5 practical tips for creating a good customer satisfaction survey

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I bet we’ve all run into customer satisfaction surveys that go on forever and the questions seem extremely pointless. A good customer experience survey measures the success of the organization’s strategy from the customer’s point of view. Therefore the questions should be carefully selected and not picked at random only because they sound nice. A good customer satisfaction survey is concise, relevant and considered.

You don’t need to be an expert to measure customer experience but it sure helps. But just in case you aren’t, I listed 5 practical tips for designing a good customer satisfaction survey to help you avoid the biggest mistakes.

1. Present the survey immediately after the customer encounter

You should ask for feedback right after the customer encounter, so that it reflects the most genuine and realistic image of the event. When the customer encounter is physical, feedback devices are the smartest way to measure customer experience. They ensure the highest response rate, are the most cost-efficient feedback channel and the customer experience is still fresh and untainted (external events haven’t impacted it).

2. Good customer satisfaction survey is concise and considered

Keep the survey concise and easy to answer. Consider which areas of the organization’s strategy are important to measure in this customer encounter and how to ask about their success in a way that both the question and the answer options are clear to the respondent. Carefully selected questions increase the reliability and applicability of the results. The number of questions affects the response rate i.e. sampling size because people dislike answering long surveys.

3. Create an appealing survey

You should create a visually interesting survey to attract customer’s attention. Of course you can use prizes as well, but for example animations make even a boring survey look fun and hold the respondent’s attention a bit longer. You’re always competing for time the customer could spend doing other things, so you should respect that. Using your own brand’s visual guidelines in the survey enforces your brand image and increases the appeal of the customer satisfaction survey.

4. Design the survey with the applicability of the results in mind

Construct the survey in a way that the information it creates is easily understandable and utilisable in those offices, departments and teams it’s being processed in. This should be considered in both the planning and formatting of the questions. It’s not enough to ask whether the customer was satisfied, you need more specific data on what they’re satisfied with and what needs developing.

5. Measure with a consistent scale

Keep the scales in the survey simple and consistent. If you choose a scale of 1-5 or 1-10, keep it through the entire survey (excl. NPS® question). If your scale is 1-10, does a 6 mean the same to you and the customer? The accuracy and unambiguousness of the answers is essential to their value and applicability.

When designing a feedback survey, you should remember that the customers receive them all the time. So if you want to get as many useful responses as possible, you need to make responding as quick, effortless and easy as possible. A good customer satisfaction survey functions as a seamless real-time communication tool for ensuring the best possible customer experience. You should use time and effort in its planning so that the results pay themselves off many times over.