Bad rap ain’t that bad—
Said no business owner ever.
The question is: Do you know what your customers are saying about you? Are they actually happy with what you offer?
That’s what a customer satisfaction survey will help you understand.
In this article:
- Why you should care about customer satisfaction metrics.
- How to set up and run a customer satisfaction survey step by step.
- 80+ sample CSAT survey questions to get you started in no time.
Looking for more general information on how to deal with your customers? Here’s a selection of our other articles you may want to check out:
- Through the Eyes of the Customer: Ideal Customer Experience in 2021
- Different Types of Customers and How to Deal With Each
- What Is Customer Retention? 8 Best Strategies
What is Customer Satisfaction Survey and What Purpose Does It Have?
A customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey is a questionnaire that measures the customers’ level of satisfaction with a product or service a business offers. It helps businesses see what their customers need and what issues they struggle with.
Satisfaction surveys capture and measure the changes in customers’ perceptions over time. This way, companies can better understand whether or not they are meeting their customers’ expectations.
Here are the main reasons why customer satisfaction is so vital for brands to succeed:
- Satisfied one-time buyers are likely to order from you again and become repeat customers.
- Unhappy customers can leave you (or churn) in a heartbeat without saying a word.
- 62% of unhappy customers will share their bad experiences with others posing a risk to your brand’s reputation.
- Customers who highly rate their satisfaction can become your promoters and attract new customers (and thus, reduce your marketing expenses).
- CSAT is one of the most significant competition differentiators, especially in the digital market (services and eCommerce sectors).
Plus, the sole act of asking your customers for their opinions shows you care about what they have to say, which they’ll surely appreciate.
But remember, it’s never enough to just ask, you need to act.
1. Choose the Best Way to Conduct a Customer Satisfaction Survey Online
The first step in designing a customer satisfaction survey is to identify the right medium for your customer base or target audience.
Here are several ideas to consider:
Email surveys are a handy method to ask customers for feedback.
About 85% of people use their devices to check their mail, which means that they can comfortably respond to your client satisfaction survey any time, anywhere, and without accessing your website.
You can collect feedback from your existing customers as well as from your new leads.
Suggested reading: How to Build an Email List From Scratch
Website Intercept Survey
A Website Intercept Survey is an online survey that asks visitors for feedback to help you understand their intent, evaluate their online experience, and research your website’s usability (or store).
There are two types of web intercept surveys: Pop-ups (or modal boxes) and on-page surveys.
You can configure pop-up surveys to appear whenever you like, e.g. when the visitor is about to exit the website.
On-page surveys are widget-like surveys that appear in the corner of the screen. They are unobtrusive and allow the visitors to give feedback directly in the survey-box.
You can conduct SMS surveys to collect feedback from a large set of contacts. SMS surveys’ advantage is that it’s a fast communication channel. Plus, your audience is already familiar with it.
However, the drawback is that you will need to collect phone numbers from your audience, which are not as easy to obtain as emails.
Surveys on Social Media
Thanks to social media, customers can give instantaneous feedback. You can gauge their satisfaction with reviews, live polls, and surveys via such social media channels as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.
For example, you can set a poll to ask your followers what they think about adding a particular product to your catalog, how you can make your online store better, or which products they prefer.
Nowadays, all websites and online stores can support live chat apps. This type of communication tool is extremely popular among online shoppers and almost 41% of shoppers expect companies to have them.
Interactions via a live chat range from resolving queries, guiding customers through the registration process, helping them find the right product, and collecting customer feedback.
All the conversation logs are kept in the app’s history so you can analyze your conversations anytime you need.
Suggested reading: What Is Live Chat? How Your Business Can Benefit From Live Chats
Similarly to live chat CSAT surveys, you can use chatbots to ask your visitors for feedback through a conversation.
Chatbots are non-intrusive, and you can customize their appearance to match your website or store. You can also decide which visitors you want the bot to engage, as well as when and on which pages you want it to activate.
