July 15, 2016

Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Qualitative vs. Quantitative Methods

When conducting customer support services surveys, there are two forms of questions you could include, which are qualitative and quantitative questions. Qualitative questions are considered “open-ended” questions, where respondents are free to respond and are not constricted to specific choices or options. Quantitative questions, on the other hand, are “closed-ended” questions and limit how respondents can answer by presenting them with a list of potential answers.

Qualitative surveys are a great place to start when you need greater input and do not want to be confined to a specific list of questions. However, you need to make sure you ask detailed questions in order to avoid confusion about how you want people to respond.

For instance, you want to know what your customers think about the level of customer support they received when they called your business. If you ask a qualitative question, like “How would you rate your recent customer service experience?” some respondents might not respond how you want because the question could be considered too vague. Are you referring to how the customer service agent treated them? How they were greeted when their call was answered? Or how their problem/issue was resolved?

This could result in unknowns and questions you want answered going unanswered. To avoid this type of situation, it is better to start the survey with a list of quantitative questions to limit responses to specific choices. Quantitative questions are also easier to convert into numbers (percentages) and other data you can use.


To ensure you do not overlook any of the feedback you want to capture, it never hurts to end a quantitative survey with a few qualitative questions, such as:

  • “Is there anything we could do to improve our customer service?”
  • “What did you like most about the customer service agent you spoke with?”
  • “Is there any other feedback you would like us to be aware of?”

Capturing these responses will aid you in creating future surveys, as well as in identifying specific issues you might have overlooked. To learn more about our outstanding customer support and service solutions for your business, contact Always Answer at 1-800-606-9898 now.