13 Top Complaints Customers Have About Online Surveys

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Surveys are supposed to help organizations identify problems and improve things for the benefit of their customers and the organization as a whole.

But if you aren’t careful, your survey itself may end up annoying your customers. That’s every company’s nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be yours.

As one of the most popular WordPress plugins for building surveys, we’re often contacted by our business users seeking tips for addressing common survey complaints received from their customers.

In this guide, I’ve rounded up some of the top complaints customers have about online surveys and how you can fix them.

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Top Survey Complaints People Have About Online Surveys

It’s a shame, but many types of online surveys just aren’t meeting customer expectations.

You don’t want to create a survey form in WordPress just for it to sit there ignored and have no one to fill it out.

Let’s take a peek at why this happens so we can make sure your online surveys aren’t scaring away customers. Here’s what they complain about the most with online surveys:

1. “This survey is way too long!”

Out of all the complaints customers have about online surveys, this one is pretty fatal. One of the easiest ways to scare away a survey taker is by making your survey too long.

Simply put, be brief. Ask questions only if you 100% need the answers. Don’t waste the precious time of your customers.

Solution: Multi-step surveys

Try making your survey a Multi-step survey to easily break each section up into separate ‘pages’.

Confused about how long your survey should be? Consider using a survey template from our Survey and Polls addon to get started building your survey form in just minutes.

You could also use clever question formats to make your survey compact. For example, here’s how to make your survey shorter with a matrix question combined with a multi-step layout:

multistep survey to help with complaints about online surveys

2. “I don’t understand X…”

It’s not uncommon to hear a customer complain about a survey question not being clear enough for them to give an informed answer. The truth is, customers sometimes have questions while filling out a survey.

Solution: Tooltips

You can clarify any field you need to on your survey by adding a Tooltip. Customers are much more likely to finish filling out the form if you can provide them with some extra details on questions you think might be a little confusing.

final tooltip display with icon

3.”I lose interest fast.”

There’s a good reason so many people use Google Forms to gather info quickly through a survey. It’s because it has literally no other choices on the page but to fill out the survey form.

But for serious business owners, Google Forms has significant limitations. This has led to a boom of new Google Form alternatives to help keep people interested in your forms.

They can let you make a distraction-free landing page that actually does connect to your email marketing, is secure, and lets you organize and save your entries in your WordPress database.

Solution: Form Pages

You can create unlimited and dedicated form landing pages to help you conduct surveys, while also getting more leads, tracking campaigns, and more. All while reducing distractions for your visitors and getting more people to complete your surveys.

survey in form pages mode

4.”I already answered a similar question!”

Noticing a theme with these customer complaints about online surveys? People definitely don’t like having their time wasted.

If an online survey isn’t streamlined, survey takers may get irritated and quit filling out your survey. They don’t like getting asked questions that ask for unrelated info, something they know nothing about, or have already been asked.

But sometimes you just need different info from different customers, and so a lot of times website owners make the mistake of asking all kinds of questions on a survey.

Solution: Conditional Logic

This easy-to-use feature in WPForms lets you show or hide form fields based on user selections. That way, you can show only the questions you need to ask based on each unique visitor, and limit the number of fields to as few as possible.

In the example below, the paragraph text box only shows up on this survey if someone rates their experience less than 3 stars.

survey with conditional logic to help with complaints about online surveys

5. “Which field is wrong?”

Typos happen. Sometimes, people will put the wrong information into your surveys without even realizing it.

For example, they could miss a digit in their phone number. Or, they could mistype their email address.

A common customer complaint about online surveys is that it won’t let them submit because a field is wrong, but they can’t tell which one. If you don’t let them know, it’s highly likely they’ll give up and never finish filling out your survey (costing you lost revenue!).

Solution: Smart Fields

Smart phone and email fields automatically detect when a typo has been entered. For emails, it even suggests a correction based on popular email service providers. This is a great way to increase the quality of your email list.

smart fields

6. “Um, I never even received a survey!”

This complaint about surveys is more common than you may think!

If you don’t let your customers know about your survey, they can’t fill it out! You don’t want them hunting to find your survey if they’re already willing to complete it.

Solution: Send your survey to your email list

Your email marketing strategy should include sending an email that directs customers to a place like a landing page on your website that holds your survey. That way, you can automatically send out your survey to customers at a certain point in their customer journey with you.

7. “There are too many distractions.”

You could be doing everything right on your online survey, but customers are still going to get distracted when filling it out.

Most online surveys aren’t very ‘human’ feeling and distractions are everywhere for people these days. This huge issue for website owners has a bright side, though. It’s led to the creation of a snazzy new tactic called conversational marketing.

Solution: Conversational Forms

You can turn any online survey you make into a conversational survey form (and watch your conversion rates skyrocket in the process!).

Conversational forms help you keep customers interested and engaged while filling out surveys because they act like a one-on-one conversation.