Chatbots can use rich media (i.e., images, gifs, emojis), video, and other links to make the conversation more engaging and natural.
Suggested reading: How to Make a Chatbot [Easy Ways to Create Chatbots for Free]
2. Pick the Right Type of Customer Satisfaction Survey
There are several ways to determine if your customers are (un)happy, (dis)loyal, how they perceive your product or service, and what aspects of your business need more attention.
The following three types of satisfaction surveys can help you understand your customers.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) shows the level of customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and gives insights into your customers’ experience.
NPS surveys consist of a single question that asks the customers how likely they are to recommend your product, service, or company to others. Respondents use a scale from 1 to 10.
This satisfaction survey responses generate a score ranging from -100 (minus hundred) to 100 (a hundred).
Based on the score, you can group your customers into three categories (or customer segments):
- Promoters: Those are the customers who gave you a rating of 9 or 10. They are happy and loyal. As the name suggests, promoters might promote your company among the people within their social or professional circles.
- Passives: Those are the customers who gave you a rating of 7 or 8. Their experience with your company is average. They are satisfied with your services but might switch to your competitors if an opportunity arises. Passives are the neutral group among your customers; they won’t spread negative comments but won’t promote your brand either.
- Detractors: Those are the customers who gave you a rating of 6 or lower. They are not happy with your products or services. Detractors share their bad experiences with others and hurt the company’s reputation. They won’t buy from you again and will discourage others from buying from you, too.
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) measures the degree to which customers are satisfied with a service, product or experience.
CSAT surveys usually contain one simple question to which visitors can respond with a set of responses (e.g., “Yes/No,” “Very/Neutral/Not at all,” or a numerical scale “0-5”). They may contain open-ended questions where the customer is expected to provide more information or justify their response.
CSAT is calculated by dividing all the positive responses by the total number of responses and multiplying by 100. This results in your CSAT percent.
For example, if you have 24 positive responses and a total of 60 responses, your CSAT would be: 24 / 60 x 100 = 40%.
Customer Effort Score (CES)
The Customer Effort Score is a single-question survey that measures how much effort it takes for customers to either use your product or resolve a problem through customer support.
CES surveys typically ask the respondents to rate their experience on a numerical or a visual scale that can include emoticons ranging from angry to happy faces.
Typical scales include 1–5 (Very low effort–Very high effort), 1–7 (Extremely easy
–Extremely difficult”), Easy-Neutral-Difficult.
The answers are averaged to explain how much effort customers need to put into a particular process.
3. Follow Best Customer Survey Design Practices
With properly constructed CSAT surveys and questionnaires, you will gain insights that will enable you to create benchmarks for your customer happiness.
So how can you go about it? Below are a few recommended practices.
Write a Brief Client Survey Introduction
Customer satisfaction surveys generally have low open rates. To increase the chances for more respondents to complete your survey, you can offer them some incentive. E.g., “Complete this survey and receive a small gift,” “Everyone who completes the survey will receive a 10% discount on our newest product.”
- Start with an explanation. Tell your respondents what the purpose of your survey is, how it will impact their future customer experience, or how they will help you improve your products and services.
- Keep it short. Use simple language to explain the topic and purpose of the survey briefly. Your introduction doesn’t need to be longer than three or four sentences.
- Make it familiar. Make sure your introduction includes the company name (and logo), or the name of the organization you represent.
- Tell them what to expect. Tell your potential respondents how long it will take to complete your CSAT survey and what kind of questions to expect. This last thing is especially important if you include many open-ended ones.
Keep These In Mind When Coming Up With Questions
Here’s a list of tips on how to design good questions—without being biased and getting dishonest answers.
- Start slowly. It’s essential to make customers feel comfortable, so start with easy “Yes/No” questions. Then, move on to slightly longer questions like multiple-choice, and gradually introduce the open-ended questions.
