Most industries today are characterized by a buyer’s market. A multitude of products and services offered by different providers leaves customers spoilt for choice. Under these circumstances, it is becoming increasingly important to understand your customer’s needs in order to achieve the highest possible level of customer satisfaction through customer orientation.
No one can tell you more about what customers expect from you and your products or services than they can themselves. Customer satisfaction surveys – and customer satisfaction analyses in particular – have therefore become an important tool in quality management, product development, and marketing. To achieve consistent customer orientation, a customer satisfaction survey works wonders.
Optimally, you reach out to your customers for a survey right after the purchase. This can be done via:
- an online survey
- a personal survey
- a telephone survey
- a survey via app
- a stationary survey via questionnaire
- a stationary survey via feedback terminal
Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Sample questions
Use these sample questions as templates when creating customer satisfaction surveys. The templates for customers are aimed to collect customer feedback from all types of potential customers – retail, website visitors, restaurant, or garage customers. Of course, you can customize the tone and exact wording of the sample questions to suit your company’s specific needs and preferences.
The perfect customer satisfaction survey is all about the introduction. A good welcome message will encourage your survey participants to complete the questionnaire in full. Don’t forget to greet your survey participants. A friendly greeting in the questionnaire makes hesitant people feel welcome.
Also important is explaining the purpose of the survey as who likes to do something for no reason? State the goal of the survey and tell your customer why it’s so important that they complete the questionnaire. If your customer realizes that their vote really counts, they’ll be much more motivated to take the survey!
In addition: data protection is and remains a hot topic when collecting customer feedback. No matter how short the customer satisfaction survey is, you should assure the participant that their data is in good hands with you. If the customer trusts you, the probability of participation increases.
Dear [name placeholder],
Welcome to our customer satisfaction survey. You are an important customer – and your opinion is equally important to us.
We ask for a few minutes of your time and honest answers to better adapt our service/product to your needs and, most importantly, to you. Your information will be evaluated anonymously (unless you wish to be contacted personally).
Thank you very much!
You can write your own survey based on this example and use it as a customer satisfaction survey template for all the follow-up surveys you might do in the future. Weave helps you easily collect and monitor reviews on Google and Facebook. These reviews can be some of the best marketing for your business.
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Analyses have shown that there is a very strong correlation between recommendation, customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty. The question for customer service surveys differs from recommendation surveys and is therefore quite crucial to get it right.
1. How likely are you to recommend us to a friend, acquaintance, or colleague?
A scale from 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely) is suitable for answering this question.
High customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction
This general question helps you to assess customer sentiment regarding the overall image of your company.
2. How satisfied are you with our company in general?
- very satisfied
- somewhat satisfied
- not really satisfied
- rather dissatisfied
- very dissatisfied
This question can be used to determine how your product/service is perceived by customers. The results can reveal discrepancies between product design and customer expectations and provide important data for marketing.
3. Which of the following words would you choose to evaluate our product/service? Multiple choices are possible.
- high quality
Does your product/services meet customer needs? This question for the customer satisfaction survey will provide the answers!
4. How much did our product/service meet your needs?
- extremely fair
- very fair
- about fair
- rather not fair
- not fair at all
By means of this customer satisfaction survey question, it can be determined whether the quality of the product/service meets the customers’ expectations.
5. How would you describe the quality of our product/service?
- Very high quality
- High quality
- Average quality
- Low quality
- Poor quality
If you want to create a customer satisfaction survey that will give you information about customer opinion of your pricing policy, you should use the following question:
6) How do you evaluate the price-performance ratio of our product/service?
Next, we look at service. Here, the focus is on general accessibility, which is equally important for any service (whether for products or services). In such a customer satisfaction survey, this is the most important question:
7. How accessible were we to you regarding questions and concerns about our product/service?
- Very easy to reach
- easy to reach
- Generally reachable
- difficult to reach
- Not reachable
Customer satisfaction survey for a permanent or new customer
If you use this question, correlations can be established. The previous answers are thus contextualized. Are long-term customers more satisfied or less satisfied? What is the product perception of new customers? The answer to this satisfaction survey question makes it possible to find out such contexts.
