With the ever-growing number of touchpoints throughout the buyer journey, customer information becomes a black box. Customer satisfaction surveys are the only way to keep tabs on your brand’s sentiment.
A customer satisfaction survey is a valuable tool that can help brands build strong relationships and create a loyal customer base using the power of feedback.
We’ll answer these questions and much more.
Here’s everything you need to know about customer satisfaction surveys to take your business to the next level.
Like trying to fill in a leaking bucket, bringing in new customers without keeping the old ones is not sustainable. To retain customers, you must ensure their satisfaction with your products or services.
The only way to remain relevant is by requesting feedback from people who use your products daily. Here are the main benefits of conducting surveys:
While there are no strict rules for customer satisfaction surveys, there are five steps you should follow to ensure you get valid results that can help you make informed decisions.
You need to know where you’re going to get there. Setting goals before launching a customer satisfaction survey is the only way to collect results that will lead to action. Knowing your end goal will empower you to ask the right questions, use the most appropriate channel, and define the right target audience.
After defining your goals, you will have a clear picture of the best survey for that occasion. Whether you want to check in with customers after a purchase or measure your customers’ loyalty, you have many customer satisfaction surveys at your disposal.
Your job is understanding how to use them to achieve your goals and get your desired answers.
How you design your survey can make or break the whole process and affect the results you collect. At this point, you should know your goals and the type of customer satisfaction survey that will enable you to gather the right feedback.
The next step is to design your survey. Here are the things you need to consider during the design stage:
Another crucial step in conducting a successful customer satisfaction survey is your method and timing. Consider the best survey format for your audience—is it an online poll, email survey, paper questionnaire, or personal interview?
Should you consider multiple formats?
Timing is also essential. If you want to measure post-purchase satisfaction, you can’t wait too long after the purchase. It’s quite the contrary if you want to measure customer loyalty.
Conducting customer satisfaction surveys without taking action is a waste of time and money. The feedback you gather from your customers should give you a clear direction about things you need to prioritize and the next steps you should undertake to improve the customer experience.
Use quantitative data to reveal trends and preferences and qualitative data to understand their reasoning further.
The elements of a customer satisfaction survey depend on the type of survey you want to conduct. However, some key elements are common in every customer satisfaction survey:
To decide what type of customer satisfaction survey you need for a specific purpose, you must understand the different types you have at your disposal. In this section, we’ll cover the what, why, and how of the most popular customer satisfaction surveys and share examples that will inspire you to create .
Customer satisfaction score, or CSAT, is a customer experience metric that indicates customer satisfaction with a company’s products or services. You can easily recognize this customer satisfaction survey by asking, “How satisfied were you with [company]?“
The CSAT survey is composed of several questions allowing customers to express their level of satisfaction by selecting one of the multiple choices. In most cases, customers can choose between the following responses:
CSAT is one of the fundamental customer satisfaction surveys businesses should conduct periodically to ensure customers are satisfied with the company and its products and services.
Net Promoter Score or NPS is a customer success metric that measures the likelihood of a customer recommending a product or service to others. NPS indicates customers’ propensity to advocate for the brand using one survey question: “How likely are you to recommend [Company/Product/Service] to a friend or colleague?”
Respondents give a rating between 0 (not likely at all) and 10 (extremely likely). Depending on their response, customers fall into one of 3 categories:
🙂 Promoters – Loyal and happy customers who respond with a score of 9 or 10
😐 Passives – Satisfied but not happy customers who respond with a score of 7 or 8.
🙁 Detractors – Unhappy customers who are unlikely to buy from you again but can also negatively influence others and respond with a score of 0 to 6.
To calculate the final NPS score, you should subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. NPS provides a score ranging from −100 to 100, and a higher score means more customers are likely to recommend your products or services. NPS can also indicate customer loyalty and be used to predict business growth.
CSAT and NPS have different advantages and disadvantages and are very effective when used together. The bottom line is that CSAT measures how satisfied customers are with their experience with your product, while NPS measures how likely they are to recommend your products or services to others.
Customer Effort Score, also known as CES, is a service metric that measures a product or service’s ease of use. Customers expect seamless experiences, and if your product or services require extra effort, they might lose motivation, leading to frustration.
