody ended up with a new laptop. Those three laptops were probably different pieces and brands - everybody expects something different from the product. First, there was the thinking, (customer attitude), then there was a purchase (customer behaviour).
Customer attitude is a mix of a person’s feelings about and behavioral intentions toward your business. As we could see in the illustration, customer attitude is something that comes before the purchase and influences it a lot. What if we were able to measure (not just guess) not only customer behaviour but also customer attitude and expectations. We could design our product in a way that perfectly fits into the thinking patterns of our potential customers. Our product, service or solution would become the answer to daily questions of our audience.
How to measure customer attitudes and expectations in a survey?
We need to get to the “what’s behind customer behaviour” part and discover the subjective aspects like:
typical ways of problem-solving
It’s a great opportunity to use open-ended survey questions. Open-ended questions offer enough space for your respondents to express themselves, however, you need to go through the individual answers one by one. It’s quite time-consuming.
On the other hand, closed-ended questions limit your respondents by the number of predefined answers. Therefore, find a balance between using open-ended and closed-ended questions. Use open-ended questions when you are concerned that you would lose important information by using a closed-ended question.
Find the right survey sample
Remember, that you won‘t ever meet the needs of everybody. If you were a laptop producer, you wouldn't probably try to sell your laptop to David, Michael and also Clara. Your target group is unique. It takes a lot of effort to properly tune in to your target audience. Trying to make happy those for whom your product is not really intended is a waste of time and money.
You are about to send out a survey to a bunch of people, and get the big picture about your whole target group by generalizing your results. To have final data to rely on and use them as a basis for your future strategic decisions, you have to be sure that your survey sample truly reflects the characteristics of your target group.
If the characteristics of the survey sample deviate from what your target group actually is, you will get skewed data. You can't base your decisions on it, it could be a wasted investment.
Your survey sample should reflect general characteristics like:
demographics (sex, age)
The proportion of people with different characteristics must correspond to the real target group.
Example: You know that your real target group is 80% women and 20% men. So your sample of respondents must also be 80% women and 20% men.
Finding respondents is a bit of a challenge, the survey sample should match also in the other characteristics mentioned. If you are not sure that you can correctly define your target group, have a look at our use case: How to Create Market Research Survey.
Customer attitude survey questions
The following questions should map the customers' attitude and show you whether you've known your customers well enough so far. Feel free to pick some of them and use them for your own survey. The questions are corresponding to the introductory illustration - they are prepared for laptop customers. They're supposed to show you what you can monitor about the attitude of your customers. Don’t hesitate to modify them for your purposes.
How old does a laptop have to be to be considered too old?
What defects must a laptop have to be considered worn out?
How often do you think you need to buy a new laptop?
What does owning a laptop mean to you?
What role does a laptop play in your daily life?
What features of your laptop could you not do without in your personal/work life?
Are you a modern technology enthusiast?
How often do you use your laptop?
If you own a computer, do you also need a TV?
Do you consider buying a new laptop an investment?
Do you enjoy working on the computer?
Do you use any kind of cover for your laptop?
Do you move your laptop around or do you keep it in one place all the time?
Do you ever feel like you spend more time on your computer than you should?
Are you looking for information about laptops even if you don't plan to buy one?
If you didn't need to buy a new laptop right now but found one at a really good price, would you buy it?
Do you live a quiet or hectic life?
If you were buying a laptop, would you trust some brands more than others? And why?
Is design or performance more important to you?
Is brand or design more important to you?
The questions you could ask are countless. Remember, no one will want to fill out a long questionnaire. Nor is your respondents' time free. Define in advance what information you want to find out and why, and then design your questions accordingly. Never the other way around.
Don't be afraid to motivate the respondents a little, too. Allow them to download some free content as a reward, or give them a discount code. You can use the “Thank you page” at the end of the survey to reveal the code and redirect your respondent to your e-shop. How does that sound? Calculate what the data is worth to you and reward respondents for completing it proportionately.
Your goal is to collect enough responses to get a reliable result. You can increase the response rate also by choosing appropriate channels to share your survey. Contact your respondents through channels they are used to communicating with, stay natural for them.
Survio will automatically process it in real-time. You don’t need any other statistical software, Survio will show you incoming results in clear charts and tables. That spares you priceless minutes or hours of manual data processing. You can concentrate on creating new strategies based on the results.
Results can be filtered, sorted and exported in ready-made reports. Select a convenient format (PDF, DOCX, PPTX, XLSX, CSV or Google Sheets) and present the results to your colleagues or management like a pro!
What is the greatest benefit of customer attitude surveys?
Let’s get to the basics once again. You are running your business thanks to the satisfied and returning customers and their payments. No doubt you want it to be like this also in the future but the world is changing and people are changing with it. It's a cliché, but it's also a harsh reality for our businesses. If we don't actively try to adapt to the needs of our customers, they will quickly flee to our competitors.
By discovering customer attitude we not only find out what is happening in the mind of our customer at the moment of purchase but we get to know our customers from the ground up. We won't just try to arrange conditions at the time so that they buy. We will be able to meet them naturally with our products and services and become part of their lives.