8. How long have you been a customer of our company?
- I am not a customer yet
- this is my first purchase
- less than six months
- six months to one year
- one to two years
- three or more years
Customer satisfaction survey questions for loyalty
The importance of comprehensive customer loyalty is undisputed, yet when it comes to customer orientation, many companies focus far too one-sidedly on acquiring new customers instead of first trying to exploit the sales potential with their existing customer base by retaining them.
So if your customers churn and don’t want to buy from you again, you should find out as early as possible by asking this question to gain insights.
9. How likely is it that you will buy from us again?
- extremely likely
- very likely
- rather unlikely
- very unlikely
There should always be room for additional comments and suggestions that you may not have considered in your customer satisfaction survey.
10. Do you have any further questions, comments, or remarks?
Don’t forget to thank your customers
This part of the customer satisfaction survey is pretty much self-explanatory:
Thank you for participating in our email survey!
We will take your opinion to heart and work to meet your needs even more in the future.
Your [placeholder company]-Team/[placeholder name]
5 classic customer survey mistakes
In addition to the sample customer satisfaction survey questions, you can expand your survey with additional questions that are more precisely tailored to your product or service to understand the customer journey better.
It is essential to avoid these five classic mistakes in order to be successful with your customer survey:
Overly restrictive customer satisfaction survey questions
“Multiple choice” customer satisfaction survey questions generally increase the rate of survey participants, as answering them is much easier and faster. However, if the possible answers do not include the one the customer wants, this leads to possible frustration for the participants. They are now caught between two choices, and either they answer the question inaccurately or jump out of the customer survey altogether.
✔ Recommended action:
To get a more accurate customer satisfaction score, it makes more sense to offer an additional answer option such as “I don’t know.” or “Other.” Likewise, an additional free text field can help to reduce the bounce rate and will give more options and a better customer experience.
Two-part questions with only one answer option
For example, “Were you satisfied with our service and selection? Yes or No?” What if the service was impeccable, but the selection was spotty? If there is no way for customer survey participants to answer your question accurately, you will get skipped questions or, even worse, results skewed by incorrect answers from which incorrect actions would be inferred.
✔ Recommended action:
Make sure that the range of answer options can answer the question sufficiently accurately so that you get a better customer effort score.
Demand an answer to every question
Yes, it would certainly be perfect if every question in your customer survey were answered completely and thoughtfully. But this market research utopia doesn’t correspond to reality: your customers are busy, stressed, and distracted. Sometimes customer feedback is skewed by external reasons.
Sometimes a question is simply overlooked, sometimes the respondent doesn’t want to disclose the requested information, sometimes the question is worded too confusingly. Sometimes, the respondent simply doesn’t know how to name a suitable answer. If you require a mandatory answer to every question – even the most rudimentary ones – you will be punished with a high bounce rate in your customer survey.
✔ Recommended action:
To improve customer retention, minimize the number of mandatory questions and let participants skip questions they can’t or don’t want to answer.
Too many questions increase customer retention
Don’t make your customers answer questions page after page about every facet of your business in tedious and exhausting detail. Phrase your customer survey briefly and succinctly. This will give you a better chance of gaining valuable data.
✔ Suggested Action:
Phrase your survey succinctly. When in doubt, have a follow-up survey rather than letting the original survey become too long and imprecise.
Do not lose sight of the goal
Even short and concise surveys don’t equal perfect. Even if you manage to keep it short and only ask questions that are relevant in your eyes, the information and data obtained is often not on target. Every customer survey should have a specific goal, which is achieved through carefully selected questions.
✔ Recommended action:
Stay focused on your survey goal and choose thoughtful questions to elicit targeted useful information.
What is your experience with customer surveys? Have we forgotten any important questions? We welcome reports and suggestions in the comments section.
How to use surveys for customer feedback
There are countless ways to use customer survey questions to grow your business. The following ideas will help you get started measuring customer satisfaction.
Strengthen customer relationships. Have your customer service representative talk to your customers to ascertain the information you need to grow your business. Ask your customers the “ultimate question” (Net Promoter System), such as “How likely are you to recommend our company to others?” and “How helpful were the customer service representatives at your company?” This will help you better understand and optimize your relationship with your customers.
