50 Must-Have Customer Survey Questions

Person thinking with a laptop in her lap and question mark above her head

Why do you need the right customer survey questions? Because they hold the key to understanding your customers’ hearts and minds.

Think, you are one of the key stakeholders in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company. Your team released a new feature – an AI-powered chatbot ready to take on complex queries.

Your inbox is flooded with congratulatory messages, but you stay stoic and decide to wear your customer’s hat and test the chatbot yourself.

You fire up the app, type in a query, and wait. The chatbot stumbles, misunderstands your request and delivers generic responses. This scenario mirrors the B2B landscape.

Companies invest in cutting-edge solutions, expecting seamless experiences. Yet, glitches, misalignments and unmet promises persist. That’s where B2B customer satisfaction surveys step in.

Customer surveys are not just checkboxes; they’re compasses guiding you toward customer-centric excellence.

By asking the right questions—whether it’s about product functionality, onboarding processes or post-sale support, you uncover insights that fuel improvement.

These surveys are your backstage pass to the unfiltered thoughts of your clients—their joys, their gripes, and their wishlist for a better partnership.

But what exactly is a customer satisfaction survey, what are the right questions you could ask and how to ask them? Let’s understand it one by one.

Issac Thomas at Sprinklr reveals 50 must-have customer service questions for your contact centre

What Is a Customer Satisfaction Survey?

A customer satisfaction survey is a tool leveraged by businesses to gather feedback from customers about their experience. These surveys ask customers to rate their satisfaction with a product, service or recent interaction.

You can conduct customer satisfaction surveys through various digital channels, such as chatbots or email.

You can include structured questions with predefined response options or open-ended questions where customers can provide detailed answers. Deploying these customer satisfaction surveys help you with four major benefits:

  1. It helps businesses better understand what the customer wants.
  2. You create a better strategy revolving around the specific customer needs
  3. Customer lifecycle management becomes more efficient with better insights.
  4. Customer retention, customer satisfaction and customer lifetime value increase.

Different Formats of Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions

Your customer survey should be engaging, relevant and effective. Remember, how you pose the question will affect the data you collect.

Below are different customer satisfaction survey question formats, along with their pros, cons and benefits.

Binary Scale Questions

This type of survey question gives respondents only two choices. A few binary questions are:

  • Did you have a satisfying experience?
  • Was the article able to provide the answer you sought?
  • Were you able to find what you were looking for?
  • Was our product able to meet your expectations?

The above questions can be answered with a simple yes or no.

Example of Binary Scale Question

Were you satisfied with your customer support?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Binary scale questions are quicker, easier to answer and easily understood. However, the questions may need more nuance and cause survey fatigue if the survey carries too many questions.

Pro tip: Showing a survey too early in the customer journey (before they have got a flavor of your product) can disrupt the customer’s experience to the extent that they abandon the product altogether.

Hence, time your surveys wisely and keep them short and simple, preferably one question only, with no typing requirements.

You could also use a survey solution that sends automated and contextual survey prompts to website and app visitors, gauging their readiness to take a survey. This way, you pass the control to users and keep them engaged.

Multiple-Choice Questions

Typically, multiple-choice questions have three or more options. These questions are primarily used to collect categorical variables such as race, sex, age group, educational level and satisfaction level.

Example of Multiple Choice Question

Which feature would you like us to prioritize next?

  1. Improved search functionality
  2. Enhanced user profiles
  3. Faster checkout process
  4. More personalized recommendations

For example, suppose you are conducting a customer survey. Herein, you can ask the respondent about their job title, what industry they work in and more.

This would help you compare the customer satisfaction scores of respondents from different job titles or industries.

Scale Questions

Most satisfaction surveys are based on scale questions that constitute numbers or labels, such as strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree and strongly agree. Scale questions have several advantages.

Example of Scale Question

Were you satisfied with your customer support?

