Customer satisfaction survey

5 Tips for Creating a Customer Satisfaction Survey

A customer satisfaction survey is a short questionnaire, usually around 5–10 questions, in which a company asks about various aspects of a customer’s experience. These aspects include overall satisfaction with the experience, how happy he or she was during the experience, and specific questions about how he or she feels about your company. These surveys can be a little difficult to write, but here are five tips you can follow to make things easier.

  1. Keep your survey short.
    People don't want to spend 20 minutes to completing a survey. Use the questions to gather all the information you need, but avoid going over 15 questions. When you write them, avoid lengthy paragraphs that require lengthy responses. Rating scales generally produce the best survey responses. Keep in mind that these surveys should take no more than 5–10 minutes to complete, and few people like completing them in the first place. It's your job to make completing them as painless as possible.
  2. Make your objective explicit.
    When you ask people to take surveys or offer a survey to someone, you're giving them the opportunity to directly interact with your company. They have a chance to change the company based on their answers. People enjoy knowing they have enough power to be heard and enact change—so, tell them! At the beginning of your survey, state something like "We would like you to complete this survey so we can give you a better customer experience." This short little sentence is enough to draw people in to complete your survey. Customers appreciate the chance to voice their disappointments and desires. Stating an explicit objective will also help you write effective questions.
  3. Include an open-ended question.
    If possible, leave an open-ended question at the end of the survey. If someone has had a good or bad experience, answers to this question can tell you more. Think of it this way: if an employee did everything right, but the customer was simply unhappy, then there may be a flaw in the system.
    Instead of deciding your employees need work, you could discover it's the procedure that needs the work. A customer may not understand where the downfall occurred in a bad situation. Customers who are happy will also be able to note the good parts about their experience, so you know what's working.
  4. Pre-test your survey.
    While this step may seem unnecessary, it is not. Testing your survey on friends, family, or coworkers will help uncover any flaws, whether they be in wording, grammar, or order of the questions. If you aren't satisfied with the testers available to you, you can ask customers to complete the survey and provide a space at the end of it for them to give their comments on the survey itself. Ask them how they felt about it or if anything was left out.
  5. Consider an incentive.
    It can be difficult to get someone to complete a survey. Generally, people would rather spend that time doing something else. Offer an incentive to encourage people to take your questionnaires more often. It doesn't have to be much—maybe something like $1 or more off on their next purchase. You can even offer coupons customers receive when they enter a code you provide at the end of the survey. It's as simple as that. 
Last Updated: February 25, 2016