Customer feedback is crucial for brand health. You can use it to identify problems, reevaluate service priorities, and adapt to changing customer demands. It can also be a rich source of ideas for disruptive innovation.
Survey design can make or break the entire effort. The questions you ask, and how and when you ask them, determine both the value of the data and the amount of brand equity you win or lose. A well-crafted, well-timed customer satisfaction survey can deepen your customers’ emotional investment by motivating them to respond and rewarding them for doing so.
So how do you build and deploy a survey that elicits the reaction you want and the insights you need?
Here’s a list of 35 sample customer satisfaction survey questions to get you started. Then we’ll explain the best way to go about asking customers to weigh in.
Mastering the Art of the Customer Satisfaction Survey: Three Key Elements
A customer satisfaction survey is like a blank canvas. The richer the detail, the better the result. Your customers should be able to express themselves using a variety of techniques.
Pointed, close-ended questions create a profile of the shopper and provide context for other survey responses.
What is your age/gender?
How long have you been a [brand] customer?
What was the total purchase amount on your receipt today?
How often do you visit this store?
Did you visit the store based on a promotion or sale?
Based on this experience, would you return to this store for [product/service]?
Would you like someone to contact you?
Tints and Shades
Scale questions are designed to register how positively or negatively your customer reacted to the overall shopping experience and to various touchpoints along the way. While a neutral response might indicate the need for strategic adjustments, responses at either end of the spectrum reveal the most impactful moments in the customer journey.
It’s important to keep these questions as simple as possible for your customers, who struggle to rate experiences on the classic 1-10 scale. A scale of 1-4 makes surveys less burdensome and produces more reliable results.
Example #1: Coffee shop customers might be asked to rate the particulars below via degree of satisfaction (1 = “Completely dissatisfied”; 4 = “Extremely satisfied”).
How do you feel about your overall experience at this store?
Was the coffee warm enough?
How well was the coffee counter/area stocked?
How did your beverage taste?
Was your food order accurate?
Were the restrooms generally clean?
Example #2: An apparel retailer might ask the following questions using a different scale (1 = “Completely disagree”; 4 = “Completely agree”).
Were you made to feel welcome during your visit (greeted and/or thanked by one or more associates)?
Were the outfitted mannequins helpful in building an ensemble?
Were the items appropriately priced?
Did one or more associates offer to help you?
Were the associates friendly?
Were the associates knowledgeable?
Was the merchandise high quality?
Were the items you looked for in stock?
Were the items you looked for easy to find?
Did the store have a wide selection?
Was it easy to find items in your size?
Was the store visually appealing?
Was the wait time at checkout reasonable?
Did the cashier process the transaction quickly and effectively?
Did the store have a reasonable return and exchange policy?
Example #3: These reflective questions are designed to gauge probability of a future action (1 = “Not at all likely”; 4 = “Very likely”).
How likely are you to return to this store?
How likely are you to recommend this store to others?
Open-ended questions, which can be triggered by negative feedback and/or appear at the end of the survey, give customers the floor. Responses often yield surprising insights, which can upend long-held assumptions about what customers want and how well the brand delivers. This occasional wake-up call is something every brand needs to stay aligned with its customer base.
Why did you choose this rating?
If the item you were looking for wasn’t available, what item(s) would you like to see?
What did you like best about shopping at our store?
How could we have made this experience better for you?
What suggestions do you have for improving the shopping experience?
Make Your Csat Survey Timely, and Make It Rewarding
To know which touchpoints perform best and which could be sabotaging sales, it’s important to ask the right questions. It’s also important to ask while the experience is fresh in the customer’s mind. If a survey arrives days (even hours) after an in-store visit, or customers are asked to log in to complete a survey, they’re likely to forget key details or lose interest in sharing them.
Most survey responses will come from customers who are either extremely satisfied or extremely dissatisfied, thus skewing the results. And you’ll never hear from people who left the store without buying.
The most enticing, effective way to survey your customers is to enlist them as secret shoppers. Give them the means to answer questions about the customer journey in real time, regardless of whether they make a purchase. They can detail their visit in an objective way while offering their subjective take on what was good, bad, and unimportant.
With this objective/subjective data mix, you’ll know at once how well brand protocols are being followed, which protocols matter, and which ones are working against you.
So what’s the reward for shoppers? How does this approach build brand equity?
Unlike traditional CSATs, which can be a chore to complete (hence the typical 2% response rate), real-time in-store CSATs make the shopping experience fun. Your “secret agent” customers become agents of change with an important purpose: contributing to a better brand experience going forward. The moment you invite a customer to go undercover, you’ll inspire a degree of loyalty most brands can only hope to earn.
Forget costly mystery shopping and low-response CSATs. Managing the in-store customer experience has never been easier. Click here to learn about the innovative platform leading brands use to monitor and improve their stores and drive foot traffic and loyalty.