  1. Very Satisfied
  2. Moderately Satisfied
  3. Neither Satisfied nor dissatisfied
  4. Moderately Satisfied
  5. Very Dissatisfied
  • Customers can easily understand what to do when asked a question.
  • Data can be segmented easily, allowing you to make decisions based on individual survey responses.

That said, this type of question does have a significant drawback. You need to discern why a respondent gave you a 2 or an 8 since there is no qualitative insight that you can draw from these customer survey questions.

Semantic Differential

In this type of survey, customers are asked to rate a product, brand, or firm using a multi-point rating system. This allows them to choose an option that best describes their experience accurately. Like binary scales, semantic differential scales categorize responses as positive or negative.

Open-Ended Questions

Qualitative customer satisfaction feedback allows customers to say why they are satisfied with your product or service without you having to make assumptions about the same.

Example of an Open-Ended Question

  1. How could we improve your experience with our customer service?

[Open text box]

  1. What did you appreciate most about your interaction with our team?

[Open text box]

  1. Were there any aspects of our service that fell short of your expectations?

[Open text box]

Avoid asking too many open-ended questions in one survey, which may cause respondent fatigue. In addition, open-ended questions can frustrate your customers and negatively impact your data quality.

Take care not to let personal bias affect you when deciding which questions to ask since it is easy to skew qualitative data.

Now, let’s dive into the different survey question categories to be included in your surveys.

What Are the Different Types of Customer Feedback Questions?

Asking the right questions is the foundation of your customer feedback exercise. Imagine it as a treasure hunt: each question is a clue that leads you deeper into understanding your customers’ experiences.

So, grab your metaphorical map and let’s explore the different types of questions you can include in your customer satisfaction survey.

Category 1: Questions on Product Usage

Asking your customers how happy they are with your product or service can surface product improvement areas, thereby improving customer retention. You can collect customer feedback by asking the following 10 questions:

  • How much time has passed since you started using the product or service?
  • Did you consider purchasing any alternatives before choosing our product?
  • How frequently do you use the product or service?
  • Are you able to attain your goals by using the product?
  • What is the best part about using the product or service?
  • What would you like to improve about the product?
  • According to you, which features are the most important?
  • Which product feature do you use the most during an average day?
  • Have you had any issues while using the product?
  • If you could suggest one new feature, what would it be and why?

Go for a mix of open-ended, binary and scale question formats as the question demands. Mixed formatting will keep up respondent interest and yield precise insights.

Category 2: Questions on User Demographics

Gathering demographic data helps brands and marketers with the creation of detailed and precise buyer personas, enabling targeted content, responses and campaigns. Consider asking the following demographic questions in your survey:

  • What is your age?
  • Where do you live?
  • What gender do you identify as?
  • Are you currently employed or not?
  • Where are you currently working, and what is your job title?
  • What industry are you currently working in?
  • Are you married or not, and do you have children?
  • What is your level of formal education?
  • What is your gross annual income?

Again, avoid bombarding the customer with too many questions and use automated omnichannel survey software to gather as much data implicitly as possible.

Category 3: Questions on Psychographics

Under psychographics, businesses collect information about a customer’s preferences, behaviors, values, habits and tendencies.

For example, psychographics help you understand your customers’ buying habits and why they do what they do. These questions help you identify how you can better serve your customers. Some of the questions in this category are:

  • Do you prefer to shop offline or online on your phone?
  • How much time do you spend browsing (insert social media channel on which you plan to advertise)?
  • Does sustainability matter to you at the time of purchasing a product? If yes, how much?
  • Do you face any major obstacles when asking about something related to your product?
    For example, if you have created a meditation app, you might ask, “What’s your biggest roadblock when meditating?”
  • What do you look for the most at the time (ask something related to your industry)?
    For example, if you work at the bank’s mortgage department, you may ask, “What do you look for the most when buying a house?”
  • How much time do you spend a day doing (ask something about your product)?
    For example, if you sell sneakers, you may ask, “How many hours do you spend running?”

