Every product or service is made for its customers. It's created to either solve their problems or fulfill their needs.
Your product or service revolves around your customers and their experiences, and every single day, you're making significant efforts to provide them with a positive experience.
This journey of providing your customers with a positive experience starts from the moment they land on your website and extends beyond the moment they become your customer. Without question, delighting them and encouraging them to become a loyal customer is a never-ending commitment. As Derek Sivers from CD Baby puts it, "Customer service is the new marketing." And that couldn't be truer.
The Importance of Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Your customers' opinions and feedback are two of the most important factors that validate important decisions within your business, catalyzing your business’s sustainability and growth.
Their opinions also shape the customer lifecycle. If you don’t know what your customers think, you have a lower chance of retaining them, delighting them, and enticing them to make future purchases.
Without question, the voice of the customer is important. So, why don't we involve them enough?
Sometimes we don't know how to.
How do you know if the customer is satisfied? Or dissatisfied? How do you decide to work on a new feature, if you don't even know whether the customer needs it or not? What do you think your customers expect from you? Did they find what they're looking for?
In this post, we'll dig into customer satisfaction survey questions and real examples that you can use to inspire your surveys.
- Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions
- Best Practices for Creating Customer Satisfaction Surveys
- Customer Satisfaction Survey Template
- Customer Satisfaction Survey Examples
- Get More Customer Feedback to Grow Your Business
5 Free Customer Satisfaction Survey Templates
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Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions
If you want to obtain valuable feedback from your customers, then you have to ask them the right questions. Sharing information isn't always an easy task, and it's not the customer's job to provide your business with constructive criticism. Instead, it's the surveyor's responsibility to create a thought-provoking prompt that engages the participant.
If you're getting stuck on deciding what to ask your customers, here are some of the types of questions we recommend including on your customer satisfaction survey:
When it comes to customer success and satisfaction, it's critical that your business collects feedback about your product or service. If you don't, then it's more difficult to assess customer needs and provide effective solutions.
Finding out how satisfied your users are with your offer provides your marketing and product teams with valuable information that can be used to improve customer retention.
Some questions that you could ask in this section are:
- How long have you been using the product?
- Which alternatives did you consider before purchasing the product?
- How often do you use the product or service?
- Does the product help you achieve your goals?
- What is your favorite tool or portion of the product or service?
- What would you improve if you could?
- Which product features do you consider the most valuable?
- Which product feature do you use most often in your day-to-day?
- What points of friction have you encountered while using the product?
- If there was one new feature you could suggest, what would it be and why?
Demographics are essential to marketing and sales teams because they make it easier for companies to segment customers into buyer personas. By grouping customers together based on key characteristics, this categorization helps employees visualize their target audience. Marketing and sales teams can then use that information to pursue leads that are most likely to convert.
When asking these types of questions, be sure to embrace a proactive and inclusive approach. These questions shouldn't be mandatory, so always provide an option for customers to omit an answer. Your goal is to extract honest information, but you don't want it to come at the expense of the customer's comfort.
Here are some demographics questions that you should consider including in your next survey:
- How old are you?
- Where are you located?
- If applicable, what gender do you identify as?
- What is your employment status?
- What is your marital status and do you have children?
- What is your level of education?
- What is your approximate annual household income?
- Where do you work and what’s your job title?
- What industry are you in?
Psychographic questions dig deeper than demographic questions, uncovering information relating to your customers’ preferences, habits, behaviors, and tendencies. It’s not about who your customer is, but why they do what they do.
Psychographic questions may seem intrusive, but they’re highly valuable pieces of information that give you a glimpse into the reasons for your customer’s buying habits. They’re usually phrased in relation to your industry and not specifically about your product.
These questions are instrumental in customer satisfaction surveys because you can indirectly find out how you can better serve your customers.
Here are a few questions you might ask:
- Do you prefer to shop on your phone or your laptop?
- What’s your most important priority when (insert something related to your industry)?
- E.g. if you’re a mortgage lender, you might ask, “What’s your most important priority when buying a home?”
- What’s your biggest roadblock when (insert something related to your product)?
- E.g. if you’ve created a recipe sharing app, you might ask, “What’s your biggest roadblock when trying to access the best recipes online?”
- How much time do you spend on (insert social media platform you’d like to use for advertising)?
- How much does sustainability matter to you in purchasing a product?
- How do you feel about (insert product type)?
- E.g, if you sell women’s razors, you might ask, “How do you feel about women’s razors?”
- What do you dislike about (insert product type)?
- How many hours a day do you spend doing (insert something that relates to your product)?
- E.g. if you sell ergonomic car seats, you might ask, “How many hours do you spend driving?”
Sometimes there are aspects of your offer or business that you want feedback on, but they aren't things that your customers are actively addressing. In these cases, it helps to be direct and ask customers how they feel about these specific details.
