* Net Promoter, Net Promoter Score, and NPS are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, Inc., and Fred Reichheld
Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions: 11 You Need to Measure (+ Examples)
Listening to your customers is more critical than ever. Customer power is higher than ever, thanks largely to technology and having easier access to more information at their fingertips than ever before. As a result, what customers expect from their favorite brands only keeps increasing. To understand these changing needs and expectations and how to best meet them, leveraging customer satisfaction surveys, and asking the right customer satisfaction survey questions, is critical to long-term success.
There is often debate about the CSAT survey questions to ask to gain insights that help drive action today and to inform your customer experience (CX) strategies over time.
While these surveys should be curated to meet your specific business and research needs, many questions can help form a strong foundation of any CSAT survey. In this post, we look at 11 of these questions.
What is a customer satisfaction survey?
A customer satisfaction survey (or a CSAT survey) is a series of questions gauging customers’ satisfaction with an enterprise and their offerings, along with their experiences on different channels. The latter can include their experiences with the enterprise’s websites and mobile apps, physical locations, and their interactions with customer service and support personnel.
The insights extracted from customer satisfaction surveys can help:
- Inform an enterprise’s customer experience strategy, including how they can optimize their online and offline experiences to best meet customers’ needs
- Drive action to help elevate customer satisfaction today and over time
- Identify opportunities to surpass competitors with CX optimizations
Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions You Need to Measure
What are the best customer satisfaction survey questions you shouldn’t do without? The questions included in your customer satisfaction questionnaire depend entirely on your enterprise’s business goals. For example, are you looking to:
- Flag common customer issues to boost customer retention?
- Find ways to boost satisfaction on your website?
- Discover how you can improve the customer support experience?
A positive and intuitive survey experience is key to solid survey response rates that can help obtain insights on which you can act. Part of a solid survey experience is selecting questions the right questions for your CSAT survey, and removing the questions that won’t give you the insights you currently seek.
Regardless of your specific business objectives, there are a handful of satisfaction survey questions that you should consider to include in your customer satisfaction questionnaire. Here’s a look at 11 of them.
Note: For the examples shown, we look at the website experience for a fictional e-commerce brand, OMEGA, where customers can research, make a purchase, find their order status, seek answers to support questions using self-serve tools, as well as find support contact information.
- Overall Satisfaction
- Visitor Intent / Purpose of Visit
- Task Completion (+ Reason for Failed Task Completion)
- Level of Effort / Customer Effort Score
- Purchase Horizon
- Net Promoter Score®
- Competitive Analysis
- Next Steps
- What to Add
- Demographic questions
- Email / Contact Info
Including a general overall satisfaction question in your survey will help provide you a general sense of how your visitors viewed their entire experience.
By segmenting this feedback by your key visitor groups (see other questions later in this post), Overall Satisfaction can provide a compass to guide your efforts to:
- Help your customer retention efforts.
- Identify customers that will benefit you most long-term and most likely to have desirable future behaviors, like recommending your brand to others.
- Identify the specific aspects of the experience that are key drivers of customer satisfaction.
Before every brand interaction, a customer will already have a goal in mind they want to accomplish. This motivation drives how they go about their experience.
Asking customers to confirm the intent behind their experience helps shed the “why” behind customers’ behaviors. It helps eliminate any assumptions behind what they were looking to accomplish during a given experience, providing valuable segmentation capabilities to better evaluate how customer satisfaction differs based on their intent.
Was your customers’ experience a success? Their behavior might say so, but perhaps your customer has a different opinion. Customers’ behavior doesn’t always tell the whole story. However, asking customers directly if they considered their experience a success helps remove assumptions.
Failed experiences hurt both your enterprise (e.g., loss of revenue, lower brand perceptions and NPS, lower likelihood for repeat business) and your customers (e.g., loss of time, inconvenience, need to contact call center). Measuring Task Completion – and asking an open-ended follow-up question to those who failed their tasks – provides a great way to measure whether customers’ experiences met their needs and expectations and can help evaluate the ROI of your efforts.
Customers’ expectations for simple experiences only keep growing. It’s not enough to successfully complete a task – it needs to be effortless, frictionless. It should be a breeze.
One study found that brands leave approximately $98B per year on the table because they fail to provide “simple” experiences. With these expectations for easy experiences, asking this CSAT survey question helps enterprises distinguish between “successful” and “easy” experiences and unearth the causes of difficult experiences that need to be addressed immediately. The Customer Effort Score, developed by Corporate Executive Board and highlighted in a 2010 Harvard Business Review article, is one such example of a metric that measures this, after finding a link between customer loyalty and how easy it is for customers to address a support issue.
