If you want to grow, you need to understand what your customers want, and surveys are one of the best ways to find out exactly what your customers want.
But a survey is only as good as the questions it asks.
With the right questions, you can learn key insights that will drive growth.
With the wrong questions, you are just wasting your customers’ time.
In this guide, we’ll look at 10 great survey questions that will help you increase customer loyalty in 2019.
Happy customers are key to any successful business. A high churn rate is costly and, in the long run, a business that survives on acquisition alone can’t grow sustainably and efficiently.
The numbers speak for themselves: brands that put customer satisfaction first have better ROI and a higher lifetime customer value. According to Bain and Company, companies that have just a 5% in customer retention can increase their profits by up to 25%.
Customer satisfaction also leads to greater brand awareness through word-of-mouth. With more than 80% of customers trusting referrals and reviews over branded advertising, great word-of-mouth plays a pivotal role in the awareness and conversion stage of the customer lifecycle.
On top of this, dissatisfied customers do more damage than a lost sale. They can severely hurt your brand’s reputation, with each bad review costing businesses 30 customers on average. However, not all dissatisfied customers are vocal. Only 1 in 26 unhappy customers complain. The rest simply move on from your business and, unless you’re asking for their feedback, you’ll likely never know why.
Realistically, it’s impossible to have satisfied customers 100% of the time. What is important, however, is proactively asking for customer feedback, measuring satisfaction, and using these figures to improve your products and services for the future. A recent study by Hotjar shows that 70% of brands that deliver outstanding customer experiences leverage customer feedback as an essential tool. By listening to your customers, you can better understand what your strengths are, and where your pitfalls lie.
Asking for feedback also plays a vital role in building a relationship with your customers. New Voice Media reported that the main reason customers switch products or services isn’t quality—it’s because they feel unappreciated.
Ultimately, the brand that makes a customer feel valued and listened to wins the battle for their business, and that’s where feedback is so important.
Use the following 10 questions to get better feedback and improve your customer loyalty.
Want to know how happy your customers are with your product or service? Ask them directly. Also known as your Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), this question helps you evaluate if your product or service is meeting your audience’s needs and expectations.
There are a number of ways to use the information from this question to supercharge your product or service, but the most important one is to improve your offering. A low score indicates there are some foundational issues in your business that need to be addressed if you’re going to reach sustainable growth in the long haul.
To make this question work smarter for you, take it one step further and leave an open-text box asking customers exactly what they’d like to see in the future. This way, you can make improvements based on feedback and give your customers exactly what they’re looking for.
Customer satisfaction surveys are one of the best opportunities to kill two birds with one stone and find out more about your customers. By asking your customers who they are, you can create more accurate buyer personas to help your team visualize who they’ll creating and selling their product to. Demographic data also comes in handy for marketing teams, who can use this information to better target customers and increase conversion rates from leads.
Demographic questions are best accompanied with a drop-down box that helps you group customers. Some of the best questions to include in your survey are:
Keep in mind that getting this information is a privilege, not a right. Not all customers will feel comfortable sharing this information with you, so for each question it’s best to include a “prefer not to say” option, or make the response optional.
Customer satisfaction is about more than the purchase: it’s about the journey. 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a website if they had a negative experience. Bad user experiences are one of the biggest killers to your conversion rate, so it should come as no surprise that brands which succeed are the ones that make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for online.
This question is useful if you want to get insights into the usability and effectiveness of the content and navigation on your site. Give customers the choice to rank the process from “not easy at all” to “extremely easy”. If you’re averaging below “extremely easy”, it’s time to rethink your user path or website structure.
As a brand, you want to make converting as easy as possible.
Almost three-quarters of customers are likely to switch brands if they find the purchase process difficult. By asking customers about the order process, you can smooth out any kinks that may hurt your conversion or retention rate.
This question is most beneficial when respondents can choose an answer on a scale, just like the question above. Give customers the choice to rank the ease of the process from “not easy at all” to “extremely easy”. Again, if your answers are hitting an average score below “extremely easy”, your marketing and website design team needs to review the path to conversion ASAP.
With so many brands out there to choose from, it’s important for your teams to know your competitors. Without knowing who you’re up against in the consideration stage of the customer journey, it’s hard to stand out in the market with your brand and unique selling proposition (USP).
If you already have an idea of who your competitors are, give customers a dropdown list to choose from. Remember to give respondents an option for “other” along with an open text box, in case there’s another competitor out there which you haven’t considered. Alternatively, if you’re still feeling out the landscape, an open text box does the trick—it just requires more manual labor to analyze the results.
