Surveys should be customized to meet your needs, with questions that address specific concerns. Saying that, surveys should also contain a mix of independent—or predictor—variables and dependent—or outcome—variables. This facilitates identification of the items that have the most impact on your organization’s overall performance, and the items that need to be targeted to improve performance and overall levels of customer satisfaction.
So what are variables? Variables are essentially items or questions, independent variables assess specific elements of the experience, and they tend to be narrow in scope with a niche focus. These might be things like “My account executive is responsive to my requests.” Dependent variables assess the totality of the experience, and tend to be broad—big picture—items. For example, I am satisfied with the company. Having a healthy mix of these two types of questions fosters a well-designed survey.