Your product or service revolves around your customers and their experience.
When they use your products, though, how do you know if they’re satisfied with them? Or if they’re dissatisfied? And, how do you decide to work on a new feature if you don’t know whether the customer needs it or not?
This is where customer satisfaction surveys come in, as their results let you know exactly how your customers are feeling — how satisfied they are. In this post, we’ll cover:
The Importance of Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Without question, the voice of the customer is important. Their opinions and feedback are two of the most essential factors that validate decisions within your business, catalyzing your business’s sustainability and growth.
Their opinions also shape the customer lifecycle. If you don’t know what they think, you have a lower chance of retaining them, delighting them, or enticing them to make future purchases.
With all of this in mind, you get opinions and information about satisfaction levels from your through customer satisfaction surveys. Without them, you’d never know how your customers were feeling, and you’d never be able to meet their needs.
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, your business must collect 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 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 concerning 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?”
- 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?”
- E.g, if you sell women’s razors, you might ask, “How do you feel about women’s razors?”
- 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 shortlist 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 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 throughout 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 year 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
The following customer satisfaction survey template can help you get answers from your customers in one easy step. It asks one simple question: “How satisfied were you with your experience today?” If you’d like, you can add more questions to get more details from your customers.
To make a copy of this template and get 4 bonus templates, 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 lets customers book overnight stays and experiences across the world. For Airbnb hosts to build a reputation, they rely on customer feedback to make them seem more credible.
In this survey example, Airbnb includes an eye-catching button that prompts recipients to take the survey. Once they click through, they’re taken to a user-friendly survey with a series of questions that can help Airbnb better understand why the recipient chose Airbnb as their provider. It’s extremely in-depth, too, prompting customers to provide as much detail as possible about their experience.
What we like:
Airbnb politely asks for customers’ opinions after their stay, giving them the space to decide whether they want to share feedback or not. In its survey request, Airbnb was intentional about the design of the button, too, by choosing an eye-catching brand color that entices people to click. Your survey invitation emails should have a call-to-action button, just like a marketing email would, to increase click-through-rate.
2. Hilton Hotels
The Hilton Hotel company provides its customers overnight stays with promising customer service, upholding its century-old reputation.
To better understand what people’s stays were like, it offers a one-page survey where customers can willingly submit their feedback. It’s just a few questions long, most of which are logistical (such as where the visitor stayed and how long they stayed there for). Users then have the option of elaborating.
What we like:
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.
What we like:
This survey makes it fair and transparent for both the driver and the passenger, and these ratings affect both parties’ reputation as well. If a passenger has a lower rating, the driver has the authority to decline the booking. If you run a business with two target audiences, create a survey for both.
Netflix provides its customers with curated entertainment recommendations that would not be possible unless they had a great understanding of customer satisfaction.
Overall, Netflix brings out its A-game when it comes to customer experience. With its recommendation system, it is as customer-friendly as one can get. Netflix 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. It also collects feedback periodically to improve its offerings.
What we like:
In this survey, Netflix tries to better understand users’ behaviors and preferences. This shows that even if you dominate the market like Netflix does, you shouldn’t stop there. Continue collecting feedback from your customers and users, and don’t be afraid to get granular to understand their needs.
Slack is a business messaging app that helps professionals connect from anywhere. It bases its product development entirely on customer feedback.
In fact, customer feedback is at the epicenter of its efforts. For instance, there’s a command within the application where users can send feedback to the Slack team, 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.
In the email above, Slack invites the user to take a survey to improve its offering. The email is short and to the point.
What we like:
Slack’s commitment to collecting customer feedback is commendable, and so are its invitations to take the survey. In the above example, Slack makes the survey seem more exclusive by mentioning that it was only sent to a few people. Don’t be afraid to curate a short list of customers to send the survey to, especially if it seems like those customers would be more likely to answer.
Drift provides businesses with a revenue acceleration platform that caters to a buyer-centric world. The above survey asks one simple question: “How likely are you to recommend Drift to a friend or colleague?” Sometimes, that’s really all you need.
