Creating Powerful Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Actionable data from customer satisfaction surveys is the best way to improve your company. Our guide will walk you through the basics.

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If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very important- Jeff Bezos

Best Practices: Customer satisfaction surveys should include a Net Promoter Score question to establish benchmarks. Advanced question types like MaxDiff help identify the biggest needs of your customers. Text message or email invitations should be simple with a call to action and incentive to help boost response rates.

Net Promoter Score is the most important concept in customer satisfaction.

Understanding Net Promoter Score®

The Net Promoter Score question was developed by Bain & company in 2003. Instead of asking if your customers are satisfied, you're asking if they're promoters of your company. You're trying to determine if your customers will speak up and recommend your brand. This is vital if you wish to expand your business, as positive recommendations promote growth.

This question asks "How likely is it that you would recommend this company to a friend or colleague?" with options from 0 to 10. When scored this question gives you one number from -100 to 100 to determine brand loyalty. That number can be tracked internally over time and even compared to other business in your industry.

net promoter score explained

Customer Satisfaction Survey Types

When trying to measure customer satisfaction, there are a few different survey types that can be used. Each type can help collect different data points, helping your organization paint the full picture of customer satisfaction.

Customer Effort Score

A customer effort score is as simple as asking the question "How easy was it to ___". The customer effort and Net Promoter Score should be staples in your organization.

This survey type measures the amount of effort to use your product or solve a problem. The higher the score, the more likely your customers are to make another purchase. HBR did a study on this with over 75,000 participants, and found tag 94% of customers who repot a low effort score expressed an intention to repurchase, and 88% said they would increase their spending.

Note: HBR's study asked the question "How Difficult was it to ___" instead of "How easy was it to__". Because of this, they referred to a lower score as better. We recommend asking "How easy", as this has a positive connotation, and is now standard in the industry.

An email survey is the best way to collect responses for customer effort score. For new users, you can send them a survey one or two weeks after an initial sign up. This data can help you identify to increase retention rates and improve your user experience.

Customer effort score survey template

Transactional Surveys

This could also be referred to as a point-of-conversion survey. This type of survey is triggered after an event like a purchase or a sign up. Data captured from this survey type can help identify problem areas, help with proper product pricing, new product offerings, and ultimately help drive revenue growth.

For online purchases we recommend sending an email survey 24-48 hours after a product is delivered. For customer support tickets we recommend sending an email survey, waiting at least 20 minutes after the ticket is completed. This wait time help the customer determine if the product met their needs or if problem was actually revolved.

A survey link can also be included inside of an email recipient as a simple method to collect data. Brick and mortar businesses can also add a QR code survey to paper receipts or product packaging.

Transactional surveys don't need to be sent out after every purchase or interaction. You don't want to be known as the company who bombards people with survey requests. Use a sample. Maybe every fifth customer or transaction.

Transactional survey template

Customer Relationship Surveys

Usually these types of surveys are sent out once a year. These types of surveys are not tied back to a specific transactions, but sent periodically.

The goal of a relationship survey is to measure and track how loyal your customers are to the brand. This survey should revolve around the Net Promoter Score. If you see a trend of lower scores it could mean customers aren’t finding the products they need, prices are too high, or are choosing competitors for various reasons.

It's important to send relationship surveys to customers who have not made a recent purchase, such as six months before the survey date. This will help you capture value feedback on why customers have stopped doing business. Exclude any customers that have been sent a transactional survey in the past three months; doing this reduces survey fatigue.

Customer relationship survey template

Advanced Question Types

Many organizations aren’t aware of survey features that could help them collect better data! This would go beyond customer satisfaction and help drive revenue.

MaxDiff and Conjoint analysis are perfect to help identify customer preferences when building new products. Van Westendorp analysis can also be used for new products to find the optimal price.

Custom Survey Data

Custom survey should be included with your surveys to reduce the survey length. (shorter surveys mean more responses, better data). Customer region or store location are examples of custom data.

This information is included with the results to help spot hidden trends. For example you might notice customers buying from a certain region are dissatisfied.

Add Survey Incentives

Incentives like coupons will help boost response rates while helping to increase repeat business.

According to Jon Taffer, "with each visit, the chances of your guests returning keep going up. The third time they come, the statistical likelihood of a fourth visit is over 70%.".

Analyzing The Results

The Net Promoter Score module makes analysis easy. You can track scores over time, segment by store location or product type, and even compare against industry standards benchmarks. The module includes sentiment analysis for open ended comments. If someone types a response that has a negative connotation, then it is labeled "negative" automatically. You can then filter by this tag and fix problem areas.

Customer Satisfaction Survey Tips

  • Keep the survey short. Don't ask for things like "when was your last purchase" or your "state of residence". This information should be pulled from your system and automatically included in the survey with custom data.
  • Send out separate Net Promoter Score and Customer Effort Score surveys, don't combine them into one.
  • Use benchmarks. Once you run your first Net Promoter or Customer Effort Score survey, use those numbers a benchmark. Trey to improve those numbers, compare them to others across your industry, and address problem areas found in the open ended text questions.
  • Always include an open-ended text input question. Most often these are used if an Effort Score or Net Promoter Score is low. Thew question would ask "what can we do better to improve"

How We Can Help

  • Creating your survey, advising on question types to add, or questions to ask
  • Helping you collect and automate custom data to be included in your surveys.
  • Build and manage custom HTML survey invitations. These would be automated based on customer actions. To endure deliver these emails would be sent from your domain which customer recognize!
  • Walking you through the reporting process, building custom reports in pour report builder, or even working with your organizations IT department to automatically upload responses to your servers.
  • If your organization needs help organizing customer data we can also do that! Anything programming related, even if it's transforming and uploading Excel files, we can assist!

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