Creating a conversational contact form is also an easy and fun way to make your site look extremely modern and professional.

conversational forms demo

8. “Ugh, I’m not sure I trust this survey.”

Another top issue on our list of customer complaints about online surveys is all about trust. There are a lot of untrustworthy websites floating around the internet, so customers may be worried about trusting your survey.

Solution: Form Locker addon

You can add an extra layer of security to your survey forms by enabling password protection. This not only makes sure only the people you want filling out your form can, but it also helps to make your users feel more secure when they are provided a password to access the survey.

form locker password protection

9. “I don’t want to share my personal information.”

Customers are sometimes willing to fill out your survey, but only if they don’t have to provide their personal information.

In some situations, the survey takers are willing to be more honest if it’s an anonymous survey. You could be scaring people away from taking your survey if you’re asking for their personal information.

But it’s not a good idea to allow for anonymous entries in all scenarios. For example, if you’re a medical practice that has a patient satisfaction survey that receives complaints, you may want to reach out to the patient to make things right.

In that case, you’ll need their contact info to do so. But if you don’t, there’s a great solution.

Solution: Allow anonymous entries

If you aren’t planning on following up with survey takers, you should consider allowing for anonymous entries. Simply remove the email and name fields from your survey in the form editor.

You can go even further by enabling GDPR enhancements in WPForms. This feature allows you to disable user cookies and stop WPForms from storing IP address information.

GDPR enhancements

If this solution doesn’t work for you, moving personal questions to the end of the survey is a smart tactic. Find out why in this article on questionnaire examples and templates.

10. “How much farther do I have to go?”

Survey respondents appreciate clarity. And that entails more than just phrasing your survey questions simply; it’s equally important to clearly indicate progress as a respondent moves through your survey.

Progress indicators allow customers to make a better estimate of how close they are to completing the survey.

WPForms gives you a few ways to add progress indicators to your forms.

These automatically appear when you’re using page breaks to create a multi-step form, or using the conversational form mode.

Progress Bar

You can also add a progress indicator by using the highly interactive WPForms Lead Forms mode.

Besides, it’s a thoughtful gesture to mention the estimated time to complete the survey right at the top of your form. It’s a good way of setting accurate expectations from the outset.

Your customers will be grateful for it!

11. “I couldn’t find the survey!”

Shockingly, a common complaint among customers about online surveys is that they couldn’t find it at all. This can be especially frustrating for small business owners if you notice you aren’t getting many people filling out your survey but you have decent traffic on your site.

Solution: Embed the survey on your website

If you’ve already set up your email campaigns to automatically send out your survey, it’s also a good idea to embed them on your website. There are a lot of great places to do this, including sidebar widgets, footers, pages, and blog posts.

The easy embedding features make WPForms worth it if you want to save time publishing forms.

12. “I wonder what the results were.”

All those cool data visualization tools aren’t just for business owners to enjoy. You can use them on your customers, too!

Sometimes, people who fill out your forms expect to know (or are just plain curious about) what the results of a poll are.

Solution: Real-time poll displays

Reward your customers for filling out your poll with real-time poll displays, so they can see how their answer matches up.

real time poll results to help with complaints about online surveys

If you prefer to publish your results in a report, we have some tips on writing a summary of your survey results that will help.

13.”The site the survey was on took forever to load.”

A slow site can lead to a ton of issues, including a loss of sales and conversion rates.

According to some shocking eCommerce statistics, a 3-second page load time could increase bounce rates 32%. Which means customers expect your site to load at lightning-speed.

You want to keep your site running quickly so that there are no issues when people are filling out your surveys.

Solution: Make your site faster

Keep your site fast by using one of the best CDN providers for WordPress. In addition, make sure to take a peek at this list of easy tips to speed up WordPress performance.

And there it is! You now know what the top customer complaints about online surveys are, so you can make your surveys as successful as possible.

Next, Learn How to Improve Your Forms

You might want to check out our post about the top complaints about contact forms so you know what to avoid. We’ve also put together a list of some of our favorite customer survey examples to help you design a successful survey of your own.

So what are you waiting for? Get started with the most powerful WordPress forms plugin today. WPForms Pro includes all the survey and polls tools you’ll need to get started right away.

And if you like this article, then please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates from our blog.

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  1. I cane here to report my primary complaint about surveys:
    1. I have spent nearly an hour answering all questions accurately, then disqualified.
    2. One subject a few times it wrote a paragraph of my experience exactly accurate of my time in jail for 100% false accusation of something I never did. It was the reason I believe the sentence should be reduced because I expect a lot of innocent people are there (or a better correction and prevention). Again, disqualified because I told the absolute proven truth.
    I expect it is the computer program that automatically deletes the true accurate response. What is most important on the subject is ignored.

    1. Hi Marvin,
      I’m sorry to hear you have had such experience with it.
      Hopefully, this article will help the site owners to make their surveys better and more attractive!
      Have a good one 🙂

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