- Be specific. You want to identify what your customers love or hate about your business, so avoid asking too general questions. For example, instead of asking “How was the registration process?” focus on its specific aspects—”Did you come across any issues while adding a credit card to your profile?”
- Allow skipping. Sometimes, people simply don’t know the answer or don’t feel comfortable answering it. And if you don’t allow them to skip such a question, they will abandon the survey or provide dishonest responses that will skew your metrics. Alternatively, you may resolve this issue by adding an “I don’t know” answer.
- Keep it simple. Avoid long questions with complex sentence structures. Your respondents whose primary language is not English may find it discouraging or misunderstand the meaning (and thus, give you the wrong answers). The same goes for using industry jargon or abbreviations that an outsider might not understand.
- Include various question types. Surveys are meant to deliver you valuable data. “Yes/No” questions are a great way to warm up your respondents but might not always be enough to give you the insights you need. Open-ended questions let your customers give you genuine and personal responses that multiple-choice questions would not include.
- Don’t ask leading questions. Leading questions suggest the desired answers. For example, if you wanted to persuade your respondents to highly rate their satisfaction with your product, you could ask “How much did you enjoy using our [product]?” A better way would be to ask whether they enjoyed it in the first place, and then ask another question to find out more details.
- Don’t ask loaded questions. Loaded questions are tricky “Yes/No” types. They are phrased in a way that forces an answer based on false (or controversial) premises. E.g., “Have you always been so keen on using [product]?” Here, no matter which response the person selects, it will prove that they have been keen on using some product anyway (even if they haven’t!).
- Avoid “and” in questions. Double-barrel questions confuse the respondent and skew your data. When you ask about two things simultaneously, e.g., “How satisfied were you with the packing quality and delivery speed of your order?” you are allowing the respondents to answer the question only partially.
- Be very careful with absolutes. Absolute words include “always,” “never,” “all,” “ever,” “every,” etc. E.g., “Do you always eat breakfast at work?” assumes that the person always eats breakfast at work. Depending on the answers available, your respondent, who might not eat this meal at all, will have no possibility to answer this question accurately.
Structure Your CSAT Survey in a Respondent-Friendly Way
The success of your survey depends not only on the quality and quantity of the questions. The structure of the survey will also determine whether your respondents will complete the survey or drop out somewhere halfway through.
- Use a consistent rating scale. When you start out your survey with a scale where, let’s say 1 = Very Satisfied, and 5 = Very Dissatisfied, your respondents will quickly adapt to it. If you then suddenly switch to 5 = Excellent and 1 = Very Poor, they’re likely to get confused and give you the opposite answers.
- Show progress. If completing your survey takes a while, let your respondents see their progress. You can use a progress bar, percentage bars, or a question counter (e.g., 5/16) that will be visible on each survey page. If your survey consists of several individual sections, break them down into smaller ones.
- Optimize for mobile. People use mobile phones to do a lot of stuff, including watching videos, reading emails, and responding to customer satisfaction surveys. That’s why your survey must be optimized for mobile devices. If it is too difficult to work with on a small screen, your survey participation indicators will drop.
- Personalize. Personalized surveys allow you to ask your customers about their unique experience they have had with your product or service, rather than about their general impression of your company. Such customer surveys can make your respondents feel noticed and important. E.g. ask customers about their recent fridge purchase rather than whether they like buying from you in general.
- Remember your goal. Asking questions that seem irrelevant and incoherent will most likely result in your respondents leaving your survey altogether. Keep in mind the objective and goals you have for your survey to identify the questions that will be most valuable.
4. Ask the Right Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions
You can ask your customers for their feedback in several ways, and each question type has advantages and disadvantages.
Here are five types of questions you can include in your customer survey along with the examples.
1. Multiple-Choice Survey Questions
Multiple-choice questions, or MCQs, offer the CSAT survey respondents at least two answer options.
