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Customer Feedback Survey: A Guide to Start & Succeed

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Customer surveys are an example of a quantitative method for capturing customer feedback—feedback that tells you how customers feel about your products, services, and experiences. With customer survey results, you can quickly understand customer needs and identify potential problems with your products and services.

A customer feedback survey will also provide insight into how well your customer service team is resolving issues. If you notice a large portion of unsatisfied customers, you can segment these customers by their survey score, reach out to them, and turn a negative experience into a positive one.

Customer surveys can also help you measure customer opinions and experiences over time. This data acts as a predictor of overall customer satisfaction (CSAT) rates, retention, loyalty, and will help you identify who your brand advocates and detractors are. With the insights from your customer feedback survey, you can make data-driven decisions that help you provide a more customer-centric business.

While customer surveys are an excellent way to elicit feedback, it’s critical to remember that there is an art and a science to getting it right. There are different kinds of surveys you will use in different situations, a right and wrong way to ask questions, and strategic approaches to design and distribute surveys.

Here is a quick guide to help you succeed when it comes to creating a winning customer feedback survey.

Examples of customer satisfaction surveys

There are several ways you can capture customer feedback. When it comes to collecting quantitative data, there are three standard survey types. These survey types are common, fine-tuned, rooted in data science, and easy to interpret. Here’s a quick overview.

1. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Example of a Net Promoter Score (NPS) customer satisfaction survey question labeled “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?

A net promoter score (NPS) survey is probably the most common example of customer feedback survey. An NPS survey will ask, “how likely are you to recommend our organization to a friend, family member, or colleague?” 

Then, the survey will present a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 means “not likely at all,” and 10 means “extremely likely.” The respondents can pick the number on the scale that best reflects their likelihood to recommend your company. 

Customers that select a 9 or a 10 are considered promoters, or customers that are likely to purchase again, remain loyal, and even send you referrals. With the right survey tools, you can easily reach out to these customers with special offers and promotions.

Customers that rate you a 7 or an 8 are passives or people that may or may not purchase from you again. You leave these customers out of the analysis.

Anyone that rates you a 0 to a 6 is considered detractors or people that may have had a bad experience. If you track NPS results in real-time, you can automatically reach out to these customers and resolve any potential issues.

2. Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT)

An example of a customer satisfaction survey (CSAT) question. “How would you rate your service experience.”

A CSAT survey is another prevalent example of a customer feedback survey. In a CSAT survey, you will ask your customers how they would rate their experience with a product, service, or a customer service encounter.

Then, you offer five answers, including very unsatisfied, unsatisfied, neutral, satisfied, and very satisfied. These answers provide an easy way to quantify how your customers feel about a specific experience overall.

Additionally, a CSAT survey gives insight into which customers are highly satisfied and may benefit from additional offers or attention and also shows which customers had a bad experience.

A good survey software will allow you to track this information in real-time, so your customer service team can reach out immediately to those customers who have had a bad experience.

3. Customer Effort Score (CES)

An example of a customer effort score (CES) feedback survey question stating “The company made it easy for me to handle my issue.”

A CES survey is a form of feedback that measures how easy or difficult it was for a customer to complete a task or interact with your company. 

A typical question will ask, “The company made it easy for me to handle my issue,” and offer 7 options ranging from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.” 

If a customer selects an answer that indicates it was not easy to handle an issue or complete a task, then a good survey software  for customer feedback surveys will automatically trigger a follow-up response.” The follow-up response will present a list of options that relate to the specific interaction or issue. These questions will vary depending on your company and what interaction you are inquiring about, but here is an example of what a follow-up question may look like for a customer effort score survey question.

An example of a followup question that should proceed with an answer where the customer indicates a low customer effort score. This one states “It sounds like we could have done better. Can you let us know more about your experience?

A CES survey is a good opportunity to capture qualitative data as well in the form of an open-ended response. This question will be your final CES survey question.

An example of an open-ended question in a customer feedback survey stating “Is there anything else you would like to share?