Identify gaps in customer service. Consumers are often the ideal source of information about potential gaps in your customer service. Conduct a business survey with questions such as “How quickly did our company’s customer service representatives help you?” and “How many of your questions were our company’s customer service representatives able to answer?” This allows you to determine which areas of your service are good and which have room for improvement.
Get feedback on projects with corporate customers. Some of your customers may be corporate clients. During a project and/or afterward, you can send out a corporate client survey to find out what the status of the project is and if they would do a repeat purchase. Questions such as “How well was your project handled by our client management team?” and “How likely are you to recommend our company to others?” is a great way to improve client relationships.
How to create successful survey questions
To create surveys that unearth meaningful insights, you first need a solid foundation and good questions. This may seem obvious, but it’s really important to the overall success of your surveys. When questions are well-worded, properly formatted, and carefully considered from all angles, they pave the way for higher response rates – and, therefore, better chances of getting quality data to drive your business forward.
Effective questions are characterized by several key features, so it’s worth checking the following points:
Are your questions clear?
The wording of a question should be accurate, easy to understand, and unambiguous. Double questions, double negatives, and jargon are just a few of the roadblocks to clear questions.
Are your questions neutral and unbiased?
How you ask a question has a significant impact on the quality of the answers you get. Leading questions, trick questions, or opinion questions will cloud your results.
Are you using the right customer feedback question for the right type of survey?
There are really many different question types, and you may not always know which question type to use. But if you choose the right question type, you’ll create a better survey experience where the questions are clear, and the results produce exactly what you need.
Does your survey design support your questions?
It’s not just the wording that matters. Good questions are well-worded and supported by a thoughtful survey design. This includes branching logic, randomization of response options, and careful use of mandatory questions.
Turn feedback into actionable data
Send promising customer satisfaction surveys. Use our expert-written templates, explore our question database, and gain valuable insights.
Want to hear from respondents in their own words? Then ask an open-ended question where respondents type their answer in a text box rather than choosing from predetermined answer options. Because open-ended questions are exploratory in nature, they provide insight into respondents’ opinions, feelings, and experiences. In fact, good open-ended questions often address all three of these issues and serve as follow-up questions to previously asked closed-ended questions.
- What would this company have to change to get an even better rating from you?
- What is this company really good at?
Remember: open-ended questions are designed for quality, not quantity. Respondents need to invest more time and effort to answer these questions, so you should limit the number of open-ended questions.
In general, it is recommended that you ask a maximum of two open-ended questions and, if possible, place them on a separate page at the end of your survey. You should also be careful about requiring respondents to answer open-ended questions, especially if they are sensitive questions unrelated to previously asked closed-ended responses. If you force respondents to answer an open-ended question that seems irrelevant or intrusive, they may make something up or answer with nonsense in order to continue with the survey.
Closed-ended questions provide respondents with a predetermined list of response options. These questions may lack the freedom of open-ended questions, but they are designed to collect unique answers and quantifiable data. The difference is much like being asked which of three specific restaurants you would like to have dinner at or being asked the open-ended question, “Where would you like to have dinner?”
Closed-ended questions can come in many forms, including multiple-choice questions, Likert-scale questions, dropdown questions, yes/no questions, or checkboxes. The type of question you choose for a closed-ended question depends on what information you want to elicit. Perhaps you are asking demographic questions and want to give respondents the option to check off all applicable answer options.
In this case, you will need to present the answer options in checkmark format. If you prefer to ask the demographic data in a multiple-choice format, be sure to offer respondents a fill-in-the-blank answer option so they can enter their own answers. This trick of using the “Other (please specify)” option is a good solution if you are concerned that none of your answer options will apply to your respondents.
Because closed-ended questions are based on predetermined answer options, it is important that you consider the respondent’s experience as well as how your wording might be interpreted (or misinterpreted). Good closed-ended questions don’t go too far. Here are three examples of bad closed-ended questions in an employee engagement questionnaire:
Our company culture is often rated as one of the best in the industry. How would you rate our company culture? (Rating scale)
Management in my organization communicates well and recognizes strong job performance. (Likert scale: Agree completely → Disagree completely).