Before you do, you'll have to determine a quantifiable way to measure their responses. Adopting a satisfaction scale section is a great way to create a consistent approach to quantifying this subjective survey feedback. A few ways that you can implement this scale are:
- A scale measuring from 1 to 10 (or another number). 1 means the customer was extremely unsatisfied and 10 means the customer was very satisfied.
- A descriptive scale that measures a customer's response from unsatisfied to satisfied. The customer is given a short list of responses to choose from that range from "very unsatisfied" to "very satisfied."
- A picture scale that uses images to symbolize customer satisfaction. For example, you can use happy, sad, and indifferent emojis to quickly gather customer feedback.
Example questions include:
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with your in-store experience today?
- How likely are you to recommend (insert product or service) to others?
- Rate your satisfaction with our team in resolving your issue.
- Did you feel that our team answered your inquiry promptly?
- Do you agree or disagree that your issue was effectively resolved?
- How likely are you to purchase again from us?
- How likely are you to return to our website?
Open-text questions are survey questions that allow the participant to write out their response within a text box. This allows users to fully express their opinions using the customer's voice instead of the company's pre-written responses.
While they can sometimes be time-consuming to analyze, these questions encourage the participant to be honest and give them the freedom to address any topic. Open-text questions can be an instrumental asset when determining the core values of your customers.
Here are open-text questions you can ask in your next survey:
- In your own words, describe how you feel about (insert company name or product here).
- How can we improve your experience with the company?
- What's working for you and why?
- What can our employees do better?
- How can our employees better support your business’s/your goals?
- How can we improve your experience with the website or the in-store location?
- Why did you choose our product over a competitor’s?
- What would be one word you’d use to describe us and why?
- Do you have any additional comments or feedback for us?
In the last section of your survey, you'll want to include questions about the steps that'll happen after submission. These questions permit your team to follow up with the participant in the future.
This comes in handy when you roll out changes and want to get updated feedback from the same customers that were surveyed earlier. You can phrase these types of questions in a few different ways:
- May we contact you to follow up on these responses?
- In the future, would you be willing to take this survey again?
- If we were to update (insert product feature here), could we reach back out to talk about these changes?
- Can we connect you with a customer success manager via chat?
- Would you be open to discussing upgrade options for your product?
- Can we send you a list of useful resources for getting the most out of your product?
While measuring customer satisfaction can be tricky to manage, asking effective questions can reveal highly valuable customer insights — and the questions we’ve listed above will do the trick.
Next, we’ll go over best practices for creating customer satisfaction surveys.
Best Practices for Creating Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Designing a customer satisfaction survey is no easy task. Luckily, there are a few best practices that will help you increase response rates and get you much-needed feedback from your customers.
Make sure you choose the right survey tool.
Without the right customer survey feedback tool, you’ll have a whole lot of data and no way to distill it or glean valuable insights from it. Choose a tool that gives you the ability to ask different types of questions, examine basic metrics such as response rates, and track customer sentiment over time.
Always ask short and relevant survey questions.
No one enjoys spending a lot of time answering surveys, so be sure to keep your survey questions short and to-the-point. When asking open-ended questions, keep the minimum character count short, make the question optional, or offer an incentive.
Send the surveys at the right time.
Give a lot of thought to the placement of your surveys over the course of the customer journey. It wouldn’t make sense to send a survey to someone who’s only just subscribed to your blog — nor would it make sense to send one years after a customer stopped doing business with you.
When do you send a customer service survey? Send it after a lengthy interaction with one of your teams, a few weeks after purchase or onboarding, and a few times throughout the year to measure the customer’s happiness.
Always A/B test your surveys.
A/B testing is an excellent way to find out whether your surveys are as effective as they can be. Simply create two versions of the survey with minimal changes. You can change the order of the questions, the number of questions, the wording, and even the color of the buttons. (Change only one thing at a time so you can track its effectiveness.)
Send both out to a segment of your customer base and find out which one generates more responses.
Thank your customers for their feedback.
Whether it’s through a gift card, a discount, or simply a nice email, always thank the customer for their time, regardless of the nature of the feedback.
Ready to craft your own customer satisfaction survey? Use the template in the next section to get started.
Customer Satisfaction Survey Template
To make a copy of this template, click here.
Now you’ve got a template and are ready to create your customer satisfaction survey. In need of some inspiration? Take a look at these examples we pulled from different companies.
Customer Satisfaction Survey Examples from Real Brands
Airbnb politely asks for customers' opinions after their stay, giving them the space to decide whether they want to share feedback or not. It’s important to note the design of the button, too — an eye-catching brand color that entices people to click. Your survey invitation emails should have a call-to-action button like a marketing email.
2. Hilton Hotels
This seemingly simple survey from Hilton gives unhappy guests an easy, friction-free opportunity to submit feedback about their recent stay. It’s hosted on a public URL that guests can access without needing to get through any barriers. The questions are simple and easy to answer.
Uber has two target audiences — the drivers and the passengers — and it does a great job collecting opinions and reviews from both. The passengers give ratings after every ride, and the drivers rate the passengers as well.