What we like:
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 the business to a friend or colleague — and this can be enough of an indicator of a customer’s happiness with your brand.
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 accidentally buy fake movie tickets through the platform, for example, Paytm allows them to get refunds on their bookings.
What we like:
Paytm gives users the opportunity to tangibly improve the product by giving them the ability to report bugs directly on the app. Plus, it not only collects customer feedback, it acts on it, too, by fixing those bugs. Overall, Paytm provides plenty of avenues for turning an unhappy customer into a happy one.
Another example of a product that provides great customer service is Skype, a business recognized for its telecommunication technology. 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 the survey above, Skype asks for feedback on the quality of the call. It’s just three questions long, and when it comes to surveys, the shorter, the better. It also gives users the ability to quickly answer the questions by offering multiple choices instead of letting them write out an answer (though they have that option, too).
What we like:
Skype gets straight to the point in this simple three-question customer satisfaction survey. Even more, it keeps the focus on the product by only asking about “Audio Issues” and “Video Issues.” If you sell a product where users might run into issues, consider asking targeted product performance questions, then leave a blank text box for users to elaborate.
Amazon, one of the most popular eCommerce websites in the globe, exceeds user expectations by collecting all kinds of information. When you contact its customer service department, it sends you a customer feedback survey that asks three questions about your interaction:
- Please rate the service provided by the Amazon representative.
- Please rate how well you could understand the Amazon representative.
But Amazon doesn’t stop there. It makes 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.
What we like:
Amazon’s customer satisfaction survey is a great way to gauge how happy the customer is after getting help from the customer service team. It’s important because customers only reach out when they’re unhappy — so sending a survey like this one helps Amazon understand whether the customer is happy again. Like Amazon, be sure to send surveys after your customers interact with your service team.
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. This action is as simple as, well, making a Tweet.
While this is not an example of an actual customer satisfaction survey, publishing a Twitter Poll can be an excellent way to collect customer feedback quickly and effectively in an informal setting.
What we like:
We love the Twitter Polls option for customer satisfaction surveys because it’s not a formal sit-down survey. Your followers can answer one question as they scroll through their Twitter feed, and you get feedback from those who are interested in your brand, too. It’s a great choice for asking more general brand sentiment questions as opposed to product-based questions.
Zomato is one of the largest food delivery and review websites in the world, and its success can be largely attributed to customer satisfaction.
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. In the above survey, it asks for feedback with one simple statement:
“Tell us what you love about the app, or what we could be doing better.”
Then it allows users to free-write their thoughts.
What we like:
This open-ended survey format is perfect for websites and apps. You would ideally always include the option to give feedback in a pop-up button, banner, or tab that users can click. That way, you don’t need to contact users first; they can voluntarily submit feedback to you.
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.
What we like:
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 at 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 time before the tax filing deadline is their busiest months, so a prompt survey after filing with H&R Block helps the company gauge how many returning customers it can expect.
What we like:
H&R Block Advisors smartly sends the survey at a busy time for its business. If your business also has busy periods or periods where people are more interested in your products, send surveys during those time ranges to optimize the amount of responses you receive. You’ll get more submissions simply because you have more customers during those months.
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 — and the general feeling of the experience as well. In this way, GEICO can smooth out specific roadblocks throughout the customer journey, and get an in-the-moment snapshot of its wider customer sentiment.
What we like:
GEICO’s example is simple, short, and to-the-point. It only has three questions and gives an additional avenue for contacting GEICO’s customer service team. Always give respondents a second option for submitting feedback or contacting your team to better gauge how satisfied they are with your brand.
HubSpot is another company that uses NPS surveys 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 can attain both qualitative and quantitative data to direct its product development efforts.
What we like:
HubSpot uses its surveys to create product-level improvements, and the best part is that for customers, answering one question is an effortless way to give feedback. So it’s a win-win on both sides. When you carry out surveys, be sure to forward the feedback to the right department to address any issue that your customers brought up.
