Let's be real: no matter how many Marvel movies we watch and no matter how much we infuse our Saturday nights with Science-Fiction prose, mind-reading is (still?) very far off from what mankind can do. And since reading your customers' minds (at a distance!) is pretty much impossible (for the time being), the next best thing is, well, asking questions. Or, in other words, running customer feedback surveys.
What are these, what are some of the best examples out there, and what are the best practices you should keep in mind when creating and running customer feedback surveys?
We have gathered all the information you need to know about customer feedback surveys in this guide, so read on if you want to find out more.
What Are Customer Feedback Surveys?
A customer feedback survey is a form of market research that polls customers to determine their opinions about the quality and characteristics of goods or services.
Customer feedback surveys can be as simple in design as "yes"/"no" questions, or they may require an answer with more detail (such as rating on a scale from one to five). They are, without a trace of doubt, the best way to get insight into the satisfaction of your customers.
How Do Customer Feedback Surveys Work?
Customers are given an option to complete a customer feedback survey, and their responses will be collected anonymously in order for you as the company owner or manager to know how satisfied they are with your products/services.
There are multiple types of customer feedback surveys you can use. Depending on which one you choose for your own business, you might have to compile all the answers you receive and interpret the results based on the type of survey you have run. Yes, this sounds complicated, but we promise you will gain more clarity in the next paragraphs.
Before we dive into the specific types of customer feedback surveys, we should also mention that, while all feedback is useful, statistical significance is something you should consider.
Statistical significance is essentially how many people you need to survey in order for the results to be valid.
For example, if you only have ten customers and they are all satisfied with your company, then chances are that a customer feedback survey will not yield meaningful results because it would represent a small percentage of your overall clientele.
To give an even better example, if you run a survey and find out that ten people are satisfied but none of them will be willing to answer future surveys, then you should not rely on the results from this survey.
In both cases, a higher number of respondents is needed for more meaningful data and statistics. This may seem like common sense, but it happens often in organizations as they try to collect feedback from their customers, especially when they are just starting out.
Before diving into a customer survey campaign, you need to consider the size of your company. If it’s big enough and has a large customer base that doesn't change much day-to-day or year-over-year then collecting feedback through surveys will be more appropriate for you.
On the other hand, if your business is small with customers that are unlikely to respond to a survey, then it's best to focus on collecting feedback through informal channels.
Benefits of Customer Feedback Surveys
Once the statistical significance of a survey is determined, this type of feedback collection can yield numerous benefits:
- Helps companies create better products and services by understanding customer needs, preferences, and opinions
- Gives a fair representation of the satisfaction level for all your customers
- Increases profitability through greater customer loyalty (customers are more likely to buy from those they trust)
- Reduces operating costs through lower customer turnover rates
- Helps with identifying trends to better cater to your customers' needs and wants
- Even if the feedback is negative, it will still give you a better idea of where your business should make adjustments
- Creating a customer feedback survey is quite easy, especially when you have the right tools at your disposal (and so is managing the data you collect this way)
Types of Customer Feedback Surveys
Essentially, these are the main types of customer feedback survey:
- Net Promoter Score (NPS), defined as a customer loyalty metric that measures how likely it is for a respondent to recommend an organization's product or service
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), defined as a measure of the customer's perception of their experience with a company
- Customer Effort Score (CES), defined as a measurement or customers' perception of how much effort it took them to use your product
In addition to these three large categories of customer feedback surveys, you might also find visual rating surveys (where customers mark their satisfaction using stars or emojis, for example) and custom surveys (which usually include very targeted questions regarding your product or service).
Customer Feedback Surveys Examples
When we devised this article, we thought looking at a few customer feedback survey examples will help you get a better idea of what your own survey should look like (what questions to include, as well as what customer feedback survey templates you could use).
Customer Feedback Survey Questions
Circling back to what we were saying at the beginning of this article, you can't read people's minds (and much less when they live tens, hundreds, or thousands of miles away from you).
What you can do, however, is ask the right customer feedback questions. Like, for example:
- Do you feel the quality of your product has improved over time?
- What is your favorite feature in our new update?
- Would you refer our company to others if asked? Why or why not?
- If we offered a free trial, how likely would you be to use it and what features would make it more appealing for you?
- If there was one thing you would improve about our company, what would it be?
- What was your first impression of the product when you saw it for the first time?
- How often do you use this app/site? What are some features that make using "Product" enjoyable to you?
- How would you rate your experience with our customer service representatives?
- Is our product (not) meeting your expectations?
- Why did you choose our product over our competitor?
- What are the features you like most/ dislike most about our product?