How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with communication when working with employees in other departments? (Likert scale: Extremely satisfied → Extremely dissatisfied).
The first question is an example of a leading question that entices respondents to answer in a certain way. The second question is a double question, so it refers to several problems or issues but allows only one answer. In this case, respondents may feel that management typically acknowledges a job well done but does not necessarily communicate well otherwise. The third question contains several errors. It assumes that respondents regularly collaborate across departments. It also does not specify what type of communication is meant – email, Slack messages, verbal? If the survey has already used screening questions or branching logic to determine the respondents’ collaboration habits, then that’s not a problem. However, if that is not the case, this type of leading question may not provide such accurate insights as the survey author would like.
To ensure good closed-ended questions, keep the respondent’s experience in mind. Consider your survey from the perspective of your respondents and pay particular attention to the wording and format of the questions.
Questions with rating scale
Under the umbrella term of closed-ended questions, you will find questions with rating scales (sometimes called ordinal scale questions). These questions have a scale with an arbitrary range (often 0 to 100 or 1 to 10) and ask respondents to select the number that most accurately reflects their answer.
Here are some more examples of questions with rating scales:
- How would you rate our customer support on a scale of 1 to 5?
- How likely is it that you would recommend our website to friends or family?
- How would you rate the instructor of today’s workshop?
So, where can problems arise with rating scale questions? A common pitfall is omitting the context that respondents need to understand the question fully. Let’s say you asked the following, “How likely is it that you would buy our new product?” If you don’t adequately explain the value of the numbers on your scale, participants may not know which answer option is right for them.
Another point to pay attention to is the type of rating scale you use. Star-rated questions and Likert-scale questions (more on these below) are both types of rating scales. Star-rated questions are a classic way to ask respondents to rate a product or experience.
Likert scale questions
A Likert scale is a specific type of rating scale. This is about the questions with options like “I agree” and “I disagree” or “likely” and “unlikely” that you often see in online surveys. They are used to measure attitudes and opinions. They go beyond the simpler “yes/no” question and have a rating scale of 5 or 7 points, ranging from one extreme attitude to another. For example:
- Agree completely
- Neither agree nor disagree
- Do not agree at all
That there is a middle answer option is important for Likert scale questions (as it is for rating scale questions in general). Good Likert scale questions are about measuring sentiment about a very specific thing with a high level of detail. To do this, you need an accurate, symmetrical scale that can also measure neutral feelings.
Good Likert scale questions also use adjectives quite deliberately. It should be very clear which rating is higher or greater – you don’t want your respondents wracking their brains over whether “quite a bit” is more than “quite a lot.” If descriptive words don’t match logical measurements in an understandable way, your results will be less accurate.
When it comes to response options on a Likert scale, we recommend the following:
End your scale with extremes that use words like “extremely” or “not at all.”
Make sure the midpoint of your Likert scale is moderate or neutral, with options like “fairly” or “neither agree nor disagree.”
For the remaining response options, use very clear, meaningful terms such as “very” or “slightly.”
It is also best to focus the ranges of your Likert scale on one idea. For example, in a question about a person’s personality, it makes more sense to use a scale that ranges from “extremely outgoing” to “not at all outgoing” rather than a scale that ranges from “extremely outgoing” to “extremely shy.” This is called a unipolar scale, meaning that the two ends of the scale are opposites. In this case, it would be helpful for a respondent who rates themselves as the opposite of “extremely outgoing” but does not feel that the rating of “extremely shy” is the correct option for them at the other end of the spectrum. Unipolar scales represent concepts in a way that is easier for people to grasp. They are also more methodologically sound, which is beneficial for the data you collect.
When using Likert scale questions, keep the labels in mind. From their clarity and detail to their unipolar cohesiveness, labels are often key to helping respondents understand what is being asked and how their attitudes or experiences fit with the answer options.
Good questions are one of the most important ingredients for good surveys. That’s why it’s so important to start by working on well-worded questions and looking at your entire survey from the respondent’s perspective. When you pay attention to things like impartiality, accuracy, and consistency, you get better questions – and better questions lead to groundbreaking results that you can use in your business.
For help collecting more customer feedback, schedule your free demo with Weave today.