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Best Practices for Customer Survey Templates

Learn about the different types of customer satisfaction surveys and how to effectively use them to enhance your business services and products. Improve customer satisfaction by using digital survey templates with Lumiform’s free app.

What Make Successful Customer Satisfaction Survey Templates?

A customer survey is a substantial tool to measure interaction between a customer and services offered at your company. Especially industries such as, retail, food, and hospitality profit from gaining insight of the customer satisfaction to identify necessary corrective action and improve the overall customer experience.

This article deals with:

1. 4 possible templates of customer satisfaction surveys

2. How customer satisfaction survey checklists can be helpful

2. Customer survey questionnaire best practices

3. A mobile app for a customer satisfaction survey

Customers having a positive shopping experience

4 Possible Templates of Customer Satisfaction Surveys

It is true that customer satisfaction surveys are a perfect way to understand how happy your customers are with your product or service. Some types of customer satisfaction checklists include:

1. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

  • a simple question with a binary response (e.g., yes/no, happy face/sad face)
  • the scores are usually high (in the 98%+ range)

2. Net Promoter Score (NPS®)

  • rating on a scale of 0-10
  • then comparing the percentage of detractors (0-6 answers) to that of promoters (9-10 answers) to see where the company stands

3. Customer Effort Score (CES)

  • measuring the effort it takes for customers to either use a product or eliminate a problem through customer support
  • customers are usually given a 5-point scale with variants such as ‘very difficult’, ‘somewhat difficult’, ‘about as easy as I expected’, ‘somewhat easy’, ‘very easy’.

4. Milestone surveys

  • sent out at key moments in the customer journey to understand the user experience
  • can be time-based or experience-based

Why Is a Customer Satisfaction Survey Important?

There is a reason why companies invest so much into developing customer satisfaction surveys. Such a simple measure can provide very valuable insights such as:

  1. Understanding Customers’ Expectations
    This can shed light on what your customers want your product to look like and what you can do to achieve this.
  2. Increase Customer Retention Rate
    The more you work on achieving your customers’ expectations, the bigger the chance is that they will use your product or service more than once and will recommend your company to their friends.
  3. Learn How To Treat Dissatisfied Customers
    It is important to identify dissatisfied customers because they can be more harmful than one thinks.
  4. Further insights to improve your Customer Satisfaction
    The world of business is highly competitive. Therefore, it is important to consider customers’ feedback to create better experiences for your clients.

Customer filling out a customer satisfaction survey

What Are Customer Satisfaction Survery Best Practices?

This next section will be primarily dedicated to covering the dos and don’ts of writing survey questionnaires. No matter what, conducting a survey is going to take time and money away from your company, so it’s best to get it right the first time around and minimize any related expenses.

To help you along your way, here is a list of ten best practices to get the most out of each inquiry:

