Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Do your customers like you? Use surveys to find out!

A Guide to Customer Satisfaction Surveys


Customer satisfaction (CSAT) is a term that measures how your company's products or services meet or surpass a customer’s expectation. Capturing customer satisfaction is important because the data provides decision makers with a metric that they can use to manage and improve the business.

How to Collect Your Data

Post Purchase Surveys

This method involves sending a survey immediately after a customer makes a purchase. Most often this is done on an email receipt for an online transaction. A link to a survey can also be included on a paper receipt or even include a QR code.

Remember: Post purchase surveys are critical for business success. Getting feedback while the user experience is fresh will help you to improve.

General Surveys Not Related to a Purchase:

This can be a survey sent periodically to customers to check in on them. Maybe your customer base has found a new competitor they love. Maybe your customers still like your products or services but they can no longer afford them. Data collected here is crucial to identifying issues and to ensure continued growth of your business.

Collection Methods:

You can send a survey via email, text message, embedded on your website (on the checkout page), or even posted to social media. The most common collection method for business is sending surveys via email. With an email invitation you can add meta data and then be able to track, sort, and filter your results based on that data.

For example, if you link the users location or users items orders, you might notice in your results a specific region of the country is unhappy or a certain product base is driving poor customer satisfaction. A feature unique to SurveyKing is transactional surveys. With this method your company’s IT department can easily add the meta data to each emailed survey.

What Types of Questions to Ask

Never ask leading questions. For example, "There have been many complaints on shipping times. Do you think shipping times are too long?". The respondents is now primed to answer a certain way and might submit a negative answer knowing others are satisfied. A better way to ask that question would be to use a simple Likert or rating scale to ask them how satisfied they are with shipping times.

Besides question format, you’ll want to keep question specific to one topic at a time. For example ask about customer service and product prices in two separate questions. Here some examples of single topics that could be used on your customer satisfaction survey:

  • Checkout process
  • Product selection
  • Product prices
  • Salesperson interactions
  • Customer support
  • Client onboarding process
Need an example of a customer satisfaction survey? Here's a sample template!

How to Leverage Customer Satisfaction Data

Increase Repurchases & Customer Loyalty:

Use a Net Promoter® Question in your survey to gauge loyalty. If your Net Promoter® Score is low, use the follow-up data in surveys to identify why. Increasing Net Promoter® Score will lead to more customers giving you positive word of mouth reviews in addition to referrals. The more loyal your customer base is, the more likely customers will come back for additional purchases.

It's a Competitive Advantage:

In a competitive business world, any advantage is important. We've seen from past data that higher satisfaction scores (Net Promoter® Scores) are from companies that have great customer service. If you offer the same product and prices as competitors, you may realize the competition has an edge with customer service. Surveys are great way to identify customer service problems. Identify issues and gain the advantage you need.

Market Segmentation:

Now that you know your general target market, a more specific group of those people is a segment. With the dealership example, maybe you realize consumers in your area and target market love Audi but hate BMW. Both are luxury cars and people of the same income level drive them but this difference in product preference is a segment. Knowing this is ley to offer the correct brands or prices.

It Increases Customer Lifetime Value:

Customer Life Time Value (CLV) can simply be defined as:
(Average Order Value X Order Frequency ) - Cost of Customer Acquisition

The more frequent a customer purchases from you (provided acquisition costs are one time or stable), the higher your CLV will be. By using surveys, you can identify areas that need improvement (e.g. product cost or customer service), you can increase your customers satisfaction, and in turn benefit from a higher CLV.

Reduce Costs from Customer Retention:

It is widely accepted that it costs five to twenty-five times more to acquire new customers than it does to retain existing customers. Using surveys can make sure your current customers are happy and keeping doing business with you!

Customer Satisfaction Statistics

One of the most comprehensive customer satisfaction studies was done by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in 2018. One of the more interesting facts was that customers would pay anywhere from 7% - 16% more for products, provided that the company provides a great customer experience!

It takes a lot of effort to improve the customer experience, but using surveys is one surefire ways to identify weaknesses.

Another interesting statistic found by PWC, was that 17% of consumers in the US would walk away from a band with just ONE bad experience. 59% of consumers in the US would walk away after server bad experiences. The question even pertains to brands the respondent LOVES. So bad experiences adversely impact all the previous goodwill you have built up with your customers.

Source: PwC Future of Customer Experience Survey 2017/18

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Tips for Creating the Perfect Customer Satisfaction Research Survey

Use a Net Promoter® Score Question:

A Net Promoter® Question will gauge how loyal your customers are. Use this question as a benchmark year to year or even semiannually to track satisfaction.

Use Proper Follow Up Questions:

Maybe a certain age group isn’t happy with your company. Maybe the product they purchased is the sole reason they don’t like your brand and won't give you another chance. The follow up questions should be related to these areas. Once you get results back be sure to segment them to spot these trends.

Determine How to Send Your Survey:

Sending a post purchase survey is easy on our system! Want to just post a link on your web site or social media page? That's fine. Pick a method that works best for your target audience and objective.

Use Advanced Features:

Skip logic and answer piping to better engaged your audience. The more engaged your respondents are the more likely they will complete your survey.

Keep Your Survey Short:

No one wants to be overwhelmed. Keep your survey under 20 questions. Generally, 2 pages with 5 questions each should be enough to gather the data you need and not annoy your consumers.