Use These Survey Questions to Predict and Increase Customer Retention

Use these two very effective (and often overlooked) survey methods to predict customer retention.


Sara Staffaroni

October 22, 2018

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When it comes to measuring the probability for a customer to return to a brand and make new purchases, many businesses rely on the typical customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey question: “How satisfied were you with your experience today?”

While it may seem that this question will determine customer retention, research on customer feedback tells a different story. Here are two very effective (and often overlooked) ways to predict customer retention.

Measure customer effort, not customer satisfaction

This is especially true for customer support. According to the Harvard Business Review, customers don’t turn to a business’s support team to be enchanted; they are looking for a quick and easy solution for their problem. And it’s the level of customer effort—how quickly and effectively issues are solved—that will determine how likely they will return to your company. The fewer the hassle, the higher the retention rate.

To see where your company stands with this, use a customer effort score (CES) survey that asks the user to rate a statement on a scale of 1-10. The statement can be as simple as: “It was easy to get my issue resolved today.” You can learn more about optimizing your CES survey by checking out our CES survey best practices.

Below is an example of a CES survey I created with GetFeedback—go ahead and test it out.

Measure your value proposition, not the competition

Another great metric for customer retention is the Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) survey, which asks: “How likely are you to recommend us?”

As we’ve explained in our previous post, an NPS score measures how well you fulfill your brand’s value proposition. Most NPS surveys allow for open-ended answers so customers can explain why they would recommend a brand or not. This helps provide context on whether the survey taker will be a return customer.

Below is an example of an NPS survey I created with GetFeedback—give it a whirl.

Take it up a notch and use NPS data to provide a personalized customer experience. First, segment customers by the three response groups that the NPS survey generates: Persons who provide a score of 1-6 are Detractors, 7-8 are Passives, and 9-10 are Promoters.

Then, develop personalized scenarios for each group to boost their interest and engagement with your brand. For instance, you can create an email campaign specifically for Passives to showcase features or solutions that will peak their interest more. You could make sure support agents realize when they’re talking to Detractors, ensuring special care is taken. And you could grant Promoters access to a sneak-peak of a new product. By personalizing the customer journey of your loyal customers (AKA the Promoters), you can transform them into brand advocates—click here to learn how.

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. Explore how CES and NPS surveys can help you measure and boost customer retention by trying GetFeedback’s free trial today.

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*Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.