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Thought Leadership & Enablement
October 20, 2023

8 Steps in Creating a Great Customer Satisfaction Survey

What goes into creating a great customer satisfaction survey form? Clarity, focus and considering the customer.

Jenna Galletti
Content Marketing Specialist

We all know how important it is to ensure that the people who use our products or services are happy with us. If they’re not, they usually have no shortage of alternatives to choose from. So, customer satisfaction = customer retention. And customer retention = good business.

But how can we be sure that our customers are actually satisfied? OK, they may buy what we’re putting out there, but is this down to genuine delight? Or is it just a habit? Or they may not be aware of other options. 

The last two aren’t great in terms of stability of custom. They’re both vulnerable to external factors, leaving you suddenly bereft and wondering where those apparently happy customers disappeared to. 

It’s much better to be able to get a clear picture of how well you’re regarded by your customers. And one of the best ways is with a great customer satisfaction survey form.  

What is a Customer Satisfaction Survey Form?

You may think that your business is terrifically well-regarded with impressive brand identity,  impeccable online presence, and great phone number reputation. However, it’s important to get to the facts of what the customer thinks. 

A customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey form is an instrument used to glean the extent to which a customer has positive associations with your brand and/or product. It usually takes the form of a question or series of questions, with the answer often being a point on a scale. 

So, for instance, the question might be ‘How satisfied are you with the support you received today?’ with the answer being 1-5, with 1 being not at all and 5 being extremely satisfied. 

Free to use image from Pixabay

The scale can vary - it might be 1-10, it might be a range of smiley faces going from sad to ecstatic, or it might be any of a host of other styles. The important factor is that it permits the customer to reasonably accurately find representation for their feelings. It should be simple enough to understand easily but complex enough to allow a sufficient range of responses.  

The organization will take the results from the survey and derive a CSAT score by taking the number of satisfied customers, and dividing this by the total number of respondents, then multiplying this by 100. So, 20 satisfied customers in a sample of 50 = (20/50 x 100) = 40.  

Additionally, you can measure customer loyalty using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) method. NPS is a valuable metric that assesses customer loyalty by asking, "On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our brand or product to a friend or colleague?" This can be integrated into your survey to gather insights into both satisfaction and loyalty. 

If you want to know how to calculate NPS, you subtract the percentage of 0-6 scores from the percentage of 9-10 scores. 

We’ll now look at the steps you need to take in order to produce a great customer satisfaction survey form. 

  1. Don’t Waste Customers Time

Life’s busy. Most of us don’t want to fritter away enormous amounts of time wading through lengthy survey questions or wordy preambles. Yes, it’s possible for good content to generate leads, but that’s not our primary purpose here. 

So, the golden rule with customer satisfaction survey forms is to cut out the waffle. Once you’ve come up with a question, pare it down so that it still asks what you need it to, but with no extraneous words clogging things up. 

Same with the overall size of the survey. Take a look at the 50 questions you’ve come up with. Do you really need that many? Is a customer likely to want to commit that much of their day to helping you out? It’s doubtful. So, think about what it is you want to know, which leads us to the next point. 

  1. What Do You Want to Discover?

Free to use image from Pexels

What’s the main purpose of the customer satisfaction survey form you’re putting together? If you’re running a contact center and you want to find out customer opinions of the cloud call center software you’re using, stick to the subject. 

For example, you’ll probably want to have questions in there that relate to waiting time and the agent’s ability to readily call up your information. You won’t need questions in there asking about the music that was playing during the wait time. 

So, adhere to the point and avoid survey drift. What, to you, might be useful ambient data might be annoying extra material to attend to for the customer. Not to put too fine a point on it, you are entirely at the mercy of the customer here. 

If they’re not enjoying the customer satisfaction survey form you’ve created, they may well abandon it. So consider the customer and stay focused. 

Whether you're seeking feedback from your customers or evaluating the efficiency of your software, it's essential to stick to the relevant aspects of the customer experience.

It’s the same with all such data-gathering techniques. Take the effective quizzing technique used by JC Penney with Jebbit. By keeping the experience focused, brief but, above all, enjoyable, they achieved great results in terms of discovering price sensitivity. 

