Best Questions for Customer Satisfaction Survey

Sarah Chambers Sarah Chambers · 4 min read

When you want to know what your customers are thinking, a survey is a great start.

You can collect large numbers of responses easily with a low budget. But your survey responses can only be as powerful as your questions are. Ask the wrong questions, and you might not get very helpful answers. Or even worse, you might not get very many responses at all.

Fortunately, customer satisfaction surveys are a tried and tested method of getting customer feedback. In fact, 41% of customer service teams say that CSAT is their “most important” performance metric.

It’s been used across a multitude of industries, so all of your customers will be familiar with the format and be able to respond quickly. If you want to know how your customers are feeling… CSAT surveys are a great choice.

Below we share how to choose the best questions for your customer satisfaction survey so you can get the most bang for your buck.

What is a customer satisfaction survey?

First, let’s start by defining a customer satisfaction survey, also referred to as a CSAT survey. These questionnaires are designed to collect feedback on a customer’s experience with a product or service.

Most frequently they are sent after a customer service interaction to measure if the customer was happy with the service they received. The goals of a customer satisfaction survey are two-fold.

Firstly, it can serve as a real-time alert to understand if a conversation is truly resolved, or if a customer needs more assistance. When customers indicate they’re unhappy, a quick follow-up can change a dissatisfied customer into a happy one.

Secondly, CSAT surveys can also gather more general feedback about how your customers are feeling. What parts of their experience did they enjoy? Did you meet or exceed expectations? What else are they looking for from your business?

Depending on the questions you ask, you can use customer satisfaction surveys to gather any type of feedback you are after.

Start with Quantitative Questions

All customer satisfaction surveys should begin with a question that you can assign a numerical value to. This helps you calculate your CSAT score: how satisfied are your customers? However, you have many different options on how you ask these questions. You’ll need to choose a question and a rating scale. Here are a few options:

Choose a specific question

  • Are you satisfied with the service you received?
  • Did we answer your question today?
  • How would you rate X’s service today?
  • How nice was my reply?
  • How likely are you to recommend our service to other customers?
  • Did we make it easy to get the help you needed?
  • Did [Agent] meet your expectations when it comes to providing great service?

Choose a scale

  • Yes or No
  • Bad, Meh, Great
  • 1 to 5 stars
  • 1 – 10 rating scale

Depending on what rating scale you choose, how you calculate your CSAT score will change. Generally, divide the number of customers who rate you positively by the total number of responses, then multiply by 100%. This will give you a percentage score that you can track over time.

If you want to know how you compare with other customer service teams, make sure to check out the Nicereply Customer Happiness Benchmark.

Understand the “Why”

Now that you have a numerical score stored, it’s time to dig into why the customer gave that answer. Ask a follow-up question about their experience to get more information and insight.

Because these questions are qualitative (i.e. text-based) it can be more time-consuming to analyze and respond to them. Consider dedicating time to review incoming feedback or forwarding comments to the agents assigned to the conversation.

That way, every comment gets reviewed and can be followed up on if the customer needs additional help.

Another note to consider: sometimes customers comment on things outside of their customer service experience. This can be frustrating if you’re looking for feedback specific to your team and department.

However, all feedback is a gift! And if your customers are more frustrated by other parts of your business, that probably means your customer service team is doing something right. So don’t sweat it, and instead, forward that feedback off to your colleagues in other departments.

Follow up questions:

  • Why did you give the score you did?
  • Is there anything we can do better next time?
  • How can we improve the service you received?
  • Tell us more about your experience.
  • Is there anything else we can help you with today?

Customer experience concepts

Ask any other questions

While you have your customer’s attention, you may want to take the opportunity to ask any other burning questions you have. A word of caution though, ask too many questions, and you might get fewer responses.

If you do choose to include other survey questions, you can gather additional information about the customer and how they feel about your product or company. Here are some of the best questions for your customer service survey:

Other questions to ask:

  • On a scale from 1-10, how would you rate our speed of service?
  • On a scale from 1-10, how would you rate our agent’s friendliness?
  • What features do you find the most useful in our product?
  • If we could improve one thing, what would you like to see happen?
  • Can we contact you for an in-depth user interview?
  • On a scale from 1-10, how intuitive do you find our product to use?
  • What industry is your business in?
  • Can we contact you for a testimonial or case study quote?

A few things to remember

While these customer satisfaction survey questions can help you get great responses, it’s still important to follow the basic guidelines of surveying:

  • Don’t ask questions you already know the answers to. For example, if you’re emailing customers the survey, don’t ask them for the email – you obviously already have it stored!
  • Keep your questions to a minimum. The more questions you ask, the less likely customers will take the time to fill them out thoughtfully.
  • Only gather data that you have a plan to use. If you aren’t going to read, respond or analyze the responses, it’s not worth asking customers for their input.
  • Keep your survey design simple and on-brand. If it’s difficult for customers to read and respond to (especially on a mobile device), you’ll see fewer responses.

Hopefully, these questions have helped you create a great customer satisfaction survey that gets you the answers your team needs. If you want more help creating a customer satisfaction program, be sure to check out our free ultimate guide to CSAT.

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Sarah Chambers Sarah Chambers

Sarah Chambers is a Customer Support Consultant and Content Creator from Vancouver, Canada. When she’s not arguing about customer service, she’s usually outdoors rock climbing or snowboarding. Follow her on Twitter @sarahleeyoga to keep up with her adventures.

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