Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Everything You Need to Know

Customer satisfaction is a complicated issue. Many factors contribute to it, from the quality of your website and products or services to customer service to the look of emails you send. Why should you even care about customer satisfaction? It’s simple, it will help you increase sales.

customer satisfaction surveys: everything you need to know

What is a Customer Satisfaction Survey?

Customer satisfaction survey is designed to help businesses understand what customers think about their products, services, or brand to gain a deeper understanding of whether or not you’re meeting the customer’s expectations. Customer satisfaction surveys allow companies to solve problems with products and/or services to optimize the user experience and deliver exactly what the market demands to achieve the best customer satisfaction.

Companies use customer satisfaction surveys to:

  • Measure and maintain customer loyalty;
  • Keep track of audience satisfaction and excel at customer experience;
  • Provide a superb customer service experience;
  • Understanding an audience;
  • Boost website usability through user feedback;
  • Find out if product is needed on the market;
  • Evaluate client’s familiarity with brand;
  • Find out what readers think about content;
  • Find out what users think of software;
  • Find out where clients first come from;
  • Find out why customer leave website;
  • and more.

Purpose of Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Take a look at the infographic below that explains how inbound methodology looks:

inbound methodologySource: HubSpot.com

As you can see, finalizing a transaction is not the last step of the sales process. There is another one – delighting customers. Delighted customers will recommend your company to their friends or coworkers and return to you.

There’s plenty you can do to delight your customers – use email marketing wisely, provide excellent customer care, engage them on social media, etc

But how do you know if your strategy works and customers are really as satisfied as you think? Companies have even up to 10 times higher opinion about their customer service than their customers do.

As a professional marketer, you know how important it is to gather customer feedback. Website analytics suites give you an overview of what your visitors do, but customer feedback tools can deliver answers to ‘the why’ and ‘the who’ behind numbers.

Free-to-Use Customer Feedback Survey Template

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The best part is it takes literally second and no effort from users to share their thoughts, problems, goals, and needs. Here are some key advantages of such a proactive, targeted approach:

  • Super high response rate

Survicate typical response rate varies depending on the industry, brand, type of questions and targeting options – from 4% up to 58% – but most of our Customers manage to go over 10%. This means over 20 times shorter time to gather the same amount of data.

  • Contextual

You gather context-specific feedback – about a particular page, section, piece of content, path, process or a particular segment of your website users.

  • Unbiased

Since you initiate the process and it’s easy to participate in the survey, you get all sort of feedback – positive, negative and neutral. A full spectrum of data you need and can actually work on.

  • UX-neutral

No more disturbing popups with invitations, no new windows. Survicate surveys are easy to reply to in seconds and easy to close when someone doesn’t want to share his thoughts. You can uncover insights while keeping your customers happy.

  • Actionable

As a bonus to collecting feedback, with Survicate you can act upon in the moment with calls to action. Based on responses received you can engage visitors with special offers, redirect them to the right content or collect contact data with a lead form.

  • Worth injecting to integrated systems

Survicate is integrated with major analytics, CRM and marketing automation platforms, so you can push data collected to add context to your reports or enrich contact profiles for improving sales process or marketing campaigns.

Use customer satisfaction surveys to collect solid data. And this is what this guide will be about – how you can run and benefit from customer satisfaction surveys and what are best practices.

Benefits of Customer Satisfaction Survey

There’s one the core benefit or running all surveys targeted at customers – understand them better. Analyzing answers shows you what are common obstacles your customers meet, how you can improve certain areas etc. This, in turn, leads to higher sales. But let’s divide a few specific benefits.

Hint: If you need to convince your boss to get a subscription of a survey tool, show them exact benefits instead of a bit vague ‘understanding customers better’ or ‘increasing sales’.

#1. Improving customer service

The quality of customer service can make or break a company of any size. Your website might be perfect and product flawless but if your customer service team is not helpful, you’ll lose customers and they will spread negative word of mouth.

It’s likely that your view on customer support is more positive than your customers’. And this is why you must ask your customers, not trust your gut feeling.

Hint: To research customer service, send an email survey after all interactions with the customer service team.

Free-to-Use Customer Service Survey Template

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#2. Improving Product or Services

While customer service is incredibly important, no one will buy from you if you offer products services of low quality. To find out how customers assess them and what you can improve. Offering exactly what customers need places you one step ahead of your competition.

