SurveyMonkey CX lets you add custom data about your customers in two key ways: Custom Filters and Custom Attributes. So, what's the difference, and when would you use one vs. the other?

In short, Custom Filters are for better segmenting and analyzing your survey results, while Custom Attributes are for cross-referencing your CX data with other systems. 

Create Custom Filters for data fields you want to use when filtering or segmenting your NPS data. For example, sales region, account manager, or subscription level would all be good examples of custom filters. Custom Attributes are for data that can be unique to each of your customers and isn't useful for filtering or analyzing your NPS data. For example: a customer ID from an external system. Custom Attributes are usually most useful when you are exporting data from CX to import into other systems and you need a unique value like an ID number to match against.

Whether you are collecting NPS data via email, web link, or our API, you can use both Custom Filters and Custom Attributes. Read on for the details.

Custom Filters

With custom filters, you can filter survey results into segments that matter to your business. For many customers, custom filters are critical to helping them interpret NPS and the key drivers behind their score. Common custom filters include Region/Territory, Account Rep, Product, Customer Type, Branch and many more. Custom filters have a limit of 100 unique values per filter. 

To create custom filters when importing a list, add additional columns with headers to your CSV file. When you upload the CSV, do not map any columns you want as filters. The filters will automatically be created once responses are received.

To successfully pass custom filters via the web link with params or the API, every filter must be created prior to launching the survey within the app settings.

Follow these instructions for passing custom filters when triggering surveys using our API.

Custom filters will always be associated with the contact email address across all surveys but can be overridden by uploading a CSV file with updated data.

Note: custom filter header text must be exactly the same when adding to a previously created filter to prevent the creation of a new filter (ex: adding a new recipient list to an existing survey).


Custom Attributes

Custom attributes are data points associated with a contact record that are unique to a survey response. Because they are unique to a specific survey response, custom attributes must be included in the initial list import or passed via the API or web link. There are no limits to the number of unique values per custom attribute.

Custom attributes must be set up prior to importing your list or triggering surveys. To create a custom attribute, first click Settings in the top banner of your account

Creating custom attributes

Next, click Custom Attributes.

Click +New Custom Attribute.

Type in the name of your attribute and click Create Attribute.


Mapping custom attributes to a list upload

Once you've set up your custom attributes, upload a CSV file of contacts you intend to send the survey to (note: the CSV file must have headers).

You will then be prompted to map columns to the corresponding attribute. Any column that remains unmapped will be automatically turned into a filter (note: this includes First Name, Last Name, and Company).

Note: Custom attributes are associated with a single survey response. The same contact can respond multiple times to the same, or different, surveys and have unique custom attributes associated with each individual survey response.

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