How to create customer surveys + 22 excellent questions.

Titilola Shittu
April 19, 2024

Understanding your customers is like navigating a puzzle. Just when you think you've got a clear path, you encounter unexpected twists and turns. This is where customer satisfaction surveys come into play—they're your best map, guiding you through consumer preferences and behaviours.

Many businesses can't afford to operate in the dark. They need to shine a light on what their customers want, what they need, and what makes them tick. That's where crafting effective customer satisfaction surveys becomes a game-changer.

Imagine having a toolbox filled with questions designed to unveil the deepest desires and frustrations of your customers. With the right types of customer satisfaction and survey questions, you can uncover hidden insights that drive product innovation, enhance customer satisfaction, and boost your bottom line.

This blog post is your guide to crafting your customer surveys that get real results, along with 22 powerful customer satisfaction survey templates to jumpstart your journey. Let’s get in.

What are customer satisfaction surveys?

Customer surveys are essentially questionnaires designed by businesses to gather feedback from their customers. This customer feedback questions can be on a variety of topics, but typically centres around;

  • Customer expectations: How happy are customers with the product or service, and overall experience?
  • Product/service quality: Are the offerings meeting the customer’s expectations and needs?
  • Areas for improvement: What can the business do better?

The data collected through these surveys is then analyzed by the business to gain valuable insights.  This can inform decisions about product development, marketing strategies, and customer support initiatives.  In short, customer surveys are a tool to help customer service representatives and businesses to improve customer satisfaction.

Customer satisfaction surveys can be conducted in a variety of ways, including online surveys, phone surveys, in-person surveys and mailed surveys. The best method for a particular survey will depend on the business's goals and audience.

When picking a survey tool, it is important to consider using an effective customer satisfaction survey that is able to capture your customers own words, identify pain points and allows you collect feedback in customer segements for easy interpretation.

What is the customer satisfaction score (CSAT)?

This metric, which is also known as a satisfaction csat survey helps you gauge how happy customers are with a specific interaction, product or service, or overall experience with your business.  It's a way to measure satisfaction in a specific moment.

CSAT is typically measured through surveys that ask customers direct questions about their satisfaction level.  These can be simple single questions like "How satisfied were you with your recent purchase?" or use a rating scale (e.g. 1-5 stars or smiley faces).

CSAT scores are expressed as a percentage, ranging from 0% (completely dissatisfied) to 100% (completely satisfied).  To calculate the CSAT score, you take the total number of positive responses (satisfied or very satisfied) and divide it by the total number of responses, then multiply by 100.

Here's an example: If you send out a survey to 100 customers and 70 of them respond with positive feedback, your CSAT score would be 70%.  This tells you that 70% of your customers were satisfied with whatever the survey was measuring.

CSAT is a valuable tool for businesses because it provides actionable data. Businesses can identify areas in the customer journey where they are excelling and areas where they need to improve, by tracking CSAT scores over time. This can help them make data-driven decisions to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Note, customer feedback surveys should be collected from existing customers, new customers, loyal customers - throughout the customer lifecycle. Most times loyal customers are often neglected when customer satisfied survey questions are sent out.

These customers opinions, customer insights are not included in the qualitative data businesses receive when the customer satisfaction survey results are being reviewed. No matter how much effort has been put in getting these customers they now have to deal with a spiking churn.

The customer satisfaction score measures satisfaction with a specific touchpoint in the customer journey, not overall customer loyalty. It's a relatively easy metric to track and enables you to evaluate customer sentiment and improve customer experience.

Tips for creating customer satisfaction survey questions.

With these tips, you can create a customer satisfaction survey that is relevant without feeling overwhelming to complete.

 1. Keep it concise.

People are busy, so keep your survey concise. Let your satisfaction survey question be set between  10-15 mac and ideally aim for less if possible. A shorter survey is more likely to be completed and also captures customer's experience. Before crafting questions, clearly define what information you need from the same customers. Only include questions that directly address those goals and can help you understand customer trends.

If you have multiple questions on a similar theme, pick the one that gets to the heart of the issue. You can analyze open-ended responses later for additional details. Multiple choice and rating scales question formats allow for quick selection by respondents and provide you with easy-to-analyze data. Open questions are valuable but limit them to a few key areas where in-depth feedback is crucial.