This makes it fair and transparent for everyone, and these ratings affect the drivers' and passengers' reputation as well. If a passenger has a lower rating, the driver has the authority to decline the booking.
Netflix brings out its A-game when it comes to customer experience. With its recommendation system, it’s as customer-friendly as one can get. It studies the behavior of all of its customers and recommends movies and shows per their ratings, likes and dislikes, or just what they have been watching.
For Slack, customer feedback is at the epicenter of its efforts. The company based its product development entirely on the customer feedback. In fact, there's a command within the application where users can send them feedback, or just tell them what features the users would like to have. The co-founders read all the user feedback and made sure they responded to every ticket raised.
Drift sends Net Promoter Score®, or NPS, surveys. NPS is a critical SaaS metric used to measure customer satisfaction. The only question it asks is whether the customer is likely to recommend Drift to a friend or colleague.
Paytm has always taken customer opinions into account and has taken serious steps to improve the customer experience.
Taking customer experience and security to another level, Paytm has created a “bug bounty” to catch fraudulent merchants. If customers book movie tickets through the platform, for example, Paytm allows them to get refunds on their bookings if they were fraudulent.
Another example of a product that provides great customer service is Skype. If you call people using Skype, you know that it asks for feedback after every call. But more than that, it believes in immediately solving customers' problems. In one instance, Skype left a customer overwhelmed by its quick response time.
Amazon seems to be exceeding user expectations by collecting all kinds of information. They also make information easily accessible in a knowledge base so users can find answers and troubleshoot on their own. This reduces the chances of incorrect purchases, which can make all the difference in a customer's buying decisions.
Not only is Twitter great for direct (personal) and public messages, it's working toward bridging the communication gap between brands and audiences. You can use the “Polls" feature to informally ask for customer feedback — or get more psychographic data about your target audience.
Another product with two types of audiences — restaurants and hungry diners — Zomato puts both of their needs and expectations into consideration. Every restaurant gets rated on the food, and every buyer gets to rate the restaurants.
Here's a great example of a customer satisfaction survey from Greyhound that measures the qualitative sentiment and experience about interacting with and buying from a brand.
In such a crowded space as bus lines, Greyhound needs to make sure that the service it's providing works for its customers — or else they'll start losing them to competitors. This survey, deployed immediately after a trip, is a great way to measure satisfaction in the moment when it's most memorable for a customer.
13. H&R Block
H&R Block Advisors sent another well-timed customer satisfaction survey — just after "Tax Season" in the U.S.
For accountants and financial advisors, the period of time before the tax filing deadline are its busiest months, so a prompt survey after filing with H&R Block helps the company gauge how many returning customers it can expect.
Measuring sentiment, in addition to satisfaction, is important when surveying your customers.
In this survey, GEICO asks about customer sentiment regarding a specific interaction during the purchase process — as well as the general feeling of the experience as well. In this way, GEICO is able to smooth out specific roadblocks over the course of the customer journey, as well as get an in-the-moment snapshot of its wider customer sentiment.
HubSpot is another company that uses NPS to assess customer satisfaction. This score primarily comes into play with its customer support and success teams who can be reviewed after each new interaction. HubSpot's engineers then use these responses to address areas in their software that could use improvement. By using this scoring system, HubSpot is able to attain both qualitative and quantitative data that directs its product development efforts.
16. Taco Bell
Taco Bell has made an outstanding commitment to gathering customer feedback. Every receipt is printed with survey instructions that are placed in locations that are easily noticed. Taco Bell also incentivizes its customers by offering them rewards for filling out surveys as well as entering the participants into a sweepstakes upon survey completion.
Qualtrics is a data-collection company that helps businesses gather data on their customers. It's no surprise that its customer satisfaction surveys are interactive and include plenty of features that keep participants engaged.
In this example, each option has a dropdown menu where respondents can pick an answer to choose from. This keeps the survey's design short and sweet, making it less intimidating to someone who's looking to complete it in just a few minutes.
One feature that stood out on this McDonald's survey was the labeled receipt on the right-hand side. The element is highlighted so participants know exactly what McDonald's is asking them about in the corresponding survey. Not only does this ensure McDonald's gets accurate information from the survey, but it also reduces any friction customers may have if they're unsure or confused about a question.
19. Home Depot
To entice participants to take the survey, Home Depot offers a $5,000 Home Depot gift card. Offering a sweepstake entry up-front is a great way to ensure that you get feedback from customers who are more likely to purchase from you again. If you weren’t interested in Home Depot, you wouldn’t take a $5,000 gift card. Right away, you get to gauge the customer’s continuing interest in your business.
Get More Customer Feedback to Grow Your Business
Knowing how your customers feel about you is instrumental in growing your business. Use customer feedback surveys to collect information that can create lasting and positive changes in your company. When you know how your customer feels, you can make decisions that lead to higher revenue and increased customer retention, empowering you to grow better.
Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Apr 14, 2021 2:15:00 PM, updated April 27 2021