One part of marketing and selling is obtaining new customers. The other? Keeping a happy smile on their face.
Let’s face it: Not every customer is going to be a happy customer. There are always situations that arise that can affect a customer’s perception of your brand.
Think about airlines for example. I have heard countless stories of flights cancelled or delayed. One flight issue can change your entire opinion on an airline which you’ve flown tons of times before.
Why Is Customer Satisfaction Important?
Your company wouldn't be in business without customers. Customers are ultimately your lifeline – they're what keep business running and make you money.
Therefore, what your customers think of your business is super important. If they don't like something, they could spread the negative word around and deter others from doing business with you.
But, on the other end, excellent experiences spread through word-of-mouth can bring in new customers looking for the same thing.
This is why you should find ways to ask your customers if they're happy, what they like, what they dislike, and what you as a business could do better. You should constantly monitor customer happiness to help you improve your products, services, and customer support.
So How Can You Find Out If Your Customers Are Satisfied or Not?
Whether it’s good or bad, getting feedback from your customers is one of the best ways to identify strengths and weaknesses in your company. This is where customer satisfaction surveys come in.
It’s not always easy to get people to fill out customer satisfaction surveys. If you pick questions that are clear, specific, and at least a little bit interesting, though, you’ll be much more likely to get insights into your customers that you can really put to use.
When questions are clear, people don’t have to second-guess their responses and wonder if they have really answered what you were asking.
Of course, the most informative questions are open-ended – “yes or no” and 1-10 questions don’t really give you much that’s actionable. Most people are willing to answer three to five open-ended questions before they start to get distracted.
Naturally, which questions you decide to ask will always depend on who the survey taker is and what type of knowledge you want to glean from the encounter.
Customer Satisfaction Survey Best Practices to Follow
Always Include Free-Response Questions.
In any survey you send out, you expect feedback with some sort of value. But unfortunately, flooding your surveys with just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and multiple choice questions isn’t going to give you the valuable feedback you actually want.
Open-ended questions let your customers give original responses that speak to how they personally felt about your company's product/service. Unlike multiple choice answers, the answers they provide can be put into their own words.
Don’t Ask Confusing or Irrelevant Questions.
Asking questions that confuse your customers or make no sense will most likely result in them leaving your survey all together.
Consider the objective and goals you have for your survey to identify the questions that will be most valuable.
Don’t Ask 100 Questions.
What’s worse than asking confusing questions is probably asking way too many.
Nothing turns someone away more than a survey that seems to have no end. Limit your question count to where the survey can be completed in about five minutes.
If Longer, Show Progress.
If your survey is a little bit longer, provide your customers with expectations.
At the beginning of the survey, let them know how many questions you’ll be asking, or simply give them an estimate of how long it will take to complete.
Another great tool to utilize is a progress bar: As someone continues through a survey, a bar at the top will continue to fill until the survey is complete.
Take this American Airlines survey for example:
As I flew through the different questions about my recent flight experience, I watched as the blue bar at the top filled up. This gave me an idea of how many more questions were coming my way.
Personalize Your Survey as Much as Possible.
Personalization can really have a positive impact on customers – it makes them feel noticed and important.
Looking back at the American Airlines survey I took, I was asked questions about my flight specifically from TPA to DCA, and they were sure to include information about my flight.
With just that quick personalization, I got the feeling that they would really appreciate any feedback I left them, as it was directly related to my flight, not just the airline in general.
Optimize Surveys for Mobile.
Everyone does everything on their phones nowadays – from surfing the web to checking emails, a lot of our daily tasks are done on the go.
Customer surveys are no exception!
Be sure that your surveys are optimized for mobile use. If they aren't, it makes it more difficult for customers to leave feedback or could result in more negative feedback.
20 Customer Survey Questions You Should be Asking
When it comes to the questions you should be asking your customers, there are a few basics to include. Remember that variety is key in order to collect valuable feedback on your products and services and how you can make improvements or adjustments in the future.
Here is a brief overview of some of the questions you should include in a customer satisfaction survey.
Sure, they’re the most boring questions to ask – but they could be some of your most important!
Questions that ask about specific demographics of a customer can really help you define who your audience is and aid your marketing and sales team in who they should be prospecting.
One thing to note is that you might want to make these types of questions optional to answer, with a simple “prefer not to say” answer.
Demographic Questions to Ask
1. How old are you? (free response or multiple choice)
2. Where do you live? (free response or by state/region)
3. Are you currently employed? (yes or no)
4. What is your marital status? (multiple choice)
5. What is your income level? (multiple choice)
Gathering insights about your products or services is essential – after all, it’s what your business sells.
Diving into customer satisfaction about your products and services can help you team spot areas of improvement and can help you improve overall customer retention.
Product/Service Questions to Ask
6. How often do you use the product/service you purchased? (multiple choice)
7. What do you like most about our product/service? (open-text)
8. What do you like least about our product/service (open-text)
9. How could we improve our product/service? (open-text)
Using satisfaction scale and rating questions can give you a spectrum of what your customers think.
Common in most customer surveys, you'll see a series of questions that fall in a graph-like format, where you will rank your answer based on either a number scale or satisfaction scale.
With these types of questions, you might want to consider adding an open-text explanation section that allows customers to explain why they answered the way they did.
Scaled Questions to Ask
10. On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with your purchase?
11. On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend our products or services to a friend, family member, or colleague?