Don't rephrase the same question in different ways. Frame your questions concisely, avoiding unnecessary words or complex sentence structures.

2. Use clear language.

Use simple, easy-to-understand language in customer satisfaction surveys. Avoid jargon or technical terms.  Focus on asking one question at a time and avoid questions that ask two things at once.

“You want to ask questions that are clear, concise, and relevant to your customers and your business. Avoid using jargon, leading, or ambiguous questions that can confuse or bias your customers.” - Mohamed Nashaat, customer relations and service consultant.

It’s important to write for your audience and avoid jargon, technical terms, or industry-specific language your customers might not understand. Use short sentences and familiar words.

Aim for a reading level appropriate for your target audience. Phrase your questions in the active voice whenever possible. This makes them more direct and easier to understand.

Example: "How easy was it to use our website?" (Active voice) vs. "The website was easy to use." (Passive voice)

If using multiple choice or rating scales, make sure the options are specific, clear, and cover the entire range of possibilities. Don't use words like "very" or "often" in your questions. These can lead to why a customer’s response may be inconsistent.

Example: "How satisfied were you with your recent purchase?" (Clear) vs. "How very satisfied were you...?" (Vague)

Once you've written your survey, have a few people you trust take a look at it. See if the questions are easy to understand and don't cause any confusion. This will lead to better-quality data and more valuable insights for your business.

3. Focus on relevancy.

You show that feedback across the custom journey is valued and directly tied to improving their experience, by focusing on relevancy. Doing this in customer satisfaction surveys increases response rates but also leads to higher-quality data that can be used to make meaningful improvements in customer retention.

Don't send a one-size-fits-all survey. Segment customers base by factors like demographics, purchase history, or recent interactions. This allows you to tailor questions to their specific experiences. For instance, a survey for new customers might focus on the onboarding experience, while a survey for repeat customers might delve into product satisfaction.

Send a customer service surveys after relevant interactions. Most customer service representatives send osurveys after a customer support call or product feedback surveys after a purchase. This ensures the questions are fresh in the customer's mind and directly tied to the experience they just had.

Some businesses use customer feedback surveys to understand their customers and what the market demands. Instead of generic questions about overall satisfaction, focus on specific aspects of the interaction or product. 

Example: "How easy was it to find the contact information for customer service?" (Specific) vs. "Were you satisfied with our customer service?" (Generic)

Unless demographics are directly relevant to your survey goals, keep these questions to a minimum. Focus on the feedback itself, not just who is providing it. Also, use branching logic – this allows the survey to adapt based on previous answers.

For example, if a customer rates their experience as negative, you can branch to follow-up questions to understand what went wrong. This personalizes the customer experience, and keeps the survey relevant to their specific situation.

4. Offer incentives.

Incentives are a great way to nudge customers towards completing your survey, but it's important to do it strategically to get the most out of their feedback. Here are some ways to consider offering incentives for customer satisfaction surveys:

  • Tailor the incentive to your audience and the survey's purpose. For B2B surveys, offering industry reports or white papers might be more appealing than discounts. For B2C surveys, consider offering something like a discount code, entry into a prize draw, or a shopping voucher.
  • Communicate the incentive and how customers can claim it. Mention it upfront in the survey introduction and again upon completion.
  • The incentive shouldn't break the bank. Aim for something that motivates participation without cutting heavily into your budget.
  • You can offer different levels of incentives based on the complexity or length of the survey. This can encourage people to take more in-depth surveys.
  • Avoid offering incentives that might skew the data. For example, offering a discount for positive responses can lead to inauthentic feedback.
  • Even if you don't offer a traditional incentive, express sincere gratitude for the customer's time and feedback. This can go a long way in fostering goodwill.

The goal is to get genuine feedback that can help you improve, and the right incentive can be a helpful nudge in the right direction.

5. Ensure accessibility

Ensuring accessibility in your customer satisfaction surveys is important to gathering a wider range of feedback and getting valuable insights from a more diverse audience.

