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Customer feedback tips

What is a Survey

Surveys are commonplace, and yet many businesses still forget to conduct them to obtain their own verified research. A survey can take many different formats and be used to deduce a variety of demographic data. You can understand how customers act online, what they want, and even how they think your business should improve.

Businesses should invest in surveying and obtaining feedback from their customers, even when it is not given. Reviews are a great place to start, but by being proactive, you can encourage the silent majority to speak up and provide you with key data you can use to improve your business and the loyalty of your customer base.

What Is An Online Survey?

An online survey is the most common way you are going to obtain information. It is easy, it is typically anonymous, and customers are most likely to provide you feedback with this method.

The traditional motive for creating a survey is so that you can generalize results, thoughts, opinions and behaviors from a large group of people. Businesses can find benefits in surveying the general public and their customer base alike.

To conduct a successful survey, however, you need to have a clearly defined purpose, method, and means with which to analyze the data.

Can Surveys Help My Business?

Surveys can help you measure the customer experience. They can help you extract key information such as where your weaknesses are, what your strengths are, and help you improve your businesses as a result. Employee engagement surveys can similarly help you improve your business and better retain the talented employees that make your business possible.

Overall surveys help by providing valuable insight into what your customers, employees, and the public think of your business, customer service, products and more. Only by knowing where you can improve can you take significant steps towards being a better business in the future.

When done correctly, surveys can reveal:

  • Insight into your customers’ preferences
  • Insight into where you need to change your business
  • Insight into how you can adapt your strategy
  • Insight into where your strengths are

How are surveys helpful for companies?

Survey research is key in providing your business with real opinions and insight into your customers and employees. Only when you know where your business is lacking can you reevaluate your strategies.

Surveys today are also very easy to conduct. You can implement a digital HappyOrNot customer engagement scale into your online business, or install a module right in your small business so that you can track customer experience on the go and make the improvements that will help you succeed.

Customer Satisfaction Survey

There are many different kinds of satisfaction surveys. To survey your customers, you might use a Customer Satisfaction Score Survey or a Net Promoter Score Survey, or you could alternatively create an in-depth survey.

Longer surveys, however, need to have a reward. They can provide you with important insight into the types of customers that exist in your customer base, how they enjoyed multiple elements of your business, and so much more. By rewarding customers with a discount for products or a chance to win a giveaway, you encourage them to take the full five or so minutes out of their day to provide you with key insight into your business.

Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions

The most common types of customer satisfaction survey questions are:

  1. How was your experience today?
  2. How likely are you to recommend [Your Brand] to friends or family?

Questions, however, can also go further in-depth.

The questions that go further in-depth can be anything you like, so long as it can easily be ranked from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10. To streamline your survey, it is important to go in with a specific goal. And don’t try to collect all feedback data possible in one go, or your customers will struggle to get through the survey. If your customers can get through the survey quickly, then you will also have a greater pool of responders.

Sample Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions

Customer satisfaction survey questions can be hugely varied. A longer survey might also collect demographic data, and request customers to rank their experience with the varying elements of your brand:

  • How much did you enjoy using the website?
  • How much do you enjoy using [Your Brand] products/services?
  • How was the checkout process?

Employee Satisfaction Survey

Understanding how employees feel is just as important as understanding how much customers like a product or service. Employee retention is vital for a successful business. For every employee that quits, you can expect to lose 6 to 9 months’ worth of their income in revenue.

You cannot please everyone, but by encouraging feedback surveys from your employees, you can create a working environment that is beneficial to the majority of your employees. You will see a boost in satisfaction, productivity and loyalty.

Employee Satisfaction Survey Questions

Employee satisfaction survey questions will typically revolve around different elements that work to improve employee retention. Questions that help you understand how they see their work life balance, questions about the company culture, benefits, and so on can all be critical to help you improve your business.

A great working environment and employer can help convince your top employees to stay with you for years, if not decades. A great working culture can also help you obtain better talent in the future, as talented workers apply to future roles.

Sample Employee Satisfaction Survey Questions

An employee survey can be more in-depth because you can request your employees to answer even 10-minute-long surveys. You are, after all, paying them for their time. Create an employee satisfaction survey that helps you understand how your employees feel about multiple elements of your business and even leave space for open-ended questions.

Sample employee satisfaction questions can range from:

  • How likely are you to recommend working with [Your Company]
  • How clean are the bathrooms?
  • How would you rank your benefits package?
  • What would you change to improve your working environment?

You can also forgo the question-answer format surveys entirely for interview surveys. Year-end or bi-annual employee reviews can go both ways and allow employees to bring up issues as well.