Category 4: Satisfaction Scale

A satisfaction scale helps quantify or measure subjective survey feedback. This scale can be adopted in several ways:

  • A scale measuring 1 to 5 (or any other number), where 1 means the customer was highly unsatisfied and 5 represents the customer’s delight.
  • A descriptive scale measures a customer’s response from unsatisfied to satisfied. The respondent must select from a list of responses ranging from “very unsatisfied” to “very satisfied.”
  • A picture scale wherein images are used to denote customer satisfaction. You can use images of happy, sad, or indifferent emojis to collect customer feedback quickly.

Satisfaction scale questions can be phrased as:

  • On a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied are you with your experience today?
  • What is the likelihood of you recommending the product/service to others?
  • What score would you give our team in resolving your issue?
  • Did you feel that your query was answered on time?
  • Do you agree or disagree that your issue was resolved effectively?
  • What are the chances that you will purchase again from us?
  • What is the likelihood that you will revisit our website?

Do you know?

You can predict CSAT scores during conversations in real-time, without using surveys! Yes, it’s possible for AI-powered customer service software to:

  • Monitor interactions for tell-tale signals of escalation and satisfaction
  • Identify positive, negative, or neutral sentiment based on past conversations and algorithmic logic
  • Give a predicted CSAT score to the conversation

Keeping an eye on the predicted CSAT, agents can change their resolution approach when things go downhill. Likewise, they can capitalize on “positive moments” by pushing surveys or upsells confidently.

Category 5: Open-Text Questions

In an open-text survey, participants fill out their responses within a text box. This encourages participants to be honest and freely express their opinions about the company’s products and services.

Here are some examples of open-text questions:

  • Describe how you feel about (the product or company) in your own words.
  • What can we do to improve your experience?
  • What do you like about our product/service and why?
  • How can our employees serve you better?
  • How can we improve your experience with the website or in-store location?
  • What was the reason behind choosing our product over a competitor’s?
  • Describe us in one word and why did you choose it?
  • Are there any additional feedback or comments you would like to make?

Again, AI plays a vital role in reading between the lines of open-text answers and detecting sentiment about various qualities of customer service, including quality, behavior, resolution time, convenience and more.

Category 6: Questions on Survey Follow-Up

In this section, you can include questions about follow-up with the participants in the future and receive updated feedback from the respondents.

These questions can be phrased in several ways:

  • May we contact you to follow up on these responses?
  • Would you be willing to retake the survey in the future?
  • Would you be willing to chat with our customer success manager?
  • Can we share a list of valuable resources that will allow you to get the most out of your product?
  • Would you be willing to discuss upgrade options for your product/service?
  • If we made an update to the product or service, could we contact you to discuss these changes?

How to Nail Your Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions

Customer satisfaction survey questions can be close-ended or open-ended, enabling sentiment analysis regarding your product or service. Regardless of the type and format, following certain best practices can ensure your questions are always on point. Here they are:

1. Choose the Correct Type of Survey

You must choose the right type of survey for collecting customer feedback that best suits your customer service goals.

What kind of information are you looking for? Do you wish to gather quantitative data or will qualitative feedback serve you better? Here are some common objectives with surveys:

  • Measure overall customer satisfaction.
  • Identify areas for product/service improvement.
  • Understand customer preferences and needs.
  • Gather feedback on a recent interaction or transaction.

A net promoter score (NPS) or CSAT survey can help you highlight significant trends and leverage them to build customer loyalty. In contrast, a customer effort score (CES) survey allows you to calculate the ease of service experience with your company.

2. Choose the Right Questions

We have outlined the different types and categories of survey questions above, but consider these two additional factors during questionnaire formulation:

a) Target Audience

Segment your target audience based on characteristics such as age, gender, location, purchase history or engagement level.