16. Taco Bell
Well-known fast food company 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, along with entering the participants into a raffle upon survey completion.
What we like:
Taco Bell prompts its customers to complete the survey just by including a survey number in the receipt. There’s no need for Taco Bell to email the customer after a purchase. Most importantly, the company increases responses by offering a prize. Try to provide incentives and to provide a link to the survey in a noticeable place.
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.
What we like:
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.
18. HubSpot for WordPress
HubSpot for WordPress is a plugin that adds CRM functionalities, forms, and live chat to WordPress websites. In this survey, HubSpot aims to find out whether the plugin has been working as designed. It has just one simple request: “Rate your experience using HubSpot for WordPress.”
We recommend using this format for product-related surveys — specifically those that have to do with a single specific feature. For instance, if you recently rolled out a new update, this single-question survey can help you measure your customers’ opinions about the new addition to their software or product.
What we like:
The five-star scale is simple to understand and makes it easy to answer, because all the user has to do is provide a star rating. The users can also answer straight in their email, instead of needing to access an external survey link. Sometimes, you don’t need to include complicated questions and options to create an effective customer satisfaction survey.
McDonalds is a fast food company that knows exactly how to cater to its customers, even deploying different strategies in countries across the world. One way it tracks success is through incentivized feedback.
What we like:
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.
20. Home Depot
When customers go to hardware stores, they’re looking for a business that will satisfy their home renovation needs, and Home Depot delivers just that. It collects feedback from customers to improve its offerings and provide better service moving forward.
What we like:
To entice participants to take the survey, Home Depot offers a $5,000 Home Depot gift card. Offering a sweepstakes 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.
INBOUND is a yearly experience that brings together professionals and business leaders who are interested in growing their company the inbound way. To improve the experience every year, INBOUND asks for feedback — but first, it thanks attendees for coming and provides a link to the year’s recorded content.
This more easily compels the recipient to continue engaging with INBOUND. Even if they don’t answer the survey at the moment, they may come back later if they watch a recording of an INBOUND talk.
What we like:
INBOUND’s example is great because it not only thanks attendees for attending, it also provides value by providing a link to the content library. Additionally, it gives respondents alternative ways to reach the INBOUND team. In your surveys, thank your customers for their business and provide additional value so they continue engaging with your brand.
Etsy’s customer satisfaction survey takes a slightly different approach. Rather than sending the survey from a customer service rep’s email, it is sent from Etsy’s research team instead. Even more, a picture of the research team member is included at the end, making it easy to forge a human connection with the person who might actually read the survey responses.
Once you click on the link, you’re taken to an extensive survey that asks a multitude of questions. While shorter surveys are typically better, Etsy establishes the right expectations by sending the survey from the research team. This gives you the impression that the survey will be long and extensive, because it’s being used for research purposes.
What we like:
Etsy’s example is a winner because it opens with a personal greeting from one of Etsy’s team members. Even if the email was mass-sent, that greeting immediately makes it feel more personal, and the picture of the Etsy staff member only personalizes it further. Lastly, if you plan to send a long survey, feel free to call it “research” to establish the right expectations.
23. Autonomous NYC
Sometimes, you don’t need a fancily designed email to ask for feedback. Instead, you can send an email just like Autonomous NYC’s. And if you don’t feel comfortable including a picture of yourself like in the Etsy example, you can simply include your first name to give the survey request a more personal feel.
Once you click on the link, you’re taken to a 2-page Google Form survey that measures the user’s happiness with their experience on Autonomous NYC’s website. The survey is clear, succinct, and easy to fill out.
What we like:
Autonomous NYC’s customer satisfaction survey hits all the right notes. It’s short, but not so short that Autonomous NYC’s team can’t glean any insights. It also makes most questions optional, so that users have the choice to walk away after answering two questions. Give the same option to your survey recipients by making at least a few of the questions optional.
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.