What Are The Types/Formats Of Questionnaire Surveys?

There are multiple types and formats of questionnaire surveys. The main four are:

  1. Face to Face Surveys
  2. Telephone Surveys
  3. Self-Administered Paper Surveys
  4. Self-Administered Digital Surveys

Typically, you will use an online survey for data collection, as answers can be automatically sorted and the data analyzed into reports in an instant. Face to face surveys and telephone surveys will require a person on hand to analyze the data, especially if you allow for open-ended questions and answers.

What Are Examples Of Good Survey Questions?

Good survey questions are easy to understand and easy to answer. Usually, the answer will be on a scoring system. These could be number scores or test scores (unlikely, somewhat likely, neutral, likely, extremely likely) that operate the same way.

Open-ended questions do have their place in marketing research, but a short survey with a scoring system is easier, faster and more likely to be answered.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is one such scoring system that is very easy and effective. It requires customers to answer one question:

How likely are you to recommend [Your Brand] to friends or family?

Those who score 9 or 10 are very likely to promote your brand. Those who score a 7 or 8 are referred to as passive. Passives like your brand but are not likely to refer to your brand and could be tempted away by competitors if you are not careful.

Those under 6 are considered negatives and could spread bad news about your brand to friends or family.

A positive NPS above zero is a good score and means that more people are likely to promote your brand rather than discourage growth. NPS is also considered to be a good indicator of a customer’s lifelong loyalty.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) is a good way to determine the quality of a specific service or product. Gathering information for CSAT is easy, and you can place a CSAT survey question at the end of checkout, a customer complaint process, and in many more locations.

Typically, the question for CSAT is:

How did you enjoy your experience today?

The answer will be ranked on a scale of 1 to 5 or equivalent, as is the case with the fun HappyOrNot Smiley System.

Open-Ended Questions in Marketing Research

Response rates for open-ended questions are much lower than score ranking, but they can provide you with great ideas to improve your business. Improve your customer service, your company culture, and your business by being open to unique suggestions from customers, employees and the public alike.

What are open-ended questions?

Open-ended questions request responders to provide a contextual answer. They often revolve around “why” rather than “how likely” or requests for responders to rank their experience.

  • What is your favorite aspect of [Your Brand]?
  • What would you change to improve your working environment?

These open-ended questions are required to be read individually but can be very effective at improving your business in a meaningful way.

How to develop effective surveys?

To develop effective satisfaction survey questions, you will need to follow these steps:

1.    Decide on Your Starting Point

Create benchmark measurements for you to compare your business to the results of the survey. It will help to showcase your weaknesses and highlight what your strengths are.

2.    Decide on Research Question or Purpose

Choose your purpose. You can have multiple surveys going on at the same time that need to be completed at different touchpoints in your business, but each survey should have a clear goal in mind.

3.    Decide on Your Sample Demographic

In most cases, your sample demographics are going to be your customers and, even more specifically, the ones who use a service or product. You can obtain feedback onsite, or by sending them an email with a survey attached.

4.    Choose How You Collect Your Data

Normally, collecting data will be done automatically through the survey collection method of your choice. It is up to you to decide where these surveys should be located. A short three-question survey can be given after checkout, after a customer service experience, and so on. By asking for feedback, you are more likely to receive insight into what the silent majority think of your business.

5.    Decide on Your Feedback System

Decide whether you want to use CSAT, NPS, or generic surveys to help you determine if your website, checkout process, product and so on are up to snuff.

6.    Analyze the Data and Extract Results

Analyze the responses you receive and use your survey provider to enjoy easy-to-understand reports on the findings.

7.    Learn About Your Target Audience

Use the findings to learn more about your target audience. You will learn about what your customers, the public, or your employees think about your business, what they do and don’t like, and so much more.

8.    Design New Strategies

Take the insight and results from your survey and improve your business. This applies to the customer side of your company and your company culture.

9.    Develop a Stronger Relationship with Your Customers

Close the feedback loop by reporting back to your customers or employees that you have heard their complaints and are making improvements to address the most common issues. Feeling heard and having your opinion valued is incredibly important for developing a stronger relationship with your respondents.


Surveys are key for understanding your business and its different components in the real world. Use results to improve your practice and your level of service, so that your business may grow, and your company can thrive.

Apply this practice to customers, to your employees and to the public alike, so that you can see your weaknesses and strengths objectively and know which areas need focus. It will help you achieve more targeted results and improve your business more efficiently.

  • Customer feedback tips