Organize your survey logically with clear headings, subheadings, and question labels. This makes it easier for users to navigate, especially those with cognitive disabilities. Make sure all survey elements, like answer choices and buttons, are navigable using just a keyboard. This is essential for users who cannot use a mouse or touchscreen.

Use accessible form fields with features like larger checkboxes and radio buttons, clear error messages, and suggestions for correction. This aids users with motor skill limitations or visual impairments. 

For any images or charts used in the survey, provide clear and concise alternative text descriptions. Screen readers can then convey this information to visually impaired users. Ensure adequate colour contrast between text and background colours. This improves readability for users with visual impairments.

If your survey includes video or audio content, provide closed captions and transcripts for users who are deaf or hard of hearing. An accessible survey increases your chances of getting valuable feedback.

6. Provide anonymity to customers.

Anonymity in your customer satisfaction surveys is a strategy that works to boost response rates and get honest feedback, especially for sensitive topics. 

At the beginning of your survey, explicitly state that all survey responses will be anonymous and no personal identifying information will be collected. Don't include questions that ask for names, email addresses, phone numbers, or other identifiers.

Use a survey platform or method that doesn't track IP addresses or link responses to any individual. If inviting participants through email, keep the invitation separate from the survey link. This avoids typing their email address to their responses.

While open-ended questions can be valuable, limit the number to avoid situations where someone might reveal their identity unintentionally through their phrasing. Also, emphasize the security measures you have in place to protect any data collected during the survey. This builds trust and encourages participation.

These practices can help you create a safe space for customers to provide honest feedback without fear of identification. It leads to more candid survey responses and a deeper understanding of your customers' needs and concerns.

7. Personalize your survey questions when possible.

Personalization in customer satisfaction surveys can go a long way in boosting response rates and making respondents feel valued. Customer segments helps you avoid sending a generic survey to everyone. Divide your customer base into groups based on demographics, purchase history, recent interactions, or loyalty programs. This allows you to tailor questions and greetings to their specific experiences.

Ask questions relevant to the segment they belong to. For instance, a survey for new customers might focus on onboarding, while a survey for repeat customers might delve into product feature usage. For demographic information you already have, pre-populate those fields to save time. But be mindful not to include any information that could compromise anonymity.

Collecting customer feedback surveys show your customers that you value their individual experiences and insights.  This can lead to increased engagement, more relevant data, and ultimately, more actionable improvements to your business.

8. Include a progress indicator.

Including a progress indicator in your customer satisfaction surveys can be a double-edged sword. A progress indicator provides a visual cue of how far the respondent has progressed in the survey. This can be motivating, especially for longer surveys, as it shows them they're nearing completion.

It lets respondents know how much time they've invested and how much more is left. This can be helpful for people who are short on time and might choose to abandon a lengthy survey without an indicator.

However, research suggests that progress indicators can highlight the length of the survey, potentially discouraging some people from starting or finishing. Seeing a long progress bar can feel overwhelming. The goal is to get thoughtful survey responses, not rushed ones. A progress indicator might pressure people to complete the survey quickly, potentially leading to less in-depth or accurate answers.

Ultimately, the decision depends on your specific survey goals and audience.  If you're unsure, be on the side of caution and skip the progress indicator for shorter surveys or those where in-depth responses are crucial.

9. Test before sending out surveys.

Testing your customer survey before launch is vital to ensure it gathers the information you need in a clear, concise, and user-friendly way.  You can test with a small group. Aim for 5-10 participants who reflect your target audience. You can leverage existing customer lists or recruit through online platforms.

“A customer-centric closed-loop feedback system swiftly acts on customer input, fostering collaboration. Transparent communication post-survey reinforces a commitment to improvement, with ongoing feedback encouraged for responsiveness.” - Zena Krishnoo, Salesforce India.

When you collect feedback electronically or through follow-up interviews and short surveys. Either way, this allows you to delve deeper into user experience and identify any areas of confusion. Observe participants interacting with the survey. Watch how they navigate the layout, answer questions, and identify any technical glitches or confusing elements.

It’s important to gather feedback on key areas such as clarity, relevance, flow, length and technical issues. 

Analyze and refine the feedback from your test group. Identify common themes and areas for improvement. Revise the survey based on the insights. Refine the wording of questions, adjust the order, or eliminate any confusing elements.

