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Tag Archive for customer feedback survey

How to Craft the Perfect Customer Satisfaction Survey

customer feedback survey





Let’s start with the most basic question…What exactly is a Customer Satisfaction Survey?

While they can come in many different forms, customer satisfaction surveys are used to gauge how your customers feel about your company or reveal details about an experience with your company. This knowledge is crucial and knowing how your customers feel about your product, services, and team is imperative to understanding how to grow as a company and improve customer experiences.

Why Conduct Customer Satisfaction Surveys?

If you don’t allow your customers a place to complain, you risk them doing so to all their friends, family, or anyone who will listen. And this negative feedback can break a business. It’s been said that angry customers will tell 9 of their friends about their bad experience. Regardless of the specific number, you know that you’re much more likely to talk about a frustrating experience than a mildly positive one.

How do you Create a Successful Customer Satisfaction Survey?

There are several different styles of questions that can be asked on a Customer Satisfaction Survey.

The first type is a simple Yes/No distinction:

  1. Was your experience satisfying?
  2. Did our product meet expectations?
  3. Did this article provide the answer you were seeking?
  4. Did you find what you were looking for?

The benefit of this is its simplicity. Most customers will only spend a few minutes filling out a survey so you want to gather as much information as you can before they lose interest and abandon ship.

Scale Questions

While Yes/No questions are easiest and quickest to answer, they do not provide the meaty responses that tell you how customers really feel. Almost all popular satisfaction surveys are based on scale questions.

Ask a question like “How satisfied are you with your experience?” and provide a scale. The survey scale could be comprised of numbers or you could use labels, such as “strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, and strongly agree.”



There are many pros to using scale questions.

  • It’s pretty standard and your customers will completely understand what to do when presented with the question.
  • You can very easily segment your data to make decisions based on individual survey responses.
Open-Ended Questions

While scale questions are important, they still don’t allow for qualitative insights. In other words, they don’t get at the “why” of an experience, only the “what.”

Open ended questions allow customers to speak freely about a product or experience and allow you to gain more feedback regarding what needs improving or what is working well.

Some examples include:

  • What do you like most about our new product?
  • What changes would most improve our new product?
  • What other products would you like to see in our store?
  • Would you recommend our products to a friend/family           member?
  • Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Following Up on Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Now that you’ve got insights on your customer satisfaction levels, what do you do with the data?

Follow up with survey respondents. The most important and oftentimes most-ignored step in a successful customer satisfaction survey campaign is contacting the valuable customers that complete your satisfaction survey. Making sure your team acknowledges and thanks anyone that completed the survey is critical to ensuring that customers will continue to provide you feedback — because it’s about building trust and showing them value.

You can’t always change your methods or practices to please all customer feedback, but you can address every piece of feedback that comes through in some way. Providing a response, even if what the customer is requesting is not something you will do, is always better than no response at all.

One of the biggest mistakes is putting all that effort into data collection and analysis, and then not acting on it. We collect data to make informed decisions in order to grow our business.

Ready to get the ball rolling? Start with a simple survey and ask customers how their experience was.


No Survey For You!


I’m a fan of customer feedback surveys – when done correctly, companies can gain some very valuable feedback. Does your company have consistently glowing feedback, with little to no negativity? Before you pat yourself on the back, make sure the way customers are being invited to take the survey are truly collecting information that is not skewed in any way.


Below are a few real life examples that have surprised me to see, causing me to wonder what the data collection looks like on the back end.


1. “No survey for you!” – I was recently waiting in line to complete a transaction. I overheard the employee ask a guest several people ahead of me how they would rate his service. She replied, “good” and he asked for a number between one and ten, with ten being the highest. Awkward, right?


She says “I guess a ten. It was good” and I watched him print the receipt, circling the QR code at the bottom of the survey. He then encouraged her to take the survey and share her rating there.


Being in the industry I am, I was thankful that I had customers ahead of me to watch what happens next. The next three customers were asked the same question, and the process repeated – receipt, QR code circled, mentioned the survey.


The woman in front of me was having a bad day, and was not happy with the wait. When it came time to answer the question, she shared her displeasure with the wait and that there was not more help. He asked her to clarify with a number and she said, “Maybe a 4 or 5.”


Can you guess what happened next?


The employee printed the receipt, handed it to her, and wished her a good day. No circling on the receipt, no mention of the survey. I’m sure the QR code was there, but it wasn’t highlighted or mentioned in any way, maybe in hopes that this customer wouldn’t take it.


2. “I really need a raise” – another example is similar to the one above. While making a purchase at a retail store, the cashier ends the transaction by asking if I had a good experience. She then asks me to complete a survey and rate her high because the company is looking at the results and will be basing raises for the new year on the results. She writes her name on the receipt and asks me to give her a good review because “she really could use the extra money.”


3. “Please don’t tell me how I feel, or stretch the truth” – One cashier ended the transaction by circling the URL at the bottom of the receipt, explaining that if I give the company a 9 or 10 rating, I will entered into a monetary drawing.


Having shopped at this store for a long time, I know they’ve had the monetary drawing for a while now; adding the “rate us high and you’ll be entered” send a couple of wrong messages. One, they only want the high ratings, and two, the only way you could be entered is to give a high rating. So what if I give them a 5? Do they throw out my response? Or do they keep it but I don’t get a chance to win?


The best way to get the most accurate feedback is to make sure employees are encouraging customers to take the survey during each and every transaction. It’s good, in theory, to tie incentives to the results, but be careful of how that translates with your staff. As an additional measure, incorporate this type of information into your performance reviews or mystery shopping program – incorporate a question that asks if the employee mentioned the feedback survey, and if so, if it was handled objectively.


Feedback is great when collected correctly; make sure your invitations come with no strings attached!