Hint: Send an email survey after some time since the purchase to collect the most valuable insights.

#3. Turning customers into brand ambassadors

People love it when they see that their feedback matters to the company. Carefully listening to your customers and implementing their ideas is an easy way to truly delight them and show that you care. How to do it?

Listen to ideas and reach out to customers whose problems have been solved or suggested an idea you later implemented. They’re likely to appreciate it more than you can imagine.

#4. Discovering competitive advantages

Find out what features are the most important in making a decision. It might be low price, excellent opinion, tempting ads, or even high positions in search results. If you know what are the main factors leading to buying from you, you can capitalize on them.

Example: Your customers don’t perceive low prices as an important factor but love the fact that they easily find you in search results. What does it mean for you? Probably investing in SEO or SEM will provide higher ROI than offering discounts.

Hint: Use a post-purchase targeted website survey to research this area, later people might forget what influenced their buying decision.

Free-to-Use Post-Purchase Survey Template

No Credit Card Required • Cancel Any Time

Customer Satisfaction Surveys Best Practices

Before you dive into researching your customers’ satisfaction, familiarize yourself with best practices – they will help you make the most of any survey.

#1. Run and analyze surveys on a regular basis

Running any kind of survey provides the most valuable results if you analyze results on a regular basis – be it once a week or even once a month. If you just start a survey and analyze results after 3 months or never, you’re missing chances for improvements.

What can help you with it is setting automated reports delivered to your email address with chosen frequency. Not all providers offer it so carefully read their features lists.

#2. Focus on trends

After getting the results, you can calculate how satisfied customers are, what are their most common problems, etc. But what really counts for you and what you should focus on are trends. Your goal is to improve customer satisfaction over time.

Fix common problems and see how it affects results. Don’t focus on meeting or overpassing industry benchmarks, focus on trends and try to beat your results from the previous survey.

#3. Segment customers

A customer satisfaction survey is a part of the experience with your company and brand. The worst you can do is ruin this experience by conducting a survey that is not relevant to people who receive it. Example: you sell durable goods and send a survey once a month.

It doesn’t make sense and you will only annoy customers. Make sure you ask relevant survey questions and the survey itself match an image of your company – add your logo, use the same colors as on your website, etc.

#4. Experiment

The key to success of all surveys is experimenting. Try different questions, different segmentations of customers, even different design of surveys or order of questions. Experimenting will lead to higher response rates and more reliable results.

Just remember to keep track of experiments to know for sure which variant produces which results.

#5. Show customers what’s in it for them

People won’t give you feedback if they don’t see value in it for themselves. Some companies make a mistake and send emails with copy like ‘Last chance to fill out our survey!’.

People don’t care that your artificial deadline is approaching. Instead, explain that their feedback matters and will help you tailor services to their needs. Now, they might take a few minutes of their precious time and take the survey.

How to Use Surveys to Outsmart the Competition [Case Study]

How to outsmart the competition with campaigns in Drip? The results of the annual study conducted by Evergage in 2017 prove:

96% of the respondents believe that personalization helps advance customer relationships and that their prospects and customers expect a personalized experience (88%). Yet, only 45% agree that marketers are getting personalization right ”.

The old way of thinking seems to be the main reason for such a dissonance. That is the reason why it is crucial to apply personalization to the automated processes.

Isn’t personalization a total opposite of automation? You ask. Not necessarily. Actually, those two are sometimes called “The Dynamic Duo.” One complements the other, and they have in common the fact that they base on data – lots of it.

The world of today requires this new way of automation. It is used to make your life easier. It enables you to manage various campaigns in one place with the least amount of effort possible. Personalization is key to the success of those campaigns in Drip.

How to achieve the perfect combination of both? How to provide a tailor-made service? You need to get as much data as possible from your subscribers.

How to do this? The answer is simple – with surveys!

What is great is that those surveys may be as automated as any other of your campaigns. Their main purpose is to equip you with data. This helps you to continually improve your service and communication with your subscribers.

Instead of settling for the typical, impersonal messages in your campaigns in Drip, get to know your subscribers better. Any data they are ready to share may later result valuable.

Is it worth it to spend extra time and effort on surveys to your subscribers?

Check out its benefits below and see if they work for you!

#1. Survey results allow for in-depth personalization of automated campaigns in Drip

How to Use Surveys to Outsmart the Competition [Case Study]

Image source: Salesloft.com

Drip as a tool allows advanced levels of campaign personalization. To reach them it is vital to understand the mechanisms of Drip automation – Campaigns, Workflows and Rules. You should also know how you may use them to your advantage.

