When done right, patient surveys offer all sorts of valuable intel. You will learn exactly what you are doing right, and what may need some improvement and it can be truly enlightening.

Patient surveys may be the most effective way to gather the data you’re looking for directly from the source…your patients, but only if they are done right.

  1. Define your purpose

What do you really want to find out? Maybe you want to see how patients might feel about adding a consultation fee or whether they would like to see you dispense skincare at your office? Whatever the goal, be sure there is a specific purpose for your survey.

  1. Make it short and sweet

Everyone is in a rush so the shorter your survey, the better. The best length is five minutes or less, but under no circumstances should your survey take more than 10 minutes to complete. Tip: Consider a progress indicator or bar that lets respondents know how much longer they have left before the survey completed.

  1. Keep the number of questions to a minimum

Aim for five to 10 questions max. Survey Monkey reports that the drop-off rate is minimal at only five questions, but rises as you hit 10.

  1. Make sure it’s optimized for mobile

Many people will likely take your survey when they have downtime – such as while they are waiting in line for lunch. If yours isn’t optimized for mobile devices, they will hit delete.

  1. Sweat the subject line

If it isn’t engaging, your perspective respondents will just hit delete. Something like, we need you! Help us create a better skincare experience for you, usually works well.

  1. Mix it up

Include a variety of question types that slant toward more multiple choice, scale, spectrum, or open-ended responses. Yes-or-no questions can be polarizing, offer less insight, and don’t give patients the opportunity to share their honest opinion. Tip: When asking multiple choice questions, be sure to include an “other” option and a space to leave a note.

  1. Use an online tool

Many online tools are available for survey creation including Survey Monkey, TypeForm JotForm, AskNicely, Formstack and Google Forms.

  1. Test it out

Before sending your official survey out to patients, test it out with staff or friends to ensure everything works smoothly.

  1. Send it at the right time

Generally speaking, the best time to send out survey emails is overnight on a Saturday, though workaholics are better approached a littler later in the morning on Saturdays.

  1. Share the results

Utilize the information to fulfill your survey’s purpose, but also to inform other business matters, such as content topics or social media posts while still keeping in line with your privacy policy.

Need help developing your next patient survey? Drop us an email at