Creating a Transactional Survey

Need to collect feedback after a customer makes a purchase? Our guide will help you create the perfect transactional survey used to capture actionable data.

Start with a template

Get closer than ever to your customers. So close, in fact, that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves- Steve Jobs

Definition: A transactional survey captures customer feedback after a specific interaction, referred to as a touchpoint. This survey type provides direct feedback about a particular touchpoint, giving your organization the ability to make improvements.

Transactional surveys usually include a Net Promoter Score question to measure customer satisfaction and track brand loyalty.

Net Promoter Score is an important concept in transactional surveys.

Understanding Net Promoter Score®

The Net Promoter Score question was developed by Frederick F. Reichheld with the help of Bain & Company in 2001. 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.

When you conduct a transactional survey with a Net Promoter Score question, this is referred to as "Transactional Net Promoter Score". Transactional Net Promoter Score allows your organization to segment and filter results by a specific transaction, such as purchase type, purchase location, or even custom demographics. This segmentation and analysis can help identify areas where your organization needs to improve.

net promoter score explained

Transactional Survey Vs. Relationship Survey

A common question is "Should I choose a transactional or relationship survey?" Choose a transactional survey as a base. A transactional survey is the best way to capture customer attitudes and opinions, which is the driving force for Net Promoter Score.

Think about this. The last you time you had a really great experience (a transaction or a touchpoint) with a company, you'd want to do business with them again right? Same for a negative experience. You'd likely want to avoid that company if possible. These are the data points your organization needs to capture.

Hold off on relationship surveys until your organization gets comfortable with transactional surveys. You might not need a relationship survey. Generally, business with inelastic pricing and low volume of transactions (e.g an electric utility provider or landlord) would benefit from a relationship survey. Those businesses won’t lose customers overnight. For them, a single transaction doesn’t make or break it; a broader picture of overall "reputation" is important.

A landlord for example could benefit from a six-month relationship survey. This would spot things residents didn’t see until after moving in. This type of survey could also be considered a transactional survey, such as every six months a resident pays rent. For most businesses, transactional surveys are simple, can be triggered by actions, and provide data to make better decisions.

How Often to Send Transactional Surveys

To avoid bombarding your customers with surveys, just use a sample of transactions. Send a transactional survey the first time a customer completes a certain action, and then periodically after that. For example, the first time a customer makes a purchase, the first time a support ticket is completed, or the first time a product is installed. This will capture nice data points, and then over time, you can send them additional transactional surveys, triggered by logic (like every 5th purchase made by a customer).

When to Send Transactional Surveys

This depends on the nature of the business, but as a rule of thumb try and wait until the customer has received the product and had a chance to use it. For support tickets, wait at least 20 minutes to ensure the issue was fully resolved. For regular product purchases wait 24 hours after delivery conformation. For services like grooming or hair, and survey can be sent right after checkout.

How to Distribute Transactional Surveys

The easiest way to collect responses is with a web link. This link can be included an email message, as QR code on a packing slip, or even inside of a users' account page.

The survey link can be configured to only allow responses only once per transaction or for many transactions. For example, you could use the same link for new customers, and the same link for a six month transaction purchase. Custom data would be added to the link. We can help you set this up!


Below is an example of a web link that is included inside of an email. The Net Promoter Score question is automatically displayed, and when clicked takes you to the survey. Click the link, and look at the URL of the survey. It contains custom data that pertains to the order! This information would be included with the survey results and can help you segment, sort, and filter results.

Advanced Question Types

Once you run your first customer satisfaction survey, our software gives you the ability to view your scores over time. Spot months that were lower than average, higher than average, and even compare your organization to other organizations.

Filter and sort open-ended feedback to see what is driving your score. Share results with other mangers, take action, and see your scores improve.

Analyzing the Results

Out Net Promoter Score module makes analysis easy. You can track Net Promoter Score over time, segment by store location or product type, and even compare against industry standards. The module also includes sentiment analysis for open-ended comments. If someone types a response that has a negative connotation, then we label it "negative". You can then filter this tag to see a list of all negative comments, and fix problem areas.

Unique to SurveyKing is the ability to share reports with one click. End users can manipulate their view without effecting your report; ideal for managers to do trend analysis on the fly.

Transactional Survey Tips

  • Keep the survey short! No one wants to be overwhelmed with a long and intrusive survey. A shorter survey will also have higher completion rates.
  • Get your IT department involved to help automate the process of inserting custom data into your links. If you need help at any point, please contact us.
  • ALWAYS include a Net Promoter Score question. This score should be a metric that is constantly monitored by your organization.
  • Try to include an open-ended text question. This will let customers add suggestions or expand on issues they may have encountered. While this question may create a large volume of data to sort through, it is valuable to make improvements.

Getting Help to Create Your Transactional Survey

  • Creating your survey, advising on question types to add, or questions to ask.
  • Helping you collect and automate custom data that can be included in your surveys.
  • Build and manage custom HTML survey invitations, like the one shown above. These would be automated based on customer actions, or touchpoints. To ensure delivery, these emails would be sent from your domain which customers recognize!
  • Walking you through the reporting process, building custom reports, or even working with your organization's IT department for automation purposes.
  • 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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