You do your best to provide outstanding customer service. You work hard, follow best practices, and go the extra mile to try and deliver a positive customer service experience.
But how do you know if it’s working?
To really understand what your customers think about your company, you’ll have to ask them.
That’s where customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys come in. Customer satisfaction surveys are a great way to find out how you’re doing — and how you can do even better.
This article tells you how you can create an effective customer satisfaction survey and how it can help you offer the best customer service possible. We’ve also included 11 ideal sample questions that you can include in your satisfaction surveys this year.
What is a customer satisfaction survey?
A customer satisfaction survey is a questionnaire designed to find out what your customers think about your products, services, customer support, or other offerings.
The insights that come from customer satisfaction surveys aren’t just valuable to customer service teams — they can be used across the business by departments like sales and product development.
Here’s a satisfaction survey example from Swiggy, a food-delivery brand that gives you an option to rate your overall experience of ordering food and getting it delivered:
What is CSAT?
CSAT is a measure of customer satisfaction. You collect CSAT information by asking your customers to rank their satisfaction with a good or service. For example, you could ask them to rate a recent customer support experience on a Likert scale of one to five.
You then collect the survey responses and calculate the level of satisfaction as a percent of the total possible points. That’s your CSAT. 100% is total satisfaction and 0% is the opposite.
The average CSAT is 79%, although it varies by industry and region. Most businesses aim to be between 80 and 90%.*
Why are customer satisfaction surveys important?
To create experiences that delight your customers, you have to get inside their heads. Sadly for you, you’re not a mind reader. To know what makes them happy, you need data.
Unfortunately, most companies don’t have access to the right customer data and insights. Only 32% of customer experience professionals feel they have enough information to understand customer needs and apply it to improving customer experience.1
Customer satisfaction surveys let you get that customer information right from the source. They give you insight into what might be causing negative experiences or what you should keep doing because customers love it.
Providing great service is getting harder all the time. 68% of customer service leaders in the US have seen an increase in customer expectations since February 2020.2
Customer surveys help you understand those expectations and meet or even exceed them. When you give customers what they want, you get loyal customers in return.
CSAT ratings can also be used to monitor how well individual support agents are doing. You may be able to identify one or more employees that need additional training.
Don’t think of your customer satisfaction score as just a grade. Even if your percentage is great, you can dig into the data and find ways to create more memorable customer service experiences. And the next time you do a survey, strive to get an even higher mark.
What are the types of customer satisfaction surveys?
CSAT surveys often follow a similar format, but small variations can make a difference in the success of the survey.
You’re eager to see the results of your CSAT surveys, but customers aren’t always eager to fill them out. It’s not that they don’t want to give you their opinion — most people love the opportunity to do that.
You just have to make it really easy for them.
A very common type of customer satisfaction survey is an automatic email sent after customer service interactions. It’s a great option, but not the only one.
You can send periodic emails to all of your customers or to particular segments or demographics. Some companies put CSAT surveys in agents’ email signatures.
Embedding short surveys into your website or app reaches customers that don’t pay attention to an email. These surveys could be about the company as a whole, the online experience, or a particular website feature the customer has just used.
If you have a knowledge base, each article can include a single-question survey, such as “Did you find this article useful?”
You can also conduct surveys over the phone, by text, or with your chatbot.
How do you create a customer satisfaction survey?
Step 1: Identify the goal of collecting feedback
Before you start designing the survey, make sure you know your objective.
For example, are you measuring agent effectiveness or evaluating a recent change in your process? It can be tempting to try to cover everything in one survey, but a more focused campaign will get better results.
Step 2: Frame the right survey questions
Based on the goal identified, keep the survey questions simple — avoid industry jargon or complex, multi-part questions.
CSAT questions can have as few as two options (usually satisfied and dissatisfied) or as many as seven (for example: extremely satisfied, mostly satisfied, slightly satisfied, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, slightly dissatisfied, mostly dissatisfied, extremely dissatisfied).
More choices lead to more nuanced results.
Don’t craft questions that try to sway the customer one way or another. Biased feedback won’t help you improve.
It’s best to keep each feedback survey relatively short — plenty of people will click through a few quick questions but not many want to spend twenty minutes on a questionnaire.
Pro tip: If you have an international customer base, try to offer the survey in the customer’s language of choice. Making the survey as easy and accessible as possible leads to a higher completion rate.
Step 3: Personalize your satisfaction survey
Using a universal satisfaction survey might make it easy for you to manage feedback. However, personalizing the survey you send based on the customer interaction can help you gain insights on the finer nuances of the experience delivered.
For instance, if you helped a customer with onboarding, send a survey that asks them if they were satisfied with the way their tool was set up and customized, and offer access to additional resources, if available. This is far better than just asking them to rate their experience.
If you’re sending the survey by email, choose a compelling subject line and address the customer by their name.
11 ideal sample customer satisfaction survey questions
You can ask your customers about anything, from their overall satisfaction with your brand to how they felt about a specific interaction.
Here are eleven sample questions that are ideal for businesses across industries. Some are yes/no questions, some are multiple-choice, and others are open-ended questions. You can include one type of survey question or a combination of all of them.