What customers expect from their experiences will change as they move closer to making a purchase, especially when shopping for big-ticket items like cars and vacations. Customers often seek more high-level details when starting their search and look for more detailed information and comparisons to narrow their options and prepare to buy.
Segmenting your customer feedback based on people’s “purchase horizon” provides a valuable way to determine how well your enterprise supports shoppers along the customer journey and helps identify opportunities to make this journey more seamless.
Leveraged by many brands to gauge customer loyalty and their likelihood to recommend others to their brand, NPS® is a fixture in most customer satisfaction surveys.
To measure your NPS score, group your respondents into the clusters below, then subtract the percentage of Detractors from the Promoters, which will give you a score between -100 and 100.
- Promoters (9-10)
- Passives (7-8)
- Detractors (0-6)
If the grass appears greener with one of your competitors, it is easier than ever for customers to make the switch if their experiences with your enterprise don’t meet their expectations.
Gauging how customers perceive your brand against your competition – and comparing how these perceptions differ between satisfied and dissatisfied customers – can help shed some additional insights on where your brand fits within the competitive landscape in the eyes of your customers.
We look at an example of this for Higher Education institutions in this post.
Based on their most recent interaction with your brand, customers have many different options for what they will do next – often depending on how well (or poorly) that interaction went. However, knowing what customers will do after a given interaction is next to impossible without asking them directly.
Asking customers directly can help shed light on the types of experiences that lead to specific paths down the customer journey (e.g., make a purchase vs. contacting your call center), helping you design experiences that lead customers down your most ideal paths.
Including open-ended questions in your customer satisfaction survey provides a way for respondents to share additional insights about their experiences, in their own words.
For example, allowing customers to share precisely how their individual experiences could have been improved can help provide a continuous source of customer-driven recommendations you can use to tweak your CX design.
Including demographic questions in your customer satisfaction survey opens the door to many segmentation capabilities, not to mention that they can help you add insights to your existing persona profiles.
Due to some demographic questions’ sensitive nature, it is always recommended to provide a way for respondents to skip this question should they choose not to answer. Alternatively, if a response is required to advance in the survey, include a “Prefer Not To Say” option to give respondents an “out” instead of forcing them to select a random answer choice to advance, potentially sullying your data for this question in the process.
Give customers the ability to hear back from you based on their feedback. Not only will this help customers feel like their feedback matters (and that it’s not just being sent into a black hole), closing the loop on customer feedback can help unlock additional details and context into their experiences. It may even help identify ways to improve that customer’s level of satisfaction then and there.
Make sure to keep this question optional to prevent respondents from dropping out of the survey before their responses are submitted.
Customer Satisfaction Questionnaire Sample
To show this customer satisfaction survey template in action, here’s an example using Astute VoC, our Voice of the Customer solution, to measure customer satisfaction following a website visit. Note that this example uses the same fictional e-commerce brand, OMEGA, as the images shown above:
This customer satisfaction example looked at how you can use customer satisfaction survey questions to measure website experiences. However, with a few tweaks, these questions can be asked following just about any experience, including after a conversation with a customer service agent.
You’ve launched CSAT survey questions. Now what?
Data is only as valuable as what you do with it. In the age of the customer, customer feedback must get in the right hands at the right time, so the right stakeholders can act on them and continually improve customer satisfaction.
Here are just some ways you can do that:
- Go more in-depth in your research. Many of these questions provide good springboards for more in-depth analysis. Is customer satisfaction low for a specific “Visitor Intent” group? Consider expanding your research to dig deeper into this group’s experiences to identify the causes for this low satisfaction and what you can do to address them.
- Inject your data with your existing marketing systems. CSAT data can help shed context on customer behavior, whether you use it to segment your web analytics data (Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, etc.), or add customer-driven insights to your Customer Relationship Management system.
- Democratize your data throughout your organization. CX metrics and insights can’t be siloed in one place. They must be made visible and accessible to all key CX stakeholders at all times. Injecting your customer feedback into existing internal KPI dashboards, for example, is a great way to ensure stakeholders can keep an eye on relevant customer-centric insights.
- Close the loop on crucial customer feedback. If respondents shared their contact with you, following up on their feedback – closing the feedback loop – is a critical initiative for any organization to undertake, especially if it can help remedy poor experiences that may otherwise push customers to your competitors.
How Astute can help you measure and elevate customer satisfaction
Astute has helped top brands elevate customer satisfaction for over 20 years with a suite of proven, award-winning customer engagement solutions.
Astute VoC provides a secure, accessible, and intuitive way for brands to engage customers for their feedback and extract actionable, easily-shareable insights with powerful reporting tools.
To learn more about how Astute VoC can help you measure and elevate customer satisfaction, request a personalized demo today.