Customer Experience

Creating An Effective Customer Satisfaction Survey To Get More Responses


You know you need to keep track of your call center’s performance. Perhaps you’ve sent out surveys before, but your customer satisfaction survey failed to satisfy. Maybe you didn’t get enough replies, or the completed questionnaires you did receive didn’t give you the information you needed. Here are some pointers on how to increase your customer satisfaction survey response rates.


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First, spend some time laying the groundwork. Creating an effective customer satisfaction survey needs careful thought and planning. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How often should I send out my surveys?
  • To who, exactly, should I send them?
  • How am I going to deliver my questionnaires?


When to send out your surveys

It’s best to strike while the iron is hot. Send out your customer satisfaction surveys within 24 hours of a customer interaction. Everything will be fresh in their minds and they’ll be able to give you more accurate information. They’ll also feel more motivated to respond.


You might also think about sending out short surveys on a regular basis. One a week will let you keep your finger on the pulse of your business (as long as you don’t keep sending them to the same customers).


Target your surveys carefully

Make sure that you’re asking the right customers the right questions. If your customer is a business, make sure that you’re in touch with the actual person who deals with your company. (Remember, the higher up the corporate ladder you go, the less time that person will have for your survey.)


Use your CRM data to make sure you’re matching your survey to the customer base you’re assessing. You’d ask a new customer different questions than you would someone who called with a complaint. Someone who got in touch to change their terms of service should have a different questionnaire yet again.

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Choose the right delivery method

There are a number of ways to get your surveys out to customers. To pick the best method, put yourself in the shoes of the customer. For a call center, there are four common ways you can reach out:

  • Email
  • Telephone
  • Social media
  • Your support ticket system

Depending on your audience and how they prefer to interact with your brand normally, pick the channel that’s most convenient and accessible to your audience.

 **How to choose the right channels for your omnichannel strategy**


Keep it short

According to the Vovici survey, 7 Steps to Highly Successful Surveys, response rates drop off rapidly when surveys have more than 25 questions. SurveyGizmo says the average customer can finish 5 closed-ended questions per minute and 2 open-ended questions per minute. Aim to keep your survey time to 5 minutes or less.


People are very busy nowadays and don’t have the time or energy for long questionnaires. You don’t want them to get distracted by a cute cat video in the middle of your survey! Keep it short and to the point.


Use the right type of questions

The most customer-friendly questions are closed-ended. Yes/no and sliding scale questions are quick and easy to answer. Sliding scales should be clearly and completely labeled. Don’t just throw in some checkboxes marked “1” to “5” and call it a day. Each box should show exactly what it means. If you ask, “How satisfied were you with our service?” then you might label your boxes: not at all satisfied, slightly satisfied, moderately satisfied, and so on.


Open-ended questions give you useful information that can bring you insights you can’t get from a checklist. Most customers don’t want to write essays, though. Two open-ended questions per survey is a good number for this type of question. Don’t ask leading questions. “What did you like about our service?” isn’t a good question. Suppose they didn’t like anything? “What, if anything, did you like about our service?” is much better.


Make sure the questions are relevant to the customer

That’s right—relevant to the customer, not to you. The ever-popular “How did you hear about us?” might be a really interesting question to your company, but the customer is bored and annoyed by it. It doesn’t add value to your customer’s life. You only have their attention for a short time; don’t waste it.


Use skip logic in your survey design so that customers are directed to questions that directly relate to them. For instance, don’t ask them about a product or service they didn’t buy.


Fill out the survey information you already have

Use your CRM to include the survey answers you already know. These might include such things as the customer’s name and address, their service ticket reference number, or what product they bought. It makes you look smart and on-the-ball, and the customer appreciates not having to fill in information they know you already have.


Customer satisfaction surveys are an important business tool. There are a lot of small but important details to keep in mind when you’re creating an effective customer satisfaction survey, but if you get your head right you’re halfway there. Think like a customer. Add value to your customers’ lives and they will be happy to help you.



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