When you think about customer satisfaction, the first question that comes to mind is probably a broad one: How happy are your customers? It’s important to measure overall customer happiness, but customer satisfaction surveys can do much more than that when they’re tied to specific goals.

Customer loyalty is a big goal for most companies. We know customer acquisition is expensive, and new customers are far less reliable than existing customers. Since customer satisfaction is a prerequisite for customer loyalty, the way you measure and understand it can truly impact your bottom line.

Consider these statistics on customer loyalty and churn:

  • Two thirds of customers who leave a company do so because of the treatment they received. (Kissmetrics)
  • 61% of customers take their business to a competitor when they leave. (Kissmetrics)
  • Existing customers spend 67% more with a business than new customers. (Selfstartr)
  • The average repeat retail customer spends 67% more in months 31-36 of her shopping relationship than in months 0-6. (Bain & Company)

It’s clear that customer satisfaction should be a top priority. But where do you start? First, you identify the key drivers of customer satisfaction (and dissatisfaction) in your business. Specialized customer satisfaction surveys reveal customer preferences, top reasons for customer churn, and opportunities to improve processes company-wide.

Customer Satisfaction Surveys That Lead to Better Business

1. Customer Support Satisfaction Surveys

Customer support satisfaction surveys are the most common CSAT use case, and for good reason. 78% of customers have opted out of an intended purchase because of a bad customer service experience. Since service is key to profitability, businesses need an effective way to measure it and take action on the data.

Businesses use customer support satisfaction surveys to identify common customer issues, how they’re resolved, and how happy customers are with the resolutions. The results often reveal patterns that help organizations refine their support practices, along with other areas of the company.

TRY THIS: Use Salesforce surveys to tie support satisfaction results with your other customer data, like sign-up date, age, and purchase frequency. Together, the results give you a clearer picture of customer needs by demographic.

2. Product Satisfaction Surveys

Want to know what customers think of your products? What about the features or variety they’d like to see next? Product satisfaction surveys help you build smarter so you can sell more.

Customers perceive products differently than the companies producing them. Consumers might catch issues the team missed. Or customers might echo one simple request that isn’t on the roadmap. Product surveys open up that communication.

Any time there’s a significant change in the market, it’s smart to gather customer feedback to establish your brand’s competitive positioning. Remember how the launch of the iPhone (a huge market change) prompted handset makers to move away from physical keyboards and start producing multi-touch screens? Imagine how far competitors would have fallen had they not paid attention to the consumer response.

TRY THIS: Send product surveys before and after a release to examine how perception changes. Product releases are a key time to for customer feedback. It can guide product marketing and development efforts in the future.

3. Sales Satisfaction Surveys

Your sales team is responsible for securing new revenue and building brand awareness. When they connect with people, your profits grow. But interestingly enough, reports indicate that only 13% of customers believe a salesperson can actually understand their needs.

Sales satisfaction surveys and competitive loss surveys help fix the disconnect. You can pinpoint the factors that lead to won and lost deals and use that to refine the sales process. Those results also inform marketing campaigns that generate sales leads. Marketing can support the sales team with stronger collateral that responds to prospective customers’ needs.

TRY THIS: Add an open-ended question to your competitive loss survey to give people more response freedom. If someone says price was the issue, they can expand on that. Maybe their response will reveal something fixable, like confusion around your pricing structure.

4. Website and Checkout Satisfaction Surveys

Shoppers make more of their purchases online than they do in stores. That means your website and checkout processes deserve extra attention. Placing surveys on your site is a simple way to capture timely feedback.

Is the online checkout process seamless? Are payment methods convenient? How does the site perform on mobile? Are customers finding answers quickly? Questions like this help fine-tune your site for conversions.

TRY THIS: Add a web survey to your site to capture visitor info. You can learn a lot about your audience this way. Plus, web surveys catch feedback at the very moment visitors are evaluating your brand, rather than hours or days later.

5. Event Satisfaction Surveys

Event and conference surveys are a great way to gauge brand perception before and after the big day. Whether you’re hosting an event or tabling at a conference, each interaction you have makes a public statement about your brand. That’s worth measuring.

Conference surveys tell companies more about the leads they generate and help keep your brand top-of-mind. Attendee feedback from events you host can impact your planning and execution in the future.

TRY THIS: Use professional, branded event surveys to send the right message. Consistency is especially important when you’re following up after a packed event. People are inundated with logos and messaging and swag, so your surveys have to tell them who you are quickly.

6. Overall Satisfaction Surveys

We talked about overall satisfaction at the start. Specific customer satisfaction surveys deliver feedback at critical moments throughout the customer journey, but the big picture is important too. Many companies periodically survey their entire customer base to measure customer satisfaction.

Here are a few tips for gauging overall satisfaction. (Read more on survey best practices.)

1. Time surveys right.

You don’t have to send overall satisfaction surveys all at once. Consider setting up triggers that send the survey to individual customers right after they’ve had a key experience with your company. This will likely increase survey response rates and generate better feedback.

2. Keep surveys short.

Overall customer satisfaction surveys should be anywhere from 2-5 questions. If you make them any longer, you’ll kill your completion rate and end up with unreliable data.

3. Ask relevant questions.

It’s best to stick to the basics. Don’t overcomplicate questions or ask about topics unrelated to the customer’s experience. Some safe options: How satisfied were you with the service? How friendly were our employees? Were you able to get the help you needed? Did we have the product you were looking for? How well did we answer your questions? Is there anything we could do to improve your experience?

Wrap-up

Companies rely on customers, but they’re often blind to their needs and wants. When profits take a hit, business leaders put hindsight to work, evaluating where mistakes were made. Oftentimes, those mistakes could have been avoided if companies listened a bit better.

Customer surveys help create a proactive culture. When feedback is visible at every corner of the business, departments can align on objectives that lead to better decisions for their customers. And when customer satisfaction is a priority for the entire company, each team member sees how their role impacts customer loyalty.

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