Here you can find a very good article on that, prepared by the Drip team.

The more data you can gather from your subscribers, the better. Any survey questions maybe later a custom field in Drip, which enables us to create additional workflows. That, in turn, allows us to personalize campaigns or add only a specific group of subscribers to them.

For example, you can target them to people with the same product preferences, hobbies, or interests. In the case of the products targeted to professionals, it is great to personalize the emails by the industry. It is especially beneficial to use a single choice question with a list of possibilities.

You can also choose the option of a custom field update as a trigger for more specific actions. Besides, you can create workflows for extra actions your subscribers make, like download an ebook or attend a webinar.

Editor’s note: Looking to learn more about whom you’re competing against? Use of Free-to-use Competitor Survey Template!

How to Use Surveys to Outsmart the Competition [Case Study]

What is the best thing about this? Once you have all the data gathered, set up the workflows and rules to work in a way that considers the provided data, you get the best of both. The automated campaigns start to run by themselves. The personalization makes it that the subscribers receive the content that is most suitable for their needs.

#2. Data from the surveys allow to segment subscribers and predict their behavior

How to Use Surveys to Outsmart the Competition [Case Study]

Image source: Aeroleads.com

The personalization process has to include at least a basic level of segmentation. It can be either: Customer, subscriber email, or another kind of division. It is an inevitable element in the whole mechanism of personalization. In the case of automated campaigns in Drip, it usually includes email segmentation along with a definition of general subscriber groups.

In their article, Email Segmentation Strategies: 4 Ways to Customize Every Subscriber’s Experience, Drip team presents its ideas for strategies of email segmentation. These are: customizing the campaigns based on the specific service the subscribers use, on their buyer persona or their previous actions, like visiting particular product pages.

Free-to-Use Buyer Persona Survey Template

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The new trend in personalization is the focus on the precision of personalized emails. This requires obtaining more detailed data from the subscribers. The predictions for 2018 of David Raab, Founder of CDP Institute are that the focus will be on creating “a context that includes location, activities and local conditions. This will be combined with other information such as previous marketing messages, purchase history, demographics, and life events.

How to implement this?

To gather this data you do not need advanced software. It doesn’t require getting such information from mobile devices. It is a great idea to ask the subscribers themselves. Here is where surveys come in handy. Many people are willing to provide such information if it means they will gain something. It also works if the level of the provided service improves or the product gets better.

The more data you can get, the higher the level of personalization you can apply to your campaigns. Some you may direct to big companies, other to freelancers. Multi-level subscriber segmentation allows promoting different products to specific target groups. It can also help to predict the possible behavior of the subscribers. Subscriber segmentation based on their buyer persona increases the probability of reaching the target group of your product.

For example, you may avoid promoting basic software for beginners to specialists in the area. This boosts the chance of finalizing the sale. What’s more, this kind of subscriber segmentation allows us to evaluate them by their potential income to your company. This is extremely useful as it helps to set your priorities with the campaigns. You can use the criteria of the results you want to achieve.

#3. Personalize newsletters to improve their performance

How to Use Surveys to Outsmart the Competition [Case Study]

Image source: Applicoinc.com

Stop sending all your subscribers one generic newsletter. It will most likely go straight to the SPAM folder. Be different! Focus on personalizing your newsletters. Make them interesting and engaging for their recipients. When it comes to this communication channel, it is not really about what you need to say to them. It’s much more important whether they will be willing to spend some time to open your newsletter and read it.

A study by RJI from 2016 compared the open, click, bounce and unsubscribe rates of an editor-curated and personalized newsletter. The results are astounding. With almost 187 thousand impersonal newsletters, their open rate merely surpassed 38%. Their click rate reached only about 4,5%. At the same time, with the personalized newsletter sent to almost 15 thousand subscribers, the open rate was almost 75%. Their click rate was around 14,5%.

The automation of the newsletters is crucial. It allows us to send them to a large number of subscribers at the same time. Yet, you cannot forget about the personalization that can be achieved without much effort.

Solution?

The main solution for this is asking for subscribers’ feedback. First, ask them for their general opinion on the received newsletter. Then, allow them to share their ideas for what they would like to read in the future. With campaigns in Drip, you can always create various versions of the newsletter for the specific subscriber groups.

