Today, surveys are too often approached in isolation, when they should be part of a larger research design, whether making up the meat in a qual sandwich or acting as one course in a 9-course meal. One way to narrow the goal for a particular survey is to place it in context within a larger feedback program.

A typical feedback program will include relationship surveys, transactional surveys, and targeted surveys:

  • Relationship surveys with customers, partners, and employees are the most strategic surveys, highlighting experience and loyalty drivers across cumulative contacts. The goal for such surveys is to understand the big picture of how satisfied respondents are overall and with all aspects of the delivered experience across products and services or work environment.
  • Transactional surveys measure the quality of each service response by the organization. Transactional surveys are conducted after technical support contacts, customer service cases, consulting services, education services, sales win/losses, product implementations, and even visits to a web site. In the short term, such surveys are used trigger an immediate follow-up action on a customer-by-customer or employee-by-employee basis, to intervene to recover from mistakes or service disruptions. In the long term, the feedback from transactional surveys drives operational improvements to improve overall service quality.
  • Targeted surveys are ad hoc surveys used to answer one-off information needs. Sample use cases include competitive intelligence, feature prioritization for product and service planning, marketing, referencing, user group satisfaction, even merger and acquisition impact on customers, and general market research.


Design your particular survey to meet its appropriate goal.

Author Notes:

Jeffrey Henning

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Jeffrey Henning, IPC is a professionally certified researcher and has personally conducted over 1,400 survey research projects. Jeffrey is a member of the Insights Association and the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers. In 2012, he was the inaugural winner of the MRA’s Impact award, which “recognizes an industry professional, team or organization that has demonstrated tremendous vision, leadership, and innovation, within the past year, that has led to advances in the marketing research profession.” In 2022, the Insights Association named him an IPC Laureate. Before founding Researchscape in 2012, Jeffrey co-founded Perseus Development Corporation in 1993, which introduced the first web-survey software, and Vovici in 2006, which pioneered the enterprise-feedback management category. A 35-year veteran of the research industry, he began his career as an industry analyst for an Inc. 500 research firm.