- How satisfied are you with our business?
- How likely are you to recommend our business or product/service? (This is a popular question asked in the NPS or net promoter score survey.)
- Are there any ways we could improve our business?
Customer support questions
- How satisfied were you with your support experience today?
- Did customer support find a satisfactory solution for your issue?
- How helpful was this knowledge base article?
- How would you rate the helpfulness of our staff?
- Did our product meet your expectations?
- How often do you typically use our product?
- What is your favorite feature of our product?
- How likely are you to purchase another product?
How to improve your customer satisfaction score?
Now you know how to measure your CSAT. So how do you improve it?
Hopefully, your customer satisfaction surveys will give you ideas that are tailored to your business. In the meantime, there are some factors known to improve CSAT across the board.
Increase speed and efficiency
Today’s customers aren’t a patient bunch. Keeping them waiting too long is a sure way to make a bad impression.
There are several ways to provide speedier service. First, you can improve your initial response time. Using chatbots to answer customer questions makes a big difference.
You can also work on your first contact resolution (FCR). That’s the percentage of tickets that get resolved during the customer’s first interaction with your support team. For every 1% increase in FCR, there’s a 1% increase in CSAT.4
If a customer gets transferred to multiple agents, it will slow down the process and frustrate the customer. Limiting the number of transfers is another way to improve your speed and efficiency.
Having a knowledge base is a win-win. Customers appreciate it — 86% of them expect an organization to have an online self-service portal — and it lightens the workload of your agents.3
It also helps you understand what your customers need. Knowledge base analytics give you insight into common customer pain points so that you can solve them proactively.
On average, companies with a knowledge base have a 79% CSAT and those without have a CSAT of 76%.*
Deliver omnichannel support
Every customer has a channel preference. Some feel most comfortable picking up the phone while others would rather use social media.
Customer satisfaction is higher when you meet customers where they are. Don’t tell them that the only way to reach you is by email, don’t ignore them on Twitter, and don’t expect them to wait in the line if your only channel of communication is by phone.
Customer service software with omnichannel capabilities ensures that your customers have a consistent experience no matter which channel they use.
Deploy AI chatbots
AI chatbots provide instant, personalized service.
Freddy AI from Freshdesk uses machine learning to understand the context of customer inquiries and respond to them with the best article from your knowledge base. It can even follow up on the answer with relevant conversation flows.
When the chatbot can’t manage a ticket on its own, it seamlessly transfers the conversation to a human agent.
AI bots can also assist agents in providing the best possible service. Freddy AI saves agents time by categorizing, prioritizing, and routing incoming tickets. It helps them help customers faster by suggesting articles or canned responses.
Companies that use chatbots average a 79% CSAT, while companies without them have a CSAT of 72%.*
Of course, it’s not all up to the customer service team. Your customers might be unhappy with the product itself. They might have had a bad experience with the sales department. You can dig into these things with your surveys as well.
Your CSAT is also affected by your region and industry. For example, the construction industry has an average CSAT of 87.4% while the average transport industry CSAT is only 66.3%.*
How do you use CSAT survey results?
Customer satisfaction surveys are only valuable if you use the data to make meaningful changes.
The first thing to do is share the results with all relevant teams. Depending on the content of the survey, it could have useful insight for customer service, sales, marketing, product, or other departments.
Customer service managers should use the results to assess their support strategy and the performance of individuals on the support team. Setting a target CSAT for each agent holds them accountable and can even motivate them to go above and beyond.
When you make a change to your processes or strategy, send a customer satisfaction survey to evaluate its success.
Finally, don’t forget to let your customers know if you implement an improvement based on feedback from the survey. The knowledge that you listened and cared for will build customer loyalty.
Customer satisfaction surveys and your helpdesk
Sending surveys, aggregating the results, and generating useful insights from them would be overwhelming if you had to do it manually.
Fortunately, the right helpdesk also serves as a customer feedback software and makes the whole process easy.
For instance, you can build a detailed customer satisfaction survey with a two- to seven-point rating scale from within Freshdesk. You can also add other types of questions or a space for open-ended feedback.
You have total control over which emails have the link to your satisfaction survey. Helpdesk administrators can choose to send it with every email or just in specific cases. For example, they might choose to send it only after a ticket is resolved completely. Once the customer completes the survey, they’ll be sent to a customized thank you page.
Freshdesk can even help you with the analysis. Custom reports identify trends in CSAT levels or monitor the performance of individual agents.
Businesses are always trying to understand their customers. Customer satisfaction surveys are an incredibly easy way to get deep insights quickly.
Follow the best practices listed above and you’re sure to get plenty of completed surveys back. But that’s not the important part — customer satisfaction surveys are only worth doing if you turn them into real improvements in your customer service.
Freshdesk makes it very easy to create, send, and report on CSAT surveys. Try a demo today.
* – https://freshdesk.com/customer-happiness-benchmark-report
1 – https://smartercx.com/straight-cx-leaders-latest-insights-2018/
2 – https://www.freshworks.com/the-new-cx-mandate/
3 – https://info.microsoft.com/ww-landing-global-state-of-customer-service.html
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