These options are easy to go through and select (using a mouse, a keyboard, or a finger on a touch screen), so respondents who rely on assistive technology can easily complete them as well.
MCQs questions require less effort to answer than open-ended ones which means that your respondents are more likely to answer them.
There are a lot of different methods to present multiple choice questions and allow the respondent to select their answer. Some of them include:
2. Rating Scale Survey Questions
Rating scale questions, or ordinal questions (because the answers are presented in a specific order), are followed by a range of multiple-choice answers expressed on a numeric scale.
The scale can be a numeric slider, matrix table with radio buttons or checkboxes, emojis, or drop-down menus.
- “How likely are you to recommend [product or service] to your friend or family? (0—10)”
- “How satisfied are you with the help you received from our Customer Service agent?” (1—5)
- “Based on your most recent live chat support, how easy or difficult was it to interact with the [company] agent? (1—6)”
When to use rating scale questions:
This type of survey question works well whenever you want to assign a numerical value to your survey and/or visualize and compare trends. Such questions are commonly used in NPS and CSAT surveys.
3. Likert Scale Questions
The Likert questions are commonly expressed on a 5- or 7-point scale. The scale captures a respondent’s level of agreement with certain statements or the intensity of their reaction toward something.
The scale develops symmetrically:
- The median number (e.g., a “3” on a 5-point scale) indicates neutrality
- The lowest number (always a “1”) indicates an extreme view (negative or positive)
- The highest number (e.g., a “5” on a 5-point scale) indicates the opposite extreme view (negative or positive).
“How strongly do you agree with the following statement: [your store] checkout process is easy to follow.”
1 – Strongly disagree
2 – Somewhat disagree
3 – Neither agree nor disagree
4 – Somewhat agree
5 – Strongly agree
When to use Likert survey questions:
Likert-type questions are useful when you already have some idea about what your customers think about your product, website, services, etc. For example, if your open-ended questions uncover a complaint about the online payment process, you could use a likert scale question to see how other customers feel about specific parts of that process.
4. Binary Scale Survey Questions
Binary scale questions offer only two answer choices, such as “Yes/No”, “Thumbs up/Thumbs down,” “Sad face/Happy face,” and similar.
- “Did our service representative meet your needs?” (Yes/No)
- “Are you satisfied with the answers about [issue] provided by our virtual assistant?” (Yes/No)
- “Were you able to find on our website what you were looking for?” (Yes/No)
When to use binary survey questions:
These questions are a good way to quickly segment your respondents.
For example, you can place a survey on a particular landing page (e.g. the pricing page) and set up follow-up questions triggered by a specific answer. So, if you want to dive into the minds of unhappy customers, you can fire up your open-ended questions if the answer to the original one is a “no.”
5. Open-Ended Survey Questions
Open-ended questions allow your respondents to give answers in their own words. Also, unlike some other questions, they do not limit choices to a set of predetermined options.
- “What other products would you like to see us offer?”
- “If you could change just one thing about our product, what would it be?”
- “What features would make our online services more convenient for you?”
When to use open-ended survey questions:
Open-ended questions give you the opportunity to collect unique feedback from your customers. They can uncover pain points you were not aware of. They can also give you insights about a new customer segment you have recently started to target but know very little about.
Don’t overuse them, though. Not many respondents feel like spending their precious time typing elaborated responses. Plus, they are hard to compare and analyze since they are not numeric or ordered in any way.
4. Use Our List of 80+ Customer Satisfaction Survey Example Questions
It’s crucial to ask the right questions. We’ve already established that.
But once you actually sit down to typing them up, your mind may go blank at the least expected moment.
We’ve compiled a master list of customer service survey questions so you’ll never run out of ideas. Use them to your liking and modify them any which way. Build your own customer satisfaction survey templates for your product/service.
Demographic Survey Questions
Demographic questions in your customer satisfaction survey are good starters and will help you get some context about your respondents. They are also useful for customer segmentation and further analysis of your customer satisfaction survey.
