Surveying and Customer Feedback

Surveying for customer feedback can be rewarding, constructive, sometimes shocking, often delightful and always really informative. A guide to surveying your audience, template and benefits

Surveys customers and patrons of different demographics, customer relationships and experiences can be really beneficial. Surveying is a useful tool, in order to improve service and experience, as well as to track how you are currently meeting expectations of your patrons.

When deciding whether to use surveys as a feedback tool it is important to think about what you are going to use the information for. You may find it useful to turn the question around and ask yourself “what information do I need to know to improve our operation?”

Do you want to know more about the booking process for people hiring your venue? How is the experience for touring shows that visit and how did they find the tech department? By asking yourself what the information will be used for and what purpose you are trying to achieve, this will inform your thinking about surveying and data collection.

If survey data is collated well and undertaken regularly then this information can be a powerful tool in building a case for funding of new equipment, extra staff or for demonstrating that your organisation is actually performing incredibly well already! Rather than just ‘take your word for it’ survey results and comments from customers, patrons and others can be incredibly compelling and provide hard evidence to back up your position, case and/or application.

Different organisations survey and gain feedback in different ways however there are several sub-groups that are worth considering:

Intrinsic Value of the Arts

Often in arts funding the emphasis in on ‘bums on seats’ and only on how many people came through the door for any one particular event.

By changing the conversation, to other areas of value, we can start to measure compelling feelings of our supporters, audiences and participants by collecting data on things like:

  • Attending ‘Your Venue/Company Name’ makes me feel proud to live in name of your town /city
  • By participating/attending ‘name of show/venue’ I feel more connected to my local community
  • Asking people whether they feel that your show or event provides a good a unique alter


Check out this Patron Snap-Shot created by Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre following surveying patrons about how they value the Centre.

There are some great practitioners that have been looking at measuring value, experience and those things that are harder to measure.


Please check out:

Alan Browne : Intrinsic Value, intimidation of the venue and understanding audiences:

Lisa Baxter : Audience Experience, Brand and Value

Culture Counts – Department of Culture and the Arts –Measuring Public Value of Arts and Culture


Other Survey Groups:


Touring Companies

Often touring companies are on the road for months at a time and visit hundreds of venues around the country. Venues who wish to know how the experience is for touring companies might consider a survey to all visiting shows and consider formulating questions that look at items such as:

  • Cleanliness of back-stage and dressing rooms?
  • Was the pre-rig done and were the tech team ready for their show?
  • Did they feel welcome in the venue?

Please feel free to customise this template to create a survey for companies hiring your venue…

Show by Show

By surveying show-by-show it is possible to build up patterns of attendance, trends that may emerge for certain genres and types of performance and to track the experience of patrons attending the shows. Item to consider include:

  • Experience in accessing the venue including parking, bars, toilets, front-of-house staff
  • Content and themes of the work – how the audience reacted to the work itself
  • How patrons feel about things such as value for money, ticket buying experience and quality of performance


How to complete the surveys

A lot of customer surveying is now done online, however many organisations may decide to have volunteers on the ground handing out hard surveys, with a collection point in the venue, or with a tablet, iPad or other device.

Another idea is to hand out a hard survey to visiting companies, with a stamped, addressed envelope back to your organisation so that the touring party can fill out on the road and then post back to you at their next stop.


Take a look at these easy to use online survey tools:

Survey Monkey

About Us

“We want to help you make better decisions. That’s it. That’s all. That’s what drives us. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get at the knowledge you need to make smart, informed choices. And after 10 years, we’re still challenging ourselves to deliver simple, powerful solutions. We’re dedicated to making even the most advanced research design easy enough for anyone – and everyone – to use.

“Knowledge for everyone – We believe everyone deserves easy access to the information they need to make better decisions. Budgets, timelines and logistics should not get in the way. That’s why we created the simple, cost-effective, self-serve solution you know as SurveyMonkey.”


Poll Daddy

Some features of Poll Daddy

Powerful Reporting & Filtering

Watch your results in real time as they come in. Create filters to analyze your data and reports to share it. Export raw data goodness to Excel, PDF, CSV, Google Docs, and XML format.

Easy-to-Use Survey Editor

Create surveys with ease using our advanced editor. Choose from 14 question types, including multiple choice, free text, and Likert scales

Customize Your Looks

Use your CSS wizardry to customize how your surveys look. Change the font, size, color, and add HTML, images, and videos.

Collect Responses Everywhere

E-mail the survey link to your audience, use it in a banner on your website, or use our iOS app to collect responses anywhere.