Satisfied customers are your business’s most valuable asset. Those customers tend to stay loyal to your brand, return to make purchases from you again and again, and recommend your company to their friends and family.
But determining if your customers are actually satisfied or just sticking with you out of habit isn’t always easy to measure—unless you ask the customers themselves. That’s exactly what customer satisfaction surveys are designed to do. They’re a valuable tool for your business, as long as you’re asking the right questions.
And with this guide to customer satisfaction survey questions, you’ll know you’re on the right path to determining customer satisfaction levels and making improvements where you need them.
What is a customer satisfaction survey?
A customer satisfaction survey is, as the name suggests, a survey designed to measure how satisfied your customers are with your products, services, or your business as a whole. The most popular and effective customer feedback survey to measure satisfaction is the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) survey.
CSAT is a customer loyalty metric used to gauge customer satisfaction, and often makes up part of a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program with the two other major loyalty metrics: Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES).
Customer satisfaction surveys ask for customer feedback on any recent experiences with your business—like a new purchase or contact with a customer support team - or they can ask about satisfaction with your business as a whole.
Measuring your CSAT score
CSAT surveys work by asking customers an initial multiple-choice question about their satisfaction levels, such as “How would you rate your overall satisfaction level with [company]?” Respondents are asked to answer on a 5-point scale, with options being: very unsatisfied, unsatisfied, neutral, satisfied, and very satisfied.
Once your survey responses are in, you can calculate your CSAT score by dividing the total number of customers who selected very satisfied (5) or satisfied (4) by the total number of responses and multiply that by 100. This formula will give you an accurate CSAT score that calculates the percentage of satisfied customers.
If you’re looking to see how your CSAT score measures up against others in your industry, the American Customer Satisfaction Index keeps a quarterly list of industry benchmarks you can check out to see where you stand. The overall US customer satisfaction score of 74.4% is a good starting point as well.
Of course, you’re really competing against yourself to continuously improve customer satisfaction rates, so benchmarking your progress against your own score is the most important marker of your success.
Why are customer satisfaction surveys important?
Customer satisfaction surveys are vital for any business for several reasons.
They give you an accurate way to measure customer satisfaction levels
Too many businesses assume that they would know if their customers were unsatisfied—they’d be calling the customer service team all the time to complain, or stop making purchases, or be venting their anger on social media.
But the truth is, when customers are not completely satisfied, they might not take any of those steps because they require effort. And then when a competitor comes along with a better offering, they will abandon your business right away without warning—and then you’re in trouble.
Rather than assuming you know how people feel about your customer experience, and their level of satisfaction with it, ask them directly in a customer satisfaction survey to gather accurate feedback right from the people who matter most—your customers.
They help you with customer retention
Acquiring new customers is expensive and time-consuming. Keeping the ones you already have satisfied is a much more rewarding proposition. Sending out customer satisfaction questionnaires regularly helps you gauge how many of your customers are satisfied and likely to remain loyal.
It also helps you measure how satisfying (or frustrating) your overall customer experience is. For example, your CSAT score will tell you how well you’re currently meeting your customers’ expectations. If you find you’re letting many of them down, you’ll know you have work to do. And if you’re sending satisfaction surveys regularly, you can address serious issues mentioned by your customers right away and potentially turn a problem into a retention opportunity.
They provide you with actionable data and insights
Optimizing your customer journey is much easier when you have solid, actionable data to go on to understand what needs to be improved and what’s working well. And that’s exactly what customer satisfaction surveys will offer you, when they’re used correctly.
For example, say you know there is some sort of issue in your billing process that is frustrating customers, but you’re not sure what the exact issue is, and so you don’t know how to fix it. A well-designed open-ended customer satisfaction question will yield insights from your customers about exactly what they find frustrating about your billing process, and will probably also offer you suggestions about how to fix it.
Examples of customer satisfaction questions
The success of your customer satisfaction survey depends on asking the right questions in the right way. Otherwise, the data and insights you gather won’t be as accurate or valuable. With these 14 examples of customer satisfaction survey questions for a variety of use cases, you can design the most effective survey for your needs. If you need more help deciding which questions to include and how to send your surveys, just ask GetFeedback for help.
How satisfied are you with our onboarding experience?
Gaining a new customer is exciting. But if you’re in an industry where an onboarding experience is required (for a B2B software product, for example), frustrations with the customer experience can start early. Asking your customers about their satisfaction with the onboarding process can surface any pain points you should fix so your customer experience starts off on the right foot.
How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the event you recently attended?
After you put on an event or conference, whether it’s online or in-person, gathering feedback from attendees is important. If they were dissatisfied with a part of the event—or the whole thing—they’re not likely to attend again or to recommend that others do so. Sending a customer satisfaction survey right after the event will help you measure if your event lived up to expectations, and learn how to improve for next time.
How satisfied are you with your most recent dining experience with us?
Restaurants that want to measure how much their dining experience is satisfying their customers should use this question to gather information. You can also add a demographic question or two to see if there are patterns in satisfaction levels: are regular customers more or less satisfied than new ones? Do younger customers have different satisfaction levels than older ones?
How would you rate your satisfaction with your recent stay at our hotel?
Hotels and other hospitality providers can use this question to measure the satisfaction levels of their guests. This question, asking about the satisfaction with the hotel as a whole, can be sent after the stay is completed. You could also send satisfaction feedback surveys after a guest has a spa or dining experience, or after they check in, to gather data about those specific experiences.
How satisfied are you with your recent experience on our website?