- What is your age?
- What gender do you identify with?
- What is your employment status?
- Where do you live?
- What is your marital status?
- What is your income level?
- Do you have children or other dependents?
- What’s your education level?
- What level of expertise do you have in ___?
Product or Service Survey Questions
Here are several examples of specific questions to ask if you’re in an eCommerce or Saas company.
- What information would make your purchase decision easier?
- What is your biggest fear or concern about ordering this item / trying our services / etc.?
- Did you find what you were looking for on our website / in our store today?
- If you did not place an order today, what stopped you?
- What problem do you expect our product / service to solve?
- What products / services / features/ would you like to see in our offer?
- Do you have any questions before beginning a free trial?
- Is there anything preventing you from upgrading at this point / purchasing at this point / etc.?
- What are your biggest challenges?
- Was there anything about the checkout process we could improve?
- What was your biggest fear or concern about ordering from us?
- What persuaded you to complete the purchase today?
- If you could no longer use [product / service name], what’s the one thing you would miss the most?
- What’s the one thing that nearly stopped you from buying from us?
- Are you happy with our shipping options?
- What were the main things that persuaded you to create an account / to place an order today?
- What other options did you consider before choosing our [product / service name]?
- What was your biggest challenge, frustration or problem in finding the right [product / service]?
- Please list the top three things that persuaded you to choose us rather than a competitor.
- Is our pricing clear? If not, what would you change?
- What convinced you to pay for [service name]?
Questions to ask customers who churned
- What could we change to make you want to continue using our service/product?
- What is the main reason you’re canceling your account?
- If you could change one thing in [product name], what would it be?
- What is the main reason you’re unsubscribing?
Product or Service Satisfaction Questions
Questions for customers who have been using your product or service for a certain amount of time already.
- Which of the following words would you use to describe our product / service?
- How well does our product meet your needs?
- Which features are the most valuable to you?
- What features are you missing the most in our product / service?
- How would you rate the value for money of the product?
- On a scale of __, how happy are you with the product / service?
- What is your favorite feature of the product / service?
- How many [products / subscriptions / etc.] do you own?
- Does our product / service help you achieve your goals?
- How likely are you to recommend our product / service to a friend or colleague?
- Based on your experience with the product / service so far, would you buy it again?
- Did the product meet your expectations?
- Compared to our competitors, is our product / service quality better, worse, or similar?
Customer Service Satisfaction Survey Questions
The following questions can help you assess the satisfaction with your customer service efforts.
- Were you satisfied with the live chat / phone support you received today?
- Are you satisfied with how our agent handled your inquiry?
- Did our agent resolve your issue competently?
- Was your solution/answer delivered in a timely manner?
- How many agents assisted you today?
- Did our agent communicate in a clear manner?
- Did you feel confident that our agent is capable of helping you?
- Did you feel that our agent was knowledgeable about the [company / product / services / policies/ etc.]?
- Was your agent professional and courteous?
- Did our agent make you feel like a valued customer?
- On a scale of __ , how would you rate your customer experience with us?
- On a scale of __ , how much effort did you have to put forth to handle your request?
- How responsive have we been to your questions or concerns about our products / services?
- To what extent do you agree with the following statement: The company made it easy for me to handle my issue.
Product Shipping Survey Questions
The questions below are important to add to your survey if you’re testing a new product, a shipment option, or you simply need some general feedback.
- Are you happy with our shipping options? If not, what type of shipping could we offer to enhance your shopping experience?
- Did the product arrive on time?
- Did you receive the correct product?
- Did the description / photograph of the product on our website accurately represent what you received?
Questions About Customer Loyalty
- Would you recommend our products / services to a friend? If not, why?
- Will you use our products / services to meet your needs in the future?
- Will you buy more/similar products from our company?
- Do you identify as a loyal customer of our store / brand?