While there’s no universal benchmark, customers are usually asked to assess an experience or interaction with the company on a scale of 1-5 or 1-7. By responding to a statement like “[Company] made it easy for me to handle my issue,” customers can help businesses understand the effort needed to use a product, find information or resolve an issue.
A high CES score means your business offers a seamless experience for customers. On the contrary, a low CES is a red flag indicating some issues in the processes.
CES’s one limitation is that it reflects a single interaction rather than the overall experience. You must combine this customer satisfaction survey with others, such as CSAT and NPS, to get the big picture.
A 5-star survey is a customer feedback questionnaire that measures satisfaction with a product or service using a 5-point rating scale. The 5-star survey is a variety of the CSAT survey, a popular method of collecting customer feedback.
The concept of a 5-star rating is widely recognized and adopted, which makes this survey one of the easiest and quickest ways to gather responses. The logic behind it is straightforward—customers are asked to rate a product, service, interaction, or experience on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Five stars represent excellent performance, while one indicates a poor customer experience.
One of the limitations of this customer satisfaction survey is that asking one question needs to give you more details to understand the reasoning behind the answer. As a result, the 5-star survey is usually followed up with an open-ended question, giving customers a chance to expand on their answers.
On the plus side, the 5-star survey is interactive and an excellent way to gather social proof that you later use in your marketing materials.
A smiley face survey is a customer feedback collection method that uses emojis with different expressions to reflect a customer’s experience with the business. The emoji expressions are a great visual tool that allows customers to express their feelings—ranging from a frown, a neutral expression, to a smile.
Emojis have become a standard element in our daily written communication and are widely recognizable. Using smiley face surveys makes it easy for customers hesitant to share negative feedback in words.
The simplicity of the smiley face survey allows businesses to use them across different forms and touchpoints, such as popups and email signatures.
A post-purchase survey includes questions you ask your customers soon after they complete a purchase from your business. You can customize this type of survey depending on the goals you want to achieve.
Based on the answers you receive from your customers, you can enhance the customer experience and improve the weak points in the journey.
Post-purchase satisfaction surveys are common for e-commerce businesses, and two of the most common formats used for this type of survey are email surveys and thank-you page surveys.
You can use a post-purchase survey to identify issues in the customer experience, understand which channels perform the best in customer acquisition, and get insights into customer preferences to refine your marketing strategy further.
The product-market fit survey (the Sean Ellis test) measures product-market fit by asking customers, “How would you feel if you could no longer use our product?” There are three potential answers to the question:
If 40% or more of the replies to the product-market fit survey are “very disappointed,” you have achieved a product-market fit.
The importance of reaching your product-market fit makes the PMF score vital for every business, as having a good score means you have the right product in the right market.
Usability or user experience (UX) surveys help businesses understand the what, why, and how of a product and its users. This type of survey includes questions determining how easy (or hard) it is to use a website, an application, or software.
With the help of UX surveys, companies can get first-hand feedback, learn whether the product works as expected, and close their customer feedback loop. Businesses can use rating scales or multiple-choice responses to collect answers. An example of a usability survey question is “How would you rate using [product]?”
One of the challenges of usability surveys is finding participants. It would help if you used demographic and background screening questions to get participants representing your target audience. This way, you will choose the right participants and gather more relevant information.
The process of gathering customer feedback can feel daunting. To help you maximize your efforts and get actionable insights, we’ve prepared a 10-point checklist with customer satisfaction survey best practices.
After you collect feedback, you need to analyze data to be able to draw conclusions. Here are some of the things you need to keep in mind when analyzing customer satisfaction survey data:
You can measure client satisfaction and request feedback with one click using Touchpoint. The tool allows you to collect feedback with embedded survey forms and handle every inquiry with integrated translation tools and canned responses.
Keeping a pulse on customer satisfaction is essential for business growth. Companies looking to increase customer lifetime value, boost loyalty, and decrease churn must conduct regular customer satisfaction surveys.
Using a single platform to unify every step of the customer journey, engage customers, handle customer support requests, and measure customer satisfaction will give you a competitive edge and fuel your business.
Find out how you can increase customer satisfaction by providing better experiences with our customer engagement software.
Kaleigh Moore is a contributor for Forbes covering retail, e-commerce and direct-to-consumer business with a focus on the fashion, beauty and luxury verticals. A full-time freelance writer and consultant, Kaleigh’s work has appeared in Vogue Business, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur, and others.
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