It is also important to continually improve the content of the newsletters according to the subscriber’s needs. You can always use multiple response surveys to check if they are happy with what they read. A smiley face scale is beneficial in that regard. You can also check the topics they would like you to focus on in the future.

Free-to-Use Newsletter Survey Template

No Credit Card Required • Cancel Any Time

#4. Monitor subscribers’ satisfaction with Net Promoter ScoreⓇ (NPS) surveys

How to Use Surveys to Outsmart the Competition [Case Study]

Image source: Datapine.com

Long gone are the times when the moment of sale was the last moment you dealt with your subscribers (or you thought you did). Now there is a much higher level of awareness of how the way the companies deal with their customers impacts the success of their undertakings.

Nowadays, customer satisfaction focus is not only trendy, but it is essential for the existence of any serious business. There is this funny, inspirational, and very on point quote from Katie Zabriskie: “Although your customers won’t love you if you give bad service, your competitors will.”

Why is it so relevant?

The studies have shown that it takes 12 positive experiences of the customers to make up for just one unresolved negative experience. It is because people tend to share more negative opinions than positive ones. On average, the Americans tell 9 people on their positive, but 16 on the negative experiences.

RECOMMENDED READING: NPS: in-Depth Guide [Best Practices, Questions & Template]

That is why companies focus so much on their Net Promoter Score and its impact on the business. NPS surveys’ objective is to gauge the possibility of the customers recommending the product or service to others.

It is vital to monitor NPS on a regular basis. It allows you to check if the number of promoters you have overpasses the number of people with a negative experience with your product.

How to Use Surveys to Outsmart the Competition [Case Study]

The solution is to add the Net Promoter Score surveys to the automated campaigns and systematically control their results. They are a perfect indication of what you offer to your subscribers to respond to their needs. Maybe it is necessary to implement some changes. What is great is that usually, such action is very quick. It does not require advanced skills and the ultimate results are well worth it.

Free-to-Use NPS Survey Template

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How Product Managers & UX Leads Use Surveys in Daily Work

We’ve recently asked SaaS Product Managers & UX Leads to share how surveys inspire their product decision-making process. Here are some insider tips from companies like GLIDR, Shoelace, and Fairmarkit.

In recent years, surveys have grown into one of the most prominent methods of giving voice to large online audiences. With the versatility of online surveying solutions, you can approach your users virtually anywhere – not just via emails and your website, but also inside mobile apps and social media channels.

To put it simply – pure research gold.

If leveraged properly, customer feedback can turn into a true bonanza for customer success & sales departments.

Now, what about the benefits for product teams?

How do they use feedback from users to create products people love and can’t imagine replacing?

We’ve recently asked SaaS Product Managers & UX Leads to share how surveys help them in their day-to-day work, new product development, and decision-making process. Here’s what we’ve found.

1. Product management software company GLIDR uses surveys to measure product-market fit

“ We’re avid users of Survicate and we love it ” says GLIDR Product Manager Shriya Nevatia. “ We sell GLIDR to product management teams, and our own PM team uses Survicate to send out the product/market fit survey after people have taken our free trial.

We use Survicate’s integration with Intercom to help automate who gets the survey and when.

We then use the feedback to judge how much value GLIDR is providing to users ”.

2. Shoelace Technologies use surveys to uncover product gaps and form a baseline for success

“ There are several ways we leverage surveys to create the best possible product for our customers ” says Shoelace Head Product Manager, Annie Li.

“ Our product is widely beloved by our customers – and one of the reasons is that we not only receive a ton of feedback but also have systems in place to manage it. ”

“ We run ad-hoc, project-based customer research surveys for the development of new product features and monthly CSAT surveys through our CS team. Our goal is to understand what our customers are experiencing, so that we can build features and elements that, over time, eliminate the number of problems they experience. ”

Free-to-Use CSAT Survey Template

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“ We also leverage smart tech solutions to conduct surveys, and to call people to get feedback from the users directly. Customer research surveys are in-depth and typically done over a call (general research about how they complete a task/do a job, review wireframes/UI with customers, demo new features and get feedback, etc.) ”

” Our goal is to understand what our customers are experiencing, so that we can build features that, over time, eliminate the number of problems they experience. “

“ Surveys are exceedingly important as they tell us about product gaps and form a baseline for customer success. Over time our goal is to constantly improve this baseline (given that we have a hybrid, software + service product). ”

“ Without surveys, it would be very difficult to both establish and improve upon this baseline. ”

3. Fairmarkit discovers their advantage over competition & opportunities for new product development

“ At Fairmarkit, we use surveys to collect customer and user feedback on our own product, as well as to get a pulse on how customers are seeing trends in the procurement space overall ” says Fairmarkit Head of Product, Kelly McStay.