- Would you like to receive information regarding our new [feature releases / future sales]?
- How would you describe/summarize our product / service in one sentence?
Questions About Marketing and Outreach
The following questions will help you understand what brings customers to your website or online store most effectively.
- Where did you learn about our services/products? Would you consider that source to be a trusted and reliable resource?
- How did you find us?
- What did you search for on Google that brought you to us?
- Would you consider speaking to one of our agents for __ minutes about how we can improve our products/services?
- Are you following us on social media? If so, which platforms do you use?
- Are you a subscriber to our email newsletter?
- Do you regularly read our blog?
- Have you seen or heard about us anywhere else?
Questions About Website Usability
Even if your website or online store are fully functional, something may be preventing your visitors from navigating it comfortably. Any obstacles could confuse your potential customers and lead them to leave your website or abandon their cart.
The following questions will help you find out whether there is anything on your website that needs improvements or your visitors particularly like.
- Was the website / store easy to navigate?
- How easy was it to navigate our website / store?
- Were you able to find the support/information you needed easily?
- Did the website load fast?
- Were you able to locate [products / services / information] without assistance?
- Do you view our website / store on your desktop or mobile device?
- Did you find a chatbot helpful in locating the information / products you were looking for?
- What’s the one thing we are missing in [blog /website / store navigation]?
- How satisfied are you with the purchase process?
- What can we do to improve your experience with us?
- How does our website / store compare to other ones you shop from?
- What do you like least/most about our website?
- Is our pricing clear to you?
Additional Questions to Ask
By letting your visitors ask questions, you give yourself a chance to get a glimpse into how they think. Plus, you may find out that there are still areas to be explored in your surveys that you have otherwise haven’t thought about.
- Do you have any questions for us?
- What else would you like us to know?
- If needed, can we contact you to follow up on your responses?
- If we were to update [product / service feature], could we reach out to talk about these changes?
- In the future, would you be willing to take this survey again? If not, why?
Customer Satisfaction Survey: Summary
CSAT surveys hold a lot of potential. They can uncover the strengths and weaknesses of your products and give you new ideas for staying competitive.
But above all, they can help you find out whether your customers are happy with different areas of your business.
- Before you start thinking about designing a client survey, think about what you really want to find out.
- There are different ways to ask customers for their feedback. You can use online surveys, live chat, chatbots, website widgets, and emails.
- Depending on your business and your objectives, you can use different types of surveys, such as NPS, CSAT, and CES.
- Always ask the relevant questions and avoid asking the questions that will return unimportant data.
- Use simple language and write short questions.
- Keep your rating scale consistent and use a variety of question types.
- Don’t send out long surveys unless it is for a very dedicated segment of your contacts.
- Don’t forget to thank your customers for taking time to share their feedback.
If you want to learn more, here are some frequently asked questions about customer satisfaction surveys.
A customer satisfaction survey is a study that measures a consumer’s perceived satisfaction with a product or service. A completed survey provides answers for a list of questions that your company has and which concern the products or services they offer.
– Define your goals. Decide what you want to learn about with your survey.
– Select a survey tool (e.g. email, SMS, live chat, social media and website widgets, chatbots).
– Write a short intro to explain to your respondents the purpose of the survey.
– Ask clear and relevant questions. Keep the questions and the survey short.
– Include a short “thank you” note at the end of the customer questionnaire.
– Review and test before publishing the survey.
The general objective of customer satisfaction surveys is to assess how satisfied the customers are with different aspects of the business. The feedback received is a baseline for building strategies aiming at retaining more customers and strengthening brand reputation.
– Survey introduction explaining the goal of the survey and the estimated workload for the respondent.
– Clear and relevant questions that the respondent has the possibility to skip.
– Variety of questions, including open- and close-ended ones for a maximum of input.
– Follow-up questions to “Yes/No” answers.
– A “thank you” note at the end of the survey.