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This is the most comprehensive guide you would find online on customer satisfaction surveys. It includes examples, templates, best practices and more.
If you are running a customer-centric business, then knowing your customer satisfaction becomes too important. Your customer has to be completely satisfied with the value they are driving from your product. While they are using the product and you are practicing your own customer success initiatives, sometimes there is a gap between the two. You might not know what your customers feel about your product and your brand. Hence, customer satisfaction surveys are important to get both the parties on the same page.
Customer satisfaction surveys are nothing but the sets of questionnaires designed for your customers to answer through which you can understand what they think of your product, brand and customer support.
When it comes to customer satisfaction, you can not rely on your own subjective opinion. You need to drill down your customer on many specific areas to understand their perspective of your product. There can be many points that show up during these surveys which illuminate you of your practices towards customer success. These findings must be then converted to actionable steps that you can deploy for further enhancement of your customer experience.
In today’s business world, especially in SaaS businesses, companies are more dependent on customers to stay subscribed for long-term. The customer loyalty and retention are impossible to achieve if the customer is not happy with your service.
When their expectations are getting fulfilled through your brand then they help you attract more business. And the inverse of this fact is also true. When the customers are getting poor experiences from your brand, they tell more people about it and that harms your business a lot.
Through surveys you can get the pulse of your customers and that gives you data to act upon. You can take proactive steps to improve their experiences with your product. This would help you achieve better retention rate, loyalty, sales opportunities and reduce churn.
There are many ways to measure your customer experience but the most commonly used metrics in surveys are these three:
When you are designing a survey there are several points you need to take care. You have to create a well structured survey around those points. You must avoid just getting started without a proper plan. Let’s look at those points in detail below.
Before you even begin creating the survey, you must know in advance towards what end you are building one. What actions do you want to take based on the data you would gather? How would it improve in the growth of your business? These are few of the questions you must ask yourself before creating the survey. It will help you align the further steps to fulfill the goal identified in this step.
Based upon your goal, you must choose the right audience towards which you want to direct your survey. For example if you want to improve your product’s experience then you must direct your customer satisfaction surveys to the end users. Your CRM must be having the contact details of many stakeholders of your client’s company. So, you can’t send your survey to all of them. Hence, choosing the right audience would be the second step towards designing your survey.
You must decide the ratio between statistical questions and qualitative feedback you want to get from your customers. Then based on that you must decide the kind of questions to include in your survey. Below are categories of questions you must choose from:
Once you have designed the survey, you must send it at the right time. Usually the best time would be when they have achieved a milestone in customer journey and your relationship evolves into the next stage. You can also conduct annual customer surveys to keep this as a regular process in your evolution of the business.
While the categories mentioned in the above section is helpful, there are few examples that you can use to get more clarity on the kind of questions you can include.
While few points of best practices have been covered above during the design of the survey, there are few more steps you must take to enhance the efficacy of your customer surveys.
Here are some of the pointers that will help you make the most out of customer satisfaction surveys:
The first thing you will ever need before creating a customer satisfaction survey is to plan and draft the survey questions. This is where the ultimate objective of the survey comes into the picture.
There can be several objectives that you can achieve using the customer satisfaction surveys:
Having a clear-cut objective in your mind helps set the right tone for the customer satisfaction survey. This includes determining the type of questions you are going to ask or the length of the survey in general.
Survey fatigue is a real thing that is quite prevalent in the B2B SaaS world. According to recent research, only 9% of people complete a long survey by dwelling hard on the questions. The worst part is approximately 70% of respondents abandon the survey before completing it.
To avoid survey fatigue, you need to ensure that:
Here are some of the things that you can try to avoid survey fatigue in your customer satisfaction survey:
Keep in mind: Whenever you send the customer satisfaction survey, you ask the customers to take out 4-5 minutes of their life. This is where it becomes essential to know when to send the survey.
If you do not reach the customers at the right moment, chances are, they will simply ignore the survey. The timing of the survey is contingent upon the objectives that you have defined at the very first stage.
In case your objective is to monitor the quality of customer support, the best time to send the customer satisfaction survey would be after the end of every support interaction. However, if you are looking for broader strategic metrics like NPS, you can send it every quarterly.
It is recommended that before you send the actual customer satisfaction survey, always run the test survey with a small target audience. This will give you a fair idea of the response rate you are likely to get from the actual survey. It will also help you to understand the effectiveness of your customer satisfaction survey.
Sending a test survey will help you observe certain things like: is the survey too lengthy? Are there any questions that are confusing the customers? Are you getting skewed responses? If that is the case, what should you do next?
Having a test survey helps you to determine the survey loopholes that might have gone unnoticed earlier. This way, you can optimize your survey and boost response rates. This will have an overall positive impact on the precision of the customer satisfaction survey.
There are many templates available online for this kind of survey but the very few best templates are mentioned below:32
Shoeb lives and breathes Customer Success and SaaS. He has a passion to research on the latest innovations happening in SaaS and Customer Success. Shoeb hails from a Software Architecture background where he worked for many years with Indian Tech Giants like Wipro and ITC building software solutions for their MNC clients in the UK and Denmark.
Published 27 Jul 2020, Updated 22 Apr 2022
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