Different segments should be served with different types of survey questions. Some example segments are:

  • New customers vs. returning customers
  • Different product/service users (e.g., basic vs. premium)
  • Customers from different geographic regions

b) Channel

Customers behave differently on different channels; hence your survey questions, timing and format also change accordingly. To extract maximum response rate, follow these guidelines for different channels:

  • Email: Suitable for longer surveys and reaching out to existing customers.
  • Website/App: Ideal for collecting feedback at specific touchpoints or after certain interactions.
  • Social Media: Useful for engaging with a broad audience and gathering quick feedback on specific topics.

3. Send Surveys at the Right Time

Timing plays a critical role in surveys. If you wish to see successful results, choose the right moments in the customer journey to ask people for feedback.

For example, when an agent closes a ticket, you can survey the customer and request their feedback on whether the company failed or succeeded in resolving their query.

Abstain from requesting feedback from agitated customers or just-churned customers. Keep an eye out on that predicted CSAT we spoke about and seize the right moment to solicit feedback.

4. Limit the Number of Open-Ended Questions

Finding the right balance between asking an appropriate number of questions and overloading respondents is crucial for survey success.

While asking too many questions can discourage participants from completing the survey, asking too few may miss valuable insights. Strive for a sweet spot to optimize completion rates.

On average, a survey should ideally take between 10 and 20 minutes to complete. If it exceeds 20 minutes, there’s a higher chance that participants may lose interest and leave the survey unfinished.

5. Consider Asking Questions in Different Ways

When coming up with survey questions, be careful about how you frame the questions. For example, your language may affect how the respondents answer your questions, leading to skewed results. If you are unsure if your survey is biased, ask your employees for feedback.

6. Test Your Survey & Do a Follow-Up

Before sending out the survey to each of your customers:

  1. Send it to a small group and see what type of results you get.
  2. Take advantage of the opportunity and ask about improving the survey experience.
  3. If you feel confident about the input, send it to the rest of your customer base.

You must close the feedback loop with survey respondents by following up with them. Address every bit of feedback you receive to show that you value your customers’ opinions and feedback.

Survey Hack

Let a bot take your survey!

Deploy software that could convert survey questions into a conversation that could be executed by a chatbot.

A chatbot could help you test your survey questions with a bunch of customers and you don’t need to deploy a human agent for it.

Let a section of customers interact with the bot, see if your survey questions are getting favorable responses, and if they do, scale your survey deploying it across multiple channels.

Ready to Craft Engaging and Informative AI-Powered Surveys?

You’ll have gathered how essential customer survey questions are to receiving quality feedback, catalyzing positive changes and improvements in your products, people and processes.

Another point worth noting is your surveys should be omnichannel, gathering customer feedback across all the channels your customers use – digital, social and voice.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Questions Should Be in a Customer Survey?

In a customer survey, aim for 5-10 questions to gather meaningful insights without overwhelming respondents. Include a mix of closed-ended (e.g., ratings, yes/no) and open-ended questions to cover key aspects of the customer experience.

Can Customer Survey Questions Help in Reducing Customer Churn?

Yes, customer survey questions can help reduce customer churn by identifying issues, gauging satisfaction and understanding needs.

Actionable insights from surveys enable businesses to address concerns promptly, improve service and enhance customer loyalty, ultimately reducing churn.

How Should Effective Customer Survey Questions Be Structured?

Effective customer survey questions should be clear, concise and relevant. Use simple language and avoid leading or biased questions.

Start with broad, general inquiries before moving to specific ones. Mix closed and open-ended questions to gather both quantitative and qualitative insights for actionable results.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Sprinklr – View the Original Article

For more information about Sprinklr - visit the Sprinklr Website

About Sprinklr

Sprinklr At Sprinklr, our mission is to enable every organization on the planet to make their customers happier.

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Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Author: Sprinklr

Published On: 27th May 2024
Read more about - Industry Insights, , , ,

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