An additional tip is to test on multiple devices: Ensure the survey functions well and displays correctly on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Thoroughly testing your survey before launch, can ensure it is well-designed, user-friendly, and promotes good customer experience.  This investment in time upfront will lead to higher quality data and more actionable insights from your customer feedback.

10. Follow-up the surveys sent out.

Following up after a customer survey is important for two main reasons – to show appreciation and to demonstrate action. Thanking respondents for their time and feedback demonstrates that you value their input. Following up also shows customers that their feedback is being heard and used to improve. This builds trust and strengthens customer relationships.

Here are some ways to effectively follow up after your customer survey:

  • Send a personalized email thanking everyone who participated in the survey. Briefly acknowledge the value of their feedback.
  • For longer surveys, consider sending a summary report with the key findings and how you plan to address them. This transparency shows customers their input is making a difference.
  • If you've implemented changes based on feedback, send an update email highlighting those improvements. This reinforces the link between customer feedback and positive change.

Send the follow-up email within a reasonable timeframe after the survey closes. Aim for a week or two to allow time for data analysis. When mentioning how you'll use feedback, be specific about planned actions or areas of improvement.

You can close the feedback loop with your customers, by following up thoughtfully. This demonstrates that you value their input and are committed to using it to improve their experience.  It can lead to stronger customer relationships, increased loyalty, and ultimately, a more successful business. Use net promoter score (NPS) surveys to determine whether your business successfully cultivates customer loyalty.

If you regularly run the customer satisfaction survey, you can collect the survey scores and create a benchmark. Then, use it to track the progress of your strategies and changes in customer sentiment. You might not see an immediate increase in your satisfaction score when you start making improvements, but if you collect solid data and trust in the process, your scores will improve over time—and your satisfied customers will ultimately drive your success.

Customer satisfaction survey examples to choose from.

Here are 22 customer service survey questions to choose from, covering 3 question types:

1. Yes-or-no customer satisfied survey questions.

Yes-or-no questions provide quick data points, consider adding the optional open-ended question to gather some qualitative feedback as well. This can give you more insight into why customers responded a certain way and areas for specific improvement. Use these 8 yes-or-no questions to measure your customer satisfaction score csat:

  1. Were you connected with a customer service representative quickly?
  2. Did the customer service rep resolve your issue to your satisfaction?
  3. Were you treated with courtesy and respect by the customer service representative?
  4. Did the customer service rep listen attentively to your concerns?
  5. Were you kept informed throughout the resolution process?
  6. Overall, was your issue resolved easily?
  7. Would you recommend our customer service to a friend or colleague?
  8. Is there anything else we can do to improve your experience today?

2. Rating customer feedback survey questions.

This customer satisfaction survey template gives you 5 customer service survey questions on a 1-5 rating scale (where 1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree) .These questions helps you get your customer effort score ces:

  1. How easy was it to reach a customer service rep today?
  2. How knowledgeable and helpful was the customer service rep you spoke with?
  3. How courteous and professional was the customer service rep you spoke with?
  4. Did the customer service rep resolve your issue to your satisfaction?
  5. Overall, how satisfied were you with the customer support experience you received today?

These questions cover key aspects of customer service interactions: reaching a representative, their knowledge and helpfulness, courtesy and professionalism, resolution of customers' complain, and overall satisfaction.

Here are some additional benefits of using a rating scale:

The rating scale requires minimal effort from the respondent. It allows for easy comparison of responses over time and provides a more nuanced view than simple yes/no answers.

A rating scale question with an open-ended question gives you both quantitative data (ratings) and qualitative feedback (text responses) for a well-rounded understanding of your customer service performance.

3. Open-ended customer satisfaction questionnaire.

Open-ended questions cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no" response, or a single predetermined choice. They are designed to encourage detailed and thoughtful answers, providing you with richer information and a deeper understanding of the respondent's experience, opinions, or feelings.

Here are some key characteristics of open-ended questions:

  • Use question words like "why," "how," or "what." These words prompt elaboration and go beyond a simple yes/no response.
  • Focus on prompting descriptions and explanations. Instead of asking if someone liked something, ask them to describe what they liked (or disliked) and why.
  • Encourage storytelling and specific examples. Open-ended questions can lead to mini-narratives that provide valuable context and details.

