Examples of Great (and Not-so-Great) Customer Service Survey Questions

How to write consumer feedback questionnaires to get you the most accurate data

Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions Illustration

We’ve all taken them. We’ve all abandoned them. The poorly written, unclear, too-specific or too-general customer satisfaction surveys. We opened the survey in good faith, ready to provide our wisdom to the organization who seemed to care about our opinion, only to find leading questions geared toward receiving only glowing reviews. These are the kind of surveys people quit in disgust halfway through, or thoughtlessly complete and provide worthless data. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you. Take a look and the right - and the wrong - ways to write consumer feedback questionnaires that will get you the insightful data you need.

5 Ways Not to Write Customer Satisfaction Surveys

  1. Restrictive multiple choices. When your answers don’t include the response your participant wants, you’ve created a frustrated experience for your respondents. They’re now faced with the decision of answering inaccurately, skipping the question, or abandoning the questionnaire altogether. Not very productive. Try offering “I don’t know” or “other” options along with the multiple choices, or consider adding a way for your respondent to add their own response.
  2. Two-part questions with only one response option. “Did you enjoy our service and our selection? Yes or no?” What if your service was impeccable but your selection was lacking? If there’s no way for the participant to answer this question accurately, you’re going to get skipped questions, or, perhaps even worse, inaccurate responses. Make sure you’re asking for one distinct answer per question. Take a look at our blog post about getting the most insightful information out of multiple-choice and follow-up questions.
  3. Requiring a response to every question. Yes, it would be great if every single question in your consumer feedback survey was answered thoughtfully and completely. That just doesn’t happen in the real world; people are busy and distracted. Sometimes a question is missed as an oversight, sometimes the respondent doesn’t want to provide the information, and sometimes they’re just confused by the question. If you require an answer to every single question - even the most rudimentary ones - you’re going to find yourself with a high abandonment rate. Keep the required questions to a minimum and let them skip what they want.
  4. Too many questions. Please don’t interrogate your kind participants with page after page of highly detailed questions of every facet of your business. Keep your client feedback survey as succinct as possible, and you’ll have a better chance of getting meaningful data. Sometimes, a simple one-question survey like a Net Promoter Score questionnaire is all you need. Remember, you can always do follow-up surveys, and you’ll learn more with each poll you do.
  5. Forgetting the goal. It’s easy to ask a lot of questions in order to get the most information you can. But each survey should have a specific goal in mind, one that every question should help reach. Stay focused on your goal, and you’ll get valuable information.

5 Ways to Write Great Consumer Feedback Surveys

  1. Stay unbiased. It’s hard to be objective when you think your customer service is outstanding. Take a step back from what you think you know and let your shoppers do the talking. Avoid embellishing your questions with superlatives, such as, “What do you think of our friendly customer service representatives?” This is a leading question, and isn’t likely to provide accurate results. Instead, ask a focused question about an aspect of your customer service, such as, “How quickly did the customer service representatives at our company help you?”
  2. Avoid the hypothetical. It’s hard for most people to accurately determine what they may or may not do in a hypothetical situation. Don’t fabricate customer service “what if” situations that may not have happened to the respondent. Focus on situations that accurately portray real-world customer service issues. Use a Likert Scale rating question to ask customers to rate their experiences.
  3. Use painless questions. If your participants have to read questions several times in order to understand them, or if they’re repeatedly asked to write essay-like responses, you’ll end up with a lot of abandoned questionnaires. Write questions that are easily scanned and answered without having to think too much or take a lot of time. A question like, “How responsive is our company?” is much easier to read and answer than, “If you have used our website, phone system, or email help system in the past, did our customer service representative get back to you in a timely manner?”
  4. Don’t ask unnecessary questions. You’re probably eager to collect as much information as you can from each survey, but avoid the temptation. Customer service surveys that veer off course and ask seemingly unrelated questions can distract or confuse the respondent, and in some cases may even evoke suspicion.
  5. Try using a “how.” You could ask questions like, “Is our company professional?” with a “yes” or “no” option. But there’s a subtle spectrum of positive and negative responses. To get even richer data, try asking a “how” question, such as, “How professional is our company?” with available responses like, “extremely professional,” “moderately professional,” and “not at all professional.” This gives you a better idea of where your customer service needs are.

Sample Online Customer Satisfaction Survey Templates

At SurveyMonkey, we’ve developed a collection of methodologist-certified customer satisfaction survey templates to get you started quickly and easily. Of course, you’re always welcome to customize the questions to make your survey as specific as you’d like.

  • Customer Satisfaction Template
    Use this customer satisfaction survey template to measure consumer satisfaction with your company, product, and services. Use skip logic to allow your customers to answer questions about products or services they've used, and gain insights for improvement.
  • Customer Satisfaction with Customer Service Survey Template
    See how your front-line customer service and support agents are doing. Measure customer service hold times, problem resolution, product/service knowledge, and representative attitude.
  • Business-to-Business Survey Template
    This customer satisfaction survey template is designed for when your clients aren't just clients, they're businesses too. Identify how satisfied your customers are with your timeliness, professionalism, and service.

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