12. On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to buy from us again?
13. On a scale of extremely dissatisfied to extremely satisfied, how would you rate your overall experience with our product/service you purchased?
14. On a scale of extremely dissatisfied to extremely satisfied, how would you rate your overall experience with [your company name]?
In your satisfaction survey, you might want to know how your business, products, and services stack up to your competitors.
Depending on what industry you're in and what you sell, you might consider asking questions that allow your customers to compare you against other options they were considering before choosing you.
Competitor-Based Questions to Ask
15. Why did you choose our product/service over a competitor's? (open-text)
16. Before buying from us, what other options did you consider? (open-text)
17. Compared to similar products/services you purchased, is our product/service better, worse, or the same? (multiple choice or open-text)
These questions are separate from the rest because they have an amazing power: They build real rapport like nothing else.
Not only will they give you an unparalleled glimpse into how your customers think, but they communicate that you genuinely care about helping those customers succeed.
Each one can represent an opportunity for a new customer touchpoint that might never have come around otherwise. So, when you implement these customer survey questions, just be sure you’ve got resources in the pipeline to follow up – that’s where they shine.
Additional Questions to Ask
18. Do you have any questions for us? (open-text)
19. What else would you like us to know? (open-text)
20. If needed, can we contact you to follow up on your responses? (Yes or no)
5 Companies Who Deliver Great Customer Satisfaction Surveys
At Bluleadz, we use 4imprint for a lot of our branded swag – from koozies and coasters to notebooks and pens, you want it? They got it.
And, when it comes to customer satisfaction, they value your feedback... but they don't want it to take forever.
When I received an email asking if I would take their "two-second survey," I was hooked. Why? Because I knew it should only take me two seconds, and naturally I had just that amount of time to kill in my workday.
4imprint knows that its customers don't always have the time to sit down and answer tons and tons of questions. Ultimately, they would rather ask their customers the most essential questions that could help them determine if their products and overall service is up to par. So, they asked me:
- How easy was your whole order process? (on a five-star scale)
- Would you recommend 4imprint? (on a five-star scale)
After answering these two quick questions, I also had the option to leave a free-response feedback note. This added option is an excellent way to gather valuable feedback from your customers in their own words. That way, if they had a reason for giving a certain score, customers could leave it right there.
As new partners of Drift, we have been enjoying getting to the know the platform better and create new channels for customer outreach through live chat and chatbots.
With that said, Drift reached out 30 days after we implemented their software on our site. They wanted to know what we thought of it and if there was anything that they could help with.
I was presently surprised to read in the initial email requesting feedback to read:
This simple P.S. note reassured me that my feedback will be reviewed and that what I say will potentially be of use to the Drift team.
The brief survey I received also had an interesting twist – rather than asking me how I am enjoying Drift, they asked how I would feel if I was no longer able to use Drift.
By posing the question like this, as if they could take away Drift from me at any moment, it seems to connect with you on emotional level and make you visualize what you would lack if you didn't have it anymore. Well done, Drift, well done.
Source: My Skype Lab
Skype cares about its quality of experience for its customers, and ensures that its feedback can help them improve any looming audio or video issues that might need tweaking.
A simple three-question "Rate My Call" survey is sent to customers after they finish a call on the platform. The survey aims to gather insights on three things:
- The overall call quality
- If there were any audio issues
- If there were any video issues
What's nice about this is that if there were more than one issue, utilizing the various check boxes allows customers to check off any issues they may have had – if this were a multiple choice question, for example, answering it might be a little tougher.
Like 4imprint and Drift, Skype also leaves a free-response field at the end of the survey to give customers the opportunity to leave any personal notes or feedback on their call. This is a great way to hear the voice of the customer.
4. Animal Care Center of Pasco County
Going to the doctor's office is almost always a pain in the you know what.
A long wait even though you made an appointment, the chilly air conditioning making you shake in your boots, and the underlying fear that the doctor might discover something wrong with you. Is that just me?
Well, the vet's office can also be the same way, but Animal Care Center of Pasco County, my co-worker's veterinarian, always sends a customer satisfaction survey that proves that this vet office doesn't want to be like every other.
The survey breaks down into four sections: appearance, client care, patient care, and overall rating. Each of these sections has an assortment of questions that customers rate from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Along with each section is an optional comment field where customers can leave additional feedback.
Overall, this survey touches on every aspect of the vet office experience, from the initial walk in all the way down to how the visit was.
5. Felix Gray
Felix Gray is an eyewear company popular for making blue light glasses equipped to help professionals who look at computer screens all day.
The company knows how important customer feedback is, and often sends satisfaction surveys after a purchase.
One thing it asks relates to their competitors.
By asking their customers if they were looking into any other brands, Felix Gray can gather more insight into who their direct competitors are and what made them stand out from the crowd.
In terms of B2C companies who sell highly competitive products, this can be a great way to learn from your customers.
Satisfy Your Customers, and Keep Them Coming Back For More
Understanding what your customers think of your business can have a huge impact on how you grow and improve your products, services, and overall customer experience.
You know the saying, "the customer is always right," so learn from what your customers tell you and turn that feedback into action items that help you build the ultimate customer experience.
Baylor is an inbound specialist for Bluleadz. As a native Floridian, she enjoys soaking up the Florida sun, buying clothes she can’t afford, and dreaming about one day owning a dachshund.