Editor Choice

Effectively designed customer satisfaction surveys give insight on how customers are viewing a brand and its service offerings. Businesses utilize data from customer surveys to improve their service quality and raise their rank in the pool of competitors. Surveys provide useful information on whether a customer is satisfied or dissatisfied by the product or service offered by a company.

Let’s look at four essential points to incorporate when designing an effective and thorough customer satisfaction survey.

Framework of Questions

Research teams often make the mistake of either having a very long survey, which is too generic and lacks focus, or designing one which is very short and not goal oriented. Customer satisfaction surveys should be designed by keeping the questions focused and concise.

The survey should include questions that are insightful for the organization and can contribute to the enhancement of the service experience in the future. The structure generally consists of quantitative questions and a few qualitative questions which gather customer opinions as well as expectations from the company.

Questions on customer service representatives

Customer satisfaction surveys need to include questions on customer service representatives (CSRs) since they play such a critical role in service delivery. Questions on behavior, conduct, problem solving, time management and efficiency etc. can be asked from the customer to rate. This will give useful input to the company, which can be incorporated in future training development of the CSR.

Questions on product quality and user experience

Collecting data on product quality is essential for companies looking to increase customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Questions being addressed should range from product quality, user experience, value, price and other factors which the company finds useful in devising its customer service offerings. The questions can be constructed to gauge the customer’s affinity to the product and whether they will be buying the product again or not.

Questions on overall satisfaction

It is important to assess the overall quality of the customer experience offered and whether there are any loopholes in the service delivered. Questions can gather customers’ ratings on shopping experience, promptness in service, efficiency in problem solving, different customer service platforms and post sales service etc. Customers should be asked if they ever contact the customer service for help and if yes, then how effectively their issues are addressed and resolved.

Open ended questions

Apart from quantitative questions in the survey, a few qualitative questions should also be addressed to get feedback from customers. Having open ended questions which touch on important points such as complaints and experiences can be added to the pool of questions in the survey. Customers can be enquired on how they might think the service can improve or what they dislike about the service or product etc.

Rating Scale

The main part of the survey is answered using a rating scale, which is commonly a five point scale depending on the questions asked etc. The rating scale can be varied though for different questions, and will then have to be totaled separately as well. The length of the scale is usually selected depending on the level of differentiation the company is looking for.

While focus is often made on only the layout of the questions in the survey, it is as essential to have an effective rating scale, which measures accurately and does not create disparity when calculating the final data.

The rating scale needs to be balanced to start with, which means that it should give enough options for both positive and negative feedback. This firstly gives customers the choice to choose from a variety of options and secondly collects more accurate data from the customer.

The rating scale should correctly label each point, instead of simply numbering it from 1 to 5. Labeling the rating scales, such as very good, good, fair, poor and very poor, creates a more balanced data collection, since all customers know what that point stands for, instead of just choosing a number and letting customers associate a degree to it themselves.

Design of the survey

Customer surveys need to have an overall design and branding, with logos and marketing material so they have a higher response rate from their audience. Customers are more comfortable filling in a survey that is verified and labeled by the brand, because they tend to trust the source more as well as be assured that the information is going to be utilized for their benefit.

Start the survey with addressing your customers politely and asking them to fill in the survey so you can use the information to improve service offerings for them. The survey should have a simple layout, which is easy to understand and doesn’t take up too much time.

Once the qualitative and quantitative questions have been asked, end the survey by thanking the customer and giving them an option to leave any comments or feedback they wish to, whether it is a complaint or simply highlighting something they feel strongly about.

Incentives for the customer

Offering customers incentives and rewards for answering a survey is an effective measure for collecting data as well as motivating the customer to answer the survey. Firstly it serves the purpose of encouraging the customer to fill in the survey, as it can be a tedious task at times, and second it is a way of thanking the customer for giving their valuable feedback to the company.

Rewards can range from different kinds of discounts or offers which customers can benefit from. It can be a discount of a certain percent on the next purchase made or a gift card of a specified amount. These efforts help engage customers and collect data on useful service related queries.