What questions to ask in a customer satisfaction survey

Recent research suggests that acquiring a new customer is 5 times more expensive than reselling to an existing customer.

So, are your customers happy? Will they buy again? Or, recommend your business to a friend or family member? In other words, how are you performing in the customer satisfaction department? These questions are so important for the longevity of your business that you cannot just go ahead and answer them based on your gut feeling. This is why customer satisfaction surveys are such a powerful tool to help you crunch the numbers and tell you where you stand with your customers and the experience you provide them with.

While measuring customer satisfaction is important for reasons such as higher retention rates, improved customer experience and loyalty, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and struggle to decide which questions to ask and which metrics to track. Before deciding what to ask in your customer satisfaction survey you should be familiar with the different types of CSAT surveys.

2 types of customer satisfaction surveys

In general, customer satisfaction surveys can be divided in two major categories:

Transactional CSAT surveys

These surveys are designed to measure the level of customer satisfaction after a direct interaction, at any point along the customer journey. For example, companies send transactional CSAT surveys post purchase or after a customer has contacted support to resolve an issue. The purpose of these surveys is to understand how the customer feels about that particular interaction.

Overall CSAT surveys

This type of survey has a more general scope and is concerned with how customers feel about your business in general. This includes the sum totality of all individual experiences and other factors that may affect customer perception in a positive or negative manner. Overall CSAT surveys are not usually sent after direct interactions and can be lengthier and more detailed in nature.

What to ask in a customer satisfaction survey

When thinking of which questions to include in your CSAT survey, consider

  • the type of survey you are sending: transactional or overall CSAT, and
  • what is it you are trying to achieve with measuring customer satisfaction

Questions for transactional CSAT surveys

When conducting transactional CSAT surveys make sure you are focusing the questions around the actual transaction. Ask your customers to answer the survey questions solely based on their latest interaction with your company. Here are some example questions:

  • How easy was it to find what you were looking for on our website?
  • Please rate our online purchase process.
  • How would you rate the agent that provided you with support yesterday?
  • How satisfied are you with the customer service experience in-store?

Transactional CSAT surveys will help you examine in detail one aspect of your business. Try to stick to one topic and deliver the question in a concise and easily understood manner.

Questions for overall CSAT surveys

Overall CSAT surveys will provide you with general insights on how your customers view your business. You can use the same survey to get answers to questions that cover several topics such as product/service quality, customer experience, etc.

  • Overall, how easy is it to contact us?
  • Based on your experience with our product/service how likely are you to buy again?
  • How would you rate the following aspects of our software?
    • Ease of use
    • Features
    • Speed
  • What would you change in our product/service?

Popular customer satisfaction metrics

Metrics such as the NPS or the CES are often used when measuring the customer experience as they provide quick and benchmarkable insights on the health of your company and are good indicators of elevated customer satisfaction. Let’s take a closer look.

Net Promoter Score

The NPS measures the customer’s willingness to recommend the company to others by asking the following question:

Considering your overall experience with our company how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or family member?

The NPS is used to quantify the customers’ overall satisfaction with the company and their loyalty to the brand. To learn more about acting on NPS feedback click here.

Customer Effort Score

The CES is geared towards measuring customer service satisfaction and as such is more appropriate for support environments. Surveys measuring the CES ask a variation of the following question:

How easy was it to solve your issue with us today?

The CES has gained popularity over the last years and businesses prefer it over other metrics as it allows to quantify how successful the customer is when using their product or service.

The bottom line is that the questions you ask in your CSAT survey should stem from information you want to get and the goals you aim to achieve. The most important thing to remember is that tracking metrics will not get you very far unless you analyse them and use the insights to improve your business.