Regardless of which answer format you give respondents, if one brand is sticking out more than the others in the results, it’s worth evaluating your brand’s unique positioning and strengths relative to theirs. This is where the next question comes in...
When you know how your product stacks up to others out there, you can find your competitive edge. Use this question to glean insights about where you stand in the market and what value you provide. If your marketing and product team know your strengths, they can work on crafting and refining your USPs and using this information to drive key decisions around product development and marketing message.
While you might already have an idea of where your brand has an advantage in the market, it’s a great idea to ask your customers directly about where your value lies. If customers are answering that your product is on par with others out there, consider providing value through great service, or by delivering a better shopping experience for your customers.
One of the best ways to retain customers is to serve their needs, time and time again. This question is one of the most valuable because it helps you identify points of improvement to grow your brand and your product.
This part of your customer satisfaction survey is best left as an open-text question in order to give customers enough room to express their thoughts. While it takes time to extract and analyze the data, the answers contain precious insights that can be used as the building blocks for your company’s future. In order to get tangible actions from this information, group feedback together and look for recurring themes or keywords. If a point keeps coming up, it’s worth listening to and improving on in the future.
Your Net Promoter Score (NPS) is one of the most useful indicators of customer satisfaction—so much so that we have an entire post dedicated to NPS here. The NPS is a valuable tool that you can use to rally your team around customer satisfaction, and when harnessed by brands, may help predict trends in customer retention.
NPS is calculated by grouping respondents based on how they reply to this question. Customers who score between 9-10 are Promoters; those who score between 0-6 are Detractors; and those who score 7-8 are Passives. Once you have these numbers, you can use the formula below to calculate your NPS:
Net Promoter Score = % of Promoters - % of Detractors
A positive score indicates higher levels of satisfaction, while a negative score indicates there’s work to be done.
There’s a direct correlation between NPS, customer satisfaction and revenue: for every 7 point increase in NPS, the London School of Economics reported a 1% increase in revenue. In other words, if you’re not measuring NPS, you’re missing out on customers and profit.
Used as an open-ended question, this is a great opportunity to get more insights into your USPs while also collecting content for customer testimonials. Customers trust other customers more than brands, so it’s only natural that the best marketers aren’t the ones you hire. They’re your brand advocates.
Pair this question with a checkbox or a disclaimer saying “I agree for my response to be used for marketing purposes”. By doing this, you can harness the power of the responses to champion your customers’ voices as a marketing tool for future campaigns.
Every customer satisfaction survey should provide customers with the opportunity to voice any additional concerns, thoughts or feedback on your brand and product. By including this question, you open the floor up for any points you may have missed in your survey.
Like the question about serving your customers, it’s best to leave plenty of space for respondents to voice their thoughts. You might be surprised at what your customers have to say.
Along with including the questions we’ve listed, here are some other things you do to help make your survey campaigns a success.
Nothing increases survey drop-off rates like long-winded questions. No matter which question it is, the rule of thumb is to keep each point short and sweet. Try to ask questions in a direct way, using simple language and as few words as possible. If a customer has to read a question twice, they might just give up and leave.
Leading questions are one of the biggest killers of an effective customer survey. If you’re phrasing the question in a way that pushes bias on your respondents, you’re getting skewed data. When you’re phrasing questions, keep the wording as neutral as possible. This way, you’ll get genuine answers that can be used to grow and improve your brand and product.
Have you ever started responding to a survey, only to keep hitting ‘next’ and finding more questions? If your customers are thinking “will this survey ever end?”, they might put less effort into their answers. Worse yet, they may simply give up and leave.
The best way to avoid this issue is to keep your survey length to a minimum; however, this isn’t always possible. If you have multiple pages on your survey, include a progress bar so respondents know exactly what they’re getting into when they start.
According to Apptentive, email surveys have a 25-33% response rate compared to 13% for in-app surveys and 3-5% for mobile surveys. It’s essential to incorporate customer feedback into your email marketing campaign in order to maximize the response rate for your customer satisfaction survey.
The data from your surveys is only as useful as you make them, which is why you should track and analyze your findings using a platform like the one we’ve built here at Thermostat.io. By reviewing your results on a regular basis, you can spot trends in customer satisfaction levels and predict trends in revenue and retention.
Like customer satisfaction, surveying customers is something you want to get better and better at over time. It’s an ongoing campaign, and we’re here to help you on that journey.
Click below to try out our powerful customer satisfaction tracking tool, completely free, and begin increasing customer loyalty immediately:
Our best articles, right to your inbox