  1. Establish the goal of your survey
    You only have a limited amount of questions you can ask before you lose customer interest, so you’re going to want to ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish by asking these ultra-specific questions. Is the goal of your form to uncover product defects? Or do you want to learn more about user experience? Or maybe still you want to see if there are any reasons a customer wouldn’t eat at your diner again? Deciding this beforehand will help you formulate clear questions and set an attainable goal.
  2. Keep the survey short and sweet
    There’s nothing that will turn a helpful customer away faster than asking too many, thought-intensive questions. If the survey consists of only open-ended questions, then limit it to five or six. If, on the other hand, the survey comprises mostly yes or no questions, then it’s acceptable to ask up to ten or fifteen. Otherwise, if it’s any combination thereof, find the middle ground.
  3. Create clear and concise questions
    Don’t ask a question within a question. This is a surefire way to get neither answered. Questions that consist of multiple steps confuse the reader and result in a less than helpful or articulate response. Think back to high school and how hard it was to answer an open-ended response to the teacher’s satisfaction. These were usually the questions that were worth the most points and the hardest to answer. Try not to overcomplicate things. This survey isn’t a test, so don’t write the questions as if they were one.
  4. Provide appropriate responses
    This is where it might be a good idea to talk to the IT department to make changes to the survey’s format, design, and responses. It won’t do to have buttons indicating ‘very satisfied,’ ‘satisfied,’ ‘unsatisfied,’ and ‘very unsatisfied’ on an NPS survey that’s scoring on a scale of one to ten. Having the incorrect response choices will get you very different answers from the type of survey’s intended use.
  5. Choose the right type of survey
    You’ll want to make sure that you chose the right type of survey to meet your needs. Remember, there are four different types of surveys each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Which type you decide on will largely depend on the goal of the survey. For example, if you want to measure your customer’s loyalty and how likely they will be to spread the word, then the NPS will be the best choice. However, if you want to measure the level of satisfaction about their overall experience with their interaction with your business, the CSAT will most closely match those needs.
  6. Don’t get too complicated
    This best practice goes hand in hand with creating clear and concise questions and keeping the survey short and sweet. It’s pretty straightforward: longer questions and longer surveys will naturally result in a more complicated format that could potentially confuse customers and deter them from giving thoughtful answers, or worse, discourage them from participating.
  7. Ask the right questions
    Remember, there is limited space on the survey, so you’ll want to make the most of the questions you do get to ask. The most efficient way to do this is to come up with questions that cover a general topic and put comments and concerns directly underneath, so if customers want to get more specific, they can. This will save room on the survey and allow the customers to add anything they particularly liked or disliked about their experience, giving you valuable feedback.
  8. Answer negative responses
    If a customer responds that they had a bad experience with your service or product, reaching out and trying to rectify the situation, problem, or product will go a long way in limiting customer attrition.
  9. Follow up with the customer
    Each customer took the time out of his or her busy schedule to reply to the survey. Show them you appreciate their time and effort by following up. Maybe this looks like a 10% off their next purchase or simply a thank you email. However you decide to follow up with your participants, make sure you do in a timely manner.
  10. Use the results to improve

    Taking the time, money, effort, and personnel to write, circulate and review a survey is going to be pointless if, in the end, the data isn’t used to improve upon the company’s product or services.

    You’re probably thinking—“duh, the whole point of conducting a survey is to get feedback, and the point of asking for feedback is with the aim to meet customer expectations”—but you might be surprised how many businesses get stumped by this last step.

    Questions of self-doubt whirl around the minds of the corporate world’s leading entrepreneurs and businessmen:

    What if you can’t implement the changes your customers are wanting to see? What if it’s too expensive? What if it’s implemented incorrectly, and the changes end up hurting the company?

    The best advice is to look at what the majority of responses have in common. Is there a prevailing concern or suggestion? Look at how important each concern is to the success of your product or service. For this reason, it might be helpful to add a follow-up question under the comments and concern section asking how this problem affects their overall satisfaction rating. This way, you’ll be better able to gauge the priority level of the problem and take appropriate action.

Let’s be realistic — not everyone is a born-to-write questionnaire extraordinaire, but that doesn’t mean your company can’t still exploit the many merits of a well-crafted customer satisfaction survey letter. A prewritten template might just be your saving grace. Lumiform offers a wide array of checklists and templates crossing multiple industries. Try out our free template today.

Your Digital Tool for a Successful Customer Survey

With Lumiform’s mobile app, you can easily conduct any type of customer survey via tablet or smartphone – online or offline. With the desktop software, you can create checklists and evaluate the collected data on the spot. This significantly reduces the risk of quality loss, documentation errors, and reputational damage.

Take advantage of Lumiform for your next customer surveys:

  • Generate real-time data from your surveys. This makes quality and satisfaction measurable, and you can use data to constantly optimize your processes.
  • Keep an overview of your customers’ satisfaction with your products.
  • Reports are created automatically – this saves you from having to do all the follow-up.
  • Increase the efficiency of your customer surveys: with more efficient communication within the team, third-party vendors, and management. By catching discrepancies between reports immediately, you’ll be 4x faster than before.
  • Save time with easier analysis of all data and faster identification of areas that need your attention.
  • The very simple operation provides no margin for error for employees in the field. The app offers less complexity in documenting or completing checklists than complicated paper or Excel lists.

Try Lumiform for free
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