These are, of course, just some of the customer feedback survey examples you can use. We have created a list of the top 100 most common and useful customer feedback survey questions in this article, so check it out if you want to get more ideas on what to include in your surveys.
Customer Feedback Survey Templates
There are a LOT of customer feedback survey templates you can use, and below we have gathered just some of the examples in our database. You can grab any of them, customize it to your needs, and publish it anywhere in minutes:
- Hotel Feedback Form
- Travel Agency Feedback Form
- Gym Feedback Form
- Summer Camp Feedback Form
- Tour Feedback Form
- Spa Feedback Form
- Customer Feedback Form
- Cafe Feedback
Customer Feedback Survey Best Practices
Aside from choosing the right type of survey for your business' needs and asking the right questions, there are also some customer feedback survey best practices you should definitely keep in mind:
Know Your Goals
Make sure you know what your goal is with your customer survey, because all the questions in your customer feedback survey should revolve around that.
Pace Your Questions
Start with simple, engaging questions and leave the more complex ones (such as open-ended questions) for the end of the survey.
Give your survey a logic
Create a proper sequence to your survey questions and group questions together whenever possible.
Include Different Types of Questions
Remember to include both close-ended and open-ended questions on your survey. This is likely to provide you with a more in-depth understanding of what your customers want.
Don’t Make It Too Long
Keep the survey short and simple. The longer it is, the lower your response rate will be.
Make Sure Your Questions Are Clear
Make questions as explicit as possible - don't ask for specific numbers (e.g., "How many times did you visit our website this month?") but rather try to phrase them in general terms (e.g."Do you visit our website often?")
Know What to Expect
Manage your expectations when it comes to how many people will reply to your survey. Sadly, it is likely that less than half of your target audience will actually answer the survey.
Follow-Up on Your Survey
Let people know that you are grateful for their time and, whenever possible, share some of the insight you have gained with them as well (or at least let them know their feedback has been heard).
Pick Your Tool
Choose the right survey tool. It should be easy to use and it should make data collection feel like a smooth process (including by how it connects to other tools you might use, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or MailChimp, for example).
Good Timing Goes a Long Way
Time your survey correctly. While there may not be a universal "time" to send surveys at, there is such a thing as "the right timing". As a general rule, you should consider your customers' lifecycle when you time your surveys. Some of the most common survey timing examples include:
- Sending the survey halfway through the onboarding
- Sending the survey every six months
- Sending the survey when someone unsubscribed from your service (to understand why)
- Sending a survey during the renewal process (also valid for subscription-based businesses)
Test Your Survey
Try to A/B test your surveys as often as you can. Small adjustments (such as wording, question length or order, and even the color of your buttons) can make a drastic change in how your surveys are perceived (and, thus, responded to).
Of course, these are just the basics of how to run customer feedback surveys correctly (and efficiently). We promise we will go more in-depth on this topic in future articles, though!
Customer Feedback Surveys: Frequently Asked Questions
- How do you gather customer feedback?
To collect customer feedback, you should first create a customer feedback survey form. Once done, you should share it with your customers via email, social media, or by embedding it on a "Thank You" page shown at the end of a transaction.
- How do you write a good feedback questionnaire?
You should start by asking questions that are specific to your company and the benefits you offer.
For example, if you run a gym, you might ask how often people visit the facility or their satisfaction with particular amenities like weightlifting machines. If your business is an event planning service, it's helpful to know what clients liked about events and what they would like to see improved.
- How do you ask questions in a survey?
The most important thing is to keep the survey short and actionable. You can ask open-ended questions, but make sure you don't overdo it. Also, leave the open-ended questions at the end of the survey.
Do make sure questions follow a certain logic as well. Grouping questions around specific areas of interest helps users give quicker answers (and no matter how much someone loves a brand, they don't want to spend too much time on a survey).
- What should you avoid in a survey question?
Avoid asking leading questions. Leading questions are those that show a bias in the question and don't allow for an unbiased answer. For example, if you asked "did this customer feel like they were helped?" then anyone who didn't help likely won't select "Yes" because it sounds like their feelings aren't validated or important.
- What is the best survey tool?
We are pretty biased here, but 123 Form Builder is a very good survey tool. You have multiple templates you can choose from (and you can edit them quickly with our drag & drop editor), you can easily create new surveys from scratch, and we're integrated with 80+ tools (so data collection and transfer is a breeze).
- How do you satisfy customers?
There's no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how one can satisfy customers. The best way to make sure your customers are happy is to actually listen to them — and customer feedback surveys are a large part of that. Listen to what they want and need, look at your Analytics quantitative data, run customer interviews for qualitative information, and strive to make your product better for them.