Developing a functional, beautiful website for your business is no small task. You want to gather feedback from customers after the site launches or you make major changes to ensure your online experience is satisfying instead of frustrating. You could also add a further question about their experience, for example asking if they were able to find everything they needed during their website visit.
How would you rate your satisfaction with your recent online purchase experience?
Consumers these days expect a seamless, nearly effortless online shopping experience from companies. Are you living up to that expectation, or is your online checkout and purchase experience full of pain points? These pain points can cause people who are about to become customers to give up and go to a competitor, so asking about satisfaction levels during this part of the customer journey can yield big improvements for your business.
How satisfied are you with your recent customer support experience?
This is one of several potential customer service survey questions you can ask respondents after they contact your customer support team with an issue or a question. Having a team that offers quick, effective help to customers when an issue arises is vital to their overall satisfaction levels. After all, customers don’t expect that issues will never come up, but they do expect that when one does, your company will offer them help promptly and efficiently.
How satisfied are you with your recent sales experience?
If you’re in an industry where the sales process is a little longer and more involved than just clicking an online checkout button, this is a good question to ask. Sometimes a frustrating sales experience can drive away people who are otherwise great potential customers, so knowing where the pitfalls lie allows you to work with your sales team to develop a better and more customer-centric sales process.
How would you rate your overall satisfaction with [company]?
Customer feedback survey questions don’t need to always ask about a specific and recent customer experience—they can also be used to gather feedback about overall satisfaction levels with your company. This question can help you measure how customers feel about your company as a whole, taking all their transactions and interactions with you into account. It’s best followed up with an open-ended question that asks what could improve their satisfaction rates if they’re low, or what the main factor is if they’re highly satisfied.
What do you think about us?
Adding open-ended questions after the multiple-choice questions in your CSAT survey can help you gain important context around your score. They help you understand why customers rated your business the way they did. Customers can express their feelings in their own voice instead of through options you provide. This question allows them to fully express their thoughts about your business, and might provide insights you wouldn’t have even thought to ask about.
What’s working for you and why?
Using skip logic is a great idea for some customer satisfaction surveys. That way, you can ask people who are satisfied different open-ended questions than those who are not. Asking satisfied customers what is working for them—and why—can help you identify things your company is doing well in the customer journey. You can then build on those successes, and also use those strong points in your marketing and sales process as well.
What can our employees do better?
Your employees are an absolutely vital part of your customer experience—they’re the ones on the ground providing it every day. Asking customers who have indicated that they’re dissatisfied to tell you in their own words what your employees could improve upon might surface some unexpected issues in the customer experience—and help you resolve them with the help of your employees.
What is one thing we could do to improve your experience with [company]?
This is another great open-ended question to ask people who have rated themselves as dissatisfied. There may be a variety of factors that go into their feelings of dissatisfaction, but identifying the most important one can help you find major pain points in your customer experience. Then you can get to work on fixing them and watch your CSAT scores rise.
Do you have any additional comments or feedback for us?
Offering a completely open-ended question option like this one allows customers to tell you absolutely anything that is on their mind about their experiences with your business. You can use this question when you want to offer a wide-open field for their thoughts without any guidance as to topics. It’s also an effective question whether customers have indicated they’re satisfied, dissatisfied, or somewhere in between.
Customer satisfaction survey best practices
Asking the right questions on your customer satisfaction survey is just the beginning of creating a highly effective survey experience. Here are a few additional tips to optimize your surveys so you get the most actionable and accurate data.
Keep your survey short
Your potential survey respondents are probably pretty busy—and now you’re asking them to take time out of their day to help your business without any immediate benefit for them. That’s why keeping your survey as short as possible helps increase response rates, because it’s asking for a very small time commitment from your customers.
A good CSAT survey should have no more than two or three questions: the first multiple-choice question where they rate their satisfaction, and one or two open-ended follow-ups to get more context.
Make survey questions clear
Customer satisfaction survey respondents are likely to abandon the survey without completing it if they find the questions confusing or vague. If they’re unsure what is being asked of them, they just won’t respond—or they will give you responses that are unhelpful for your needs.
Ensure your question wording is very clear so respondents can answer quickly and accurately and get back to whatever they were doing. That means avoiding jargon or complicated terms, using as few words as possible in your questions, and wording your questions in a very clear and direct way.
Send an effective survey invitation email
The survey by itself isn’t enough to get responses—you also need to craft an effective invitation email to your potential respondents. It’s a good idea to tell them how long the survey will take, what you’ll use the survey data to do, and to thank them in advance for taking the time to answer.
With the right invitation email, respondents will know how much of a time commitment they’re asked for, and what their responses help your company to do—and that makes them more likely to answer.
Optimize for mobile devices
In our on-the-go world, more and more people are reading their emails and answering surveys primarily on their mobile phones. If your survey isn’t optimized for mobile, your customers will quickly get frustrated and abandon the survey. Instead, provide a good user experience by ensuring your survey looks and works great on all kinds of devices so customers can respond from wherever they are.
Asking the right questions of your customers directly can gain you valuable, actionable insights into your overall customer experience. Don’t wonder if your customers are satisfied—just ask them! And asking them is easy with the right customer satisfaction survey.
GetFeedback gives you complete control over your customer satisfaction surveys, and we also offer free survey templates so you know you’re starting from a data-driven, effective place when designing your own survey.
Customer satisfaction surveys help you find the answer to an all-important question: are your customers happy? The feedback you receive can help you design a delightful experience for every customer, so your business grows and succeeds.