Do’s and don’ts of customer feedback survey creation

Before getting into the do’s and don’ts of survey feedback survey creation, here are some reasons why following specific rules matter, including:

  • Avoiding survey fatigue. The first reason is to avoid feedback fatigue. 80 percent of customers have abandoned a survey halfway through. And 52 percent of respondents said they would not spend more than three minutes filling out a survey, according to OpinionLab.
  • Keeping customer engagement rates high. You don’t want your surveys to interfere with any type of customer engagement, including website experience, purchasing, or customer service. 72 percent of customers said surveys interfere with their experience of a website.
  • Capturing high quality and accurate data. You want the quality of your data to remain high. By the 20-minute mark within a survey, the quality of data and the attention of respondents greatly diminish, according to SSI.

The more you can do to encourage completion rates and keep the attention of your customers, the more accurate your data will be.

Do’s of survey creation

To guarantee a successful survey, here are some things you should do.

1.  Ask the most important question first. Asking the most important question first, such as the customer’s overall rating of the company, will ensure more accurate results, and give you critical insights you can compare over time.

2.  Allow for open text feedback. Quantitative data is quick and easy to analyze, but sometimes there is more to the story. Allowing your customers the opportunity to expand on their answers will give you access to in-depth information.

3. Optimize for mobile. 20 to 30 percent of respondents will answer survey questions on a mobile device. This means if you want more responses, make sure respondents can open your survey on their smartphone.

4. Choose the right customer feedback survey too. There are several customer feedback tools on the market, but not all of them are created equally. Select one that provides customizable templates, white-label branding, mobile delivery, automatic analysis, reporting, and more.

5. Keep your questions short and relevant. Don’t ask everything you want to know. Only ask what you need to know, and keep it short and sweet.

6. Always A/B test your surveys. Before you send out your survey, take the time to A/B test them. This will help you send out the survey that will elicit the most responses.

7. Thank customers for feedback. Thanking your customers for their time is just one more opportunity to show off your excellent customer service skills. You can also use the “thank you page” as an opportunity to redirect customers to your website.

8. Make sure your branding is prominent. Customers are more likely to answer survey questions if they understand who the survey is from. You can accomplish this by branding your survey visually (e.g., logo, colors, typography, etc.).

9. Make your objective explicit. Let your customers know immediately and clearly what information you want from them. You can also accomplish this by keeping your survey short and simple.

10. Personalize your surveys. While it’s important to include your respondent’s name in your survey, it’s even more important to send the right survey, to the right person, at the right time. If the survey corresponds perfectly with specific customer interaction, they are more likely to respond. 

11. Measure and track your feedback over time. If you want to know whether or not the changes you are making based on data are working, then track your feedback results over time.

Do these things, and you’ll create a survey that gets responses.

The Don’ts of customer feedback survey creation

Here are the things you want to avoid at all costs when creating your customer feedback survey.

  1. Don’t ask double-barrel questions. Double-barrel questions are unclear questions because they cover more than one issue. These types of questions confuse the respondent and skew your results. An example of this would be the question “What motivates your at work?” followed by the answer options of “Pleasant work and nice co-workers” work and coworkers are two different topics.
  2. Don’t make the survey too long. There is a time and a place for a long survey, but when you’re trying to gauge customer satisfaction, it’s best to keep it short. Typically, one or two questions will suffice. Otherwise, you risk losing the attention of your respondents and missing out on essential data.
  3. Don’t use internal or industry jargon. Business speak is common at work, but it doesn’t belong in a survey. Your customers may not understand internal or industry jargon, so keep the language of your survey in everyday terms. To avoid jargon, test your survey with people outside your industry to make sure they understand what you are asking.

When should you send customer feedback surveys?

Not only is asking the right questions essential to capturing excellent data, but asking questions at the right time will help you obtain tight insights. Here are the best times to send a customer service survey:

  • Right after a customer purchase
  • Right after a customer service encounter
  • Right after a customer uses a product
  • Six months after use to determine brand loyalty

Sending a customer feedback survey after a customer interacts with your brand or products will increase the likelihood that they will respond. It also provides an opportunity for you to contact customers that have had a negative experience immediately.

For more information about how to improve your customer feedback strategies and for a look into a tool that helps you organize all market research data, visit Fuel Cycle today!

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