  1. Avoid Question Flurry

One question at a time, should be your mantra. It’s easy to get a little carried away and fire off related questions thick and fast in a cluster salvo. ‘How did you like our pancakes? Too small? Too big? Enough flavor range? What do you look for in a pancake anyhow?’. 

To the respondent, a series of questions put in quick succession can be exhausting. So, restrain yourself. One question, then an answer. Then another question. That’s the way.

On a related note, try to keep successive questions to roughly the same area. It’s disorienting for the customer to be asked about one area of experience, then a question asking about something completely different, then the next returning to the original avenue of inquiry. 

This is true of both written and verbal surveys. If your questions aren’t well-considered and placed in a logical order, you’ll end up with confused respondents. 

  1. Go Off the Scale

Free to use image from Unsplash

You don’t have to stick to the scale as a way of answering your questions. You can throw a few open-ended ones in there, too. These are the questions that allow customers to range a little with their answers. 

They might be asked a question like ‘What were the most enjoyable aspects of your interaction with Pablo’s Pancakes today?’ or ‘Do you have any suggestions for the team at Pablo’s Pancakes so we can make your pancake dreams come true?’.

Open-ended questions are a great way of getting insights into customer opinions and desires, but there is a caveat. Some people are put off having a big empty box to fill. For this reason, it makes little sense to kick a survey off with an open-ended question. Let your respondent warm to their theme with some nice easy scales before you hit them with an open-ender.  

Jebbit is here to talk you through the best ways to design your survey, both in terms of open-ended and scale questions. Through working with a variety of partners, our survey process  secures maximum engagement. Take a look at Heifer International for instance, secured a 98% engagement rate with a Jebbit survey - phenomenal. 

  1. Keep Scales Consistent

There’s a school of thought in social psychology that the polarity of scales should reverse every so often to keep the respondent focused. So, while one scale will have 1 meaning terrible and 5 meaning amazing, the next might have 1 meaning amazing and 5 meaning terrible. 

The idea is that mixing things up requires concentration, and the respondent won’t end up just answering the same (usually 3 or 4) every time, for speed and simplicity. 

However, this theory, as can happen with theories, ends up flat on its face when put into practice, as all that happens is that respondents faced with reversing scales just get really confused and will usually record a response that they don’t actually mean.

So, thanks, but no thanks, theorists. Keep your customer satisfaction survey form scales consistent. It’s the best way to encourage accurate responses and cooperative respondents.  

  1. The Yes/No Game

Free to use image from Pexels

Yes/No questions might be thought by some to be a little reductive, but they can be enormously useful in terms of getting a straightforward answer. 

Sometimes, light and shade aren’t required. ‘Was your Pablo’s Pancake the best you’ve ever tasted?’ might get you a very strong result that you can use in your marketing. Providing enough people think it is the best they’ve ever tasted, of course. 

  1.  Watch out for Leading and Loaded Questions

‘Since we went for hybrid cloud integration, our customer service has been getting great feedback. Tell us what you think!’. This is what you should be avoiding. 

Your customer satisfaction survey form should be full of questions that collect opinion without any influence being brought to bear. Just the mention that others have loved your new set-up is enough to introduce a whiff of social proof. So, keep it clinical and avoid leading the respondent. 

  1. Incentivize

Believe it or not, some surveys can be fun! Enter Jebbit. We provide some great quiz formats that can drive engagement and actually boost conversions and revenue, should this be the aim. However, not all surveys are as much fun as this. For these times, it’s often a good idea to provide an incentive in the shape of a reward. 

What kind of reward? You can offer a discount on further purchases or a free gift. You can give the respondent free post and packing on subsequent orders or give them VIP status and whatever benefits this brings. 

Offering this kind of payback shows that you recognize how important the customer’s views are and how valuable their time is. This will encourage people to take part. 

Surveys that Deliver

So, the key to a great customer satisfaction survey form is to keep things simple, to the point, and short. Don’t be afraid to vary your types of questions. Above all, place yourself in your customers’ shoes. What’s likely to confuse them? On the other hand, what’s likely to elicit an accurate and meaningful response? 

Just like a lot of things in life, designing customer satisfaction surveys gets easier with care and practice. In the meantime, follow these steps, and you’ll get there. 

Ready to build your survey today? Chat with us to get started! 

Jenna Galletti
Content Marketing Specialist

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