Here are some examples of open-ended customer service questions;

  1. How would you describe your experience with our customer service team today? 

This broad question allows for general feedback on their experience.

  1. What did you like most about your interaction with our customer service rep?

Focuses on positive aspects and highlights areas where they excel.

  1. Is there anything specific the customer service rep did that exceeded your expectations? 

Identifies actions or behaviours that go the extra mile.

  1. What could we have done differently to assist you with your issue better today? 

Provides actionable insights for improvement.

  1. If you encountered any difficulties during your interaction with customer service, please describe them in detail. 

Helps pinpoint specific pain points in the process.

  1. Was there any information you felt the customer service rep lacked that would have helped resolve your issue? 

Identifies knowledge gaps or training opportunities.

  1. How can we improve the ease of resolving customer service issues in the future? 

Encourages customer-centric solutions.

  1. Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience with our customer service team? 

Gives them a platform for any additional feedback they might have.

  1. Thinking about your experience today, how likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague? Please explain your answer. 

Combines a recommendation question with an open-ended explanation for deeper understanding.

Using open-ended questions effectively in surveys, interviews, or customer feedback forms, helps you gain valuable insights that would be missed with more restrictive formats.  This can help improve your product or service, and metrics understand customer needs better, and gain a more nuanced perspective on various topics.

Customer satisfaction survey examples from real businesses.

1. Simpu.

You can use it to quickly send customer feedback surveys at different points of the customer journey. It helps manage feedback by tracking it and measuring customer loyalty with accurate satisfaction metrics.

Simpu's A/B testing lets you try out different email versions, and its analytics break down the results, showing which strategies work best.

Simpu CSAT Reviews

2. Uber.

Uber effectively gathers feedback from both its drivers and passengers, with passengers rating each ride and drivers also rating passengers. This system ensures fairness and transparency for both parties, as ratings influence the reputation of both drivers and passengers.

If a passenger receives a low rating, drivers have the option to decline future bookings. This approach highlights the importance of creating surveys for each target audience when managing a business with multiple stakeholder groups.

Uber driver rating

3. Mcdonalds.

McDonald's, a brand serving a vast customer base daily, prioritizes listening to customer feedback to ensure top-notch service. Unlike traditional service businesses, McDonald's focuses more on assessing product quality.

Hence, its customer satisfaction survey delves into aspects like taste, temperature, and overall food quality, alongside service speed and efficiency.

Mcdonald rating

4. Amazon.

Amazon, renowned for its exceptional customer experience, actively solicits feedback through personalized surveys, reflecting its dedication to customer satisfaction. These surveys, introduced with gratitude, prompt users to rate service quality and communication clarity when interacting with Amazon's customer service.

The eCommerce giant ensures accessibility to information through comprehensive knowledge bases, empowering users to troubleshoot independently and make informed purchasing decisions, thus cementing Amazon's reputation as a leader in delivering unparalleled products and experiences.

Amazon customer survey questions

5. Netflix.

Netflix prioritizes delivering a personalized experience to each user, necessitating the collection of precise feedback from viewers. Through its feedback system, users are prompted to evaluate various factors such as content selection and the quality of shows and movies.

Netflix streamlines the feedback process with straightforward multiple-choice and long-form response options, leveraging this insight to refine the customer experience.

Netflix survey questions

We've explored a range of tips to craft and measure customer satisfaction surveys that are concise, clear, relevant, and user-friendly. With 22 relevant customer satisfaction survey templates and questions, you can craft customer satisfaction surveys tailored to your specific needs.

Remember measuring customer satisfaction help you gain insights into how your customers interact with your business. What they think, want to see and what they don't like.

With these tips , you can create customer surveys that get results and empower you to improve your customer service experience continuously. A satisfied customer is a loyal customer, their feedback helps you deliver exceptional customer service.

Titilola Shittu

Content Writer
Titilola enjoys writing content that resonates with a target audience. With an interest in product marketing, she understands the importance of using data to provide actionable insights that help with informed decisions. You can find her listening to music or reading African literature when she's not doing anything marketing-related.

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