“ We run surveys roughly quarterly, targeting both current customers and the broader market, and we use the responses to find new opportunities for our products and services, as well as pain points in existing solutions that we can address with innovative products and services. ”

4. Ed-tech startup Clutch Prep uses surveys to collect NPS scores from users

“ Collecting feedback from our users is something we’ve been doing constantly. It’s also an area we’ve improved a lot in ” says Clutch Prep UX Lead Engineer, Sidharath Chhatani.

“ We usually run surveys after we put out a new feature on our website. ”

“ We carry out bigger surveys every 2-3 months, but we also collect opinions on a daily basis with 5-star rating scales & in binary form (thumbs up and down). These happen automatically as they are built into our site. ”

“ We also have an NPS (Net Promoter Score) system that we use to collect information from our users once they’ve been subscribed for a month. ”

“ All of this feedback gets analyzed and delegated to the correspondent teams to either improve or make the necessary adjustments. You’d be impressed by how technical the feedback from your users can be! ”

5. Ofri runs surveys to uncover missing features & monitor trending topics in the industry

“ We run our company on the Lean Startup principle, hence we’re very serious about feedback ” says Corina Burri of Swiss service provider directory Ofri.

“ Why? Cause there’s no point in having a shiny product which is brilliant to us but not our customer. ”

“ We run automated online feedback after every job completion with us. Also, our CEO runs monthly personal interviews with our customers over the phone. ”

“ We modify our survey format each month. We ask about the features our clients miss in our product, what they like most, and if they’d recommend our business to others. ”

” There’s no point in having a shiny product which is brilliant to us but not our customer. “

“ Based on our findings, we build new features. For example, it turns out that 98,4 percent would recommend our service to their friends. So, we’re actively engaged in collecting referrals now. ”

“ We also survey our users about trending topics in the industry in order to be ready for the future. ”

How to Run Customer Satisfaction Surveys

You can employ a variety of methods to research customer satisfaction because you know a lot about your customers – their telephone numbers, addresses, email addresses, etc. It gives you the possibility of distributing surveys in a manner the most suitable to your audience.

In this article, I’ll focus on online surveys – they are easy to conduct and analyze and they won’t ruin your budget. That said, remember that for certain industries, an old-fashioned quick telephone interview can work better than online surveys.

Example: Products for elderly people who are not heavy internet users.

Targeted Website Surveys

Your website is one of the most important touch points between your company and customers. How to use it to research customer satisfaction? Use targeted website surveys. They appear in the form of a small box which you can use to ask visitors questions, like in the image below:

customer satisfaction website survey

For researching customer satisfaction, I recommend running a post-purchase survey. Show a survey on a ‘Thank you page’ to ask new customers how satisfied they are with the buying process, etc.

It’s an effective method of capturing customer feedback because people are still engaged and their experience is fresh. You can also use a targeted website survey to collect feedback from customers upon their following visits.

Surveys Distributed via Email

Sending emails with links to a survey is one of the oldest methods of collecting feedback online. Companies like SurveyMonkey built their empires on that. It can still bring good results but you can use a more engaging method of collecting feedback – in-message surveys.

What’s the difference between them and traditional surveys distributed via email? The first question is embedded in an email, like here:

measure customer satisfaction with in-message surveys via email

When a customer clicks one of the answers, a new tab opens in the browser. You can ask further questions there or simply show a ‘Thank you’ message.

Learn more about using targeted website surveys and email surveys for measuring customer satisfaction in this guide to measuring customers satisfaction.

Key Takeaways

To run customer satisfaction surveys online, you can use techniques such as website surveys and email surveys.

Benefits of running customer satisfaction surveys and analyzing their results include improving customer service and increasing the number of brand ambassadors, which leads to higher sales.

Customer satisfaction surveys will be the most useful when you analyze their results on a regular basis and experiment.

Start collecting feedback and increase customer satisfaction with survey tool. Survicate offers a free and powerful plan (no credit card required)

Got another minute? Check out:


Lucjan Kierczak

Head of Marketing at Survicate.

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