Happy, satisfied customers are the foundation of business success. They’re often vocal advocates for your company, recommending your products and services to their colleagues, friends, and family.
But how do you really know if your current customers are pleased with your company’s customer service? It can be difficult to judge. Merely making purchases doesn’t mean they’re satisfied with your service, as they could jump to a competitor with a compelling offer.
The best way to know how your company’s customer service is performing is to ask your customers directly. Customer service surveys help you to assess where your business stands and pinpoint areas for improvement. And once you’ve learned how to build customer service surveys, you’re well on your way to creating an exceptional customer experience that will help your business thrive.
What is a customer service survey? It’s a method of gathering customer feedback andd listening to their thoughts about your organization to understand if they’re happy or dissatisfied.
These surveys are typically open-ended questions encouraging customers to share their thoughts and experiences in detail. They may also include a quantitative component, like asking customers to rate an experience on a scale from 1-10, which allows you to track trends using data over time. Customer service surveys can be conducted online to easily gather customer information no matter where they’re located, ensuring you have a robust geographical representation.
Use customer feedback data to drive survey questions to better understand the current state of your overall customer experience. This deeper understanding can facilitate thoughtful business decisions that help you gain and retain more customers over the long term.
Customer service surveys are an important listening tool for businesses. They offer a path to continuous learning and improvement. By hearing directly from your customers, you gain valuable insights in real time. You can use these insights to fix pain points, drive product improvements, increase sales, and continuously improve your customer service experience.
Surveys are also highly flexible. They can be used for market research when you’re looking to find out what customers are experiencing and the challenges they’re facing. This can help your business improve weak spots while allowing you to determine how to market your products and services effectively. Customer service surveys can also be used to check in with customers periodically to gather their feedback and ideas for improvement.
Finally, surveys are a powerful tool for understanding and improving your company’s brand image. When you take the time to ask customers what they think about their experience with your business, it showcases you are committed to improving the products and services you offer them. This helps build a stronger relationship between your business and customers, creating a more positive brand image.
Asking the right questions is vital to the success of your customer service survey. It can be tempting to stick to general questions like “How was our customer service?” But those questions are too vague, and the information you gather from them will likely not be actionable over time.
Instead, try a more targeted and strategic approach. There are several different kinds of customer service survey questions. Determining your goals and objectives is the first step in your survey creation process. For example, investigate levels of customer loyalty, uncover pain points in your customer service channels, or track the performance of your customer service department.
Knowing what you want your survey to yield will help you select the best customer service survey questions for your needs. Keep reading for customer service survey question examples.
It’s essential to understand how your customer service agents serve your customers when they have a question or an issue arises. Since these employees interact directly with customers daily, they greatly impact the customer journey and experience. Asking your customers about their interactions with these agents ensures you know whether your team is meeting your company’s commitment to customers.
Agent-specific survey questions gather insights into individual agent performance, empowering your team to address weak performers with training. Conversely, you’ll identify top-performing customer service agents so you can reward them and find out how they’re delighting customers.
Agent-specific survey examples
Employees aren’t the only ones who strongly impact the customer experience. The channels your business uses to communicate with and support customers are also essential.
Channel-specific surveys uncover which customer support channels are serving your customers effectively. For example, if you have an FAQ page on your website, survey customers who have recently accessed it to check if it solved their problem. You can do the same for other support channels like a chatbot or automated helpline.
With surveys in place, you can determine which channels support your customers, the problems they solve, and the pain points that should be addressed to improve the customer experience.
Channel-specific survey examples
Customer Effort Score (CES) is a customer loyalty metric that helps you measure how easy your company makes it for customers to do business with you. CES is a customer experience survey question best used when low effort is the main loyalty driver. The CES survey asks customers to agree or disagree with the statement:
You should also include an open-ended follow-up question that asks for feedback on the response. The respondent can choose from 7 answer choices ranging from strongly disagree (score 1) to strongly agree (score 7).
Calculate CES by taking the sum of responses and dividing it by the total number of survey respondents. The equation looks like this:
Typically, you want to see a CES of 5 or 6. A score of 4 or lower indicates pain points that must be addressed.
CES is a customer service survey that uncovers how much effort customers exert to answer a question or resolve an issue. With this information, you can set clear goals, use data to measure your performance over time, and see where you should improve.
CES survey questions examples
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is another customer loyalty metric that you can use to measure how satisfied customers are with a particular interaction, your products and services, or their overall experience with your company. Customer service satisfaction is particularly vital as 90% of consumers say customer service and support are important when considering the brands they like.
See more trends influencing how customer experience professionals are adapting to today’s CX landscape—and how you can keep up.
To calculate CSAT, ask customers a question and respond on a five-point scale: very unsatisfied, unsatisfied, neutral, satisfied, and very satisfied. You should also include one open-ended question so they can explain their answer in detail.
Once you’ve collected information, you can calculate your CSAT score by calculating the percentage of those customers who consider themselves satisfied (the 4-5 scores). Divide the total number of customers who selected very satisfied (5) or satisfied (4) by the total number of responses and multiply that by 100.
Asking one or more of the following customer satisfaction questions can give you a clear view of your current satisfaction rates and point out areas for improvement in your products, services, and overall customer experience.
CSAT survey questions examples
Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures customer perception based on a straightforward question: How likely would you recommend [product/company/service] to a friend or colleague? It’s proven to be a strong predictor of loyalty and customer retention.
Then, customers respond using the Likert scale from 0-10. People who select 9 or 10 on the NPS survey are considered promoters, 7 or 8 are passives, and 6 or below are detractors. A score above 50 is great, while an NPS of over 70 is truly exceptional.
To calculate NPS, you subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters:
NPS helps you determine how customers feel about your brand, your products or services, or specific interactions with your business. You can use the NPS survey question to find how many customers might be singing your praises to their network or how many could damage your reputation.
Here are best practices that will help you gather accurate, actionable data to improve your customer service experience.
Keep your survey short. Your customers are busy people. They’re much more likely to complete a survey if it’s quick and to the point. It’s often most effective to have just one quantitative question (such as rating on a scale from 1-10) followed by an optional open-ended question where they can add detail to their rating. When surveys are too long, customers will likely become distracted or discouraged and leave the survey without completing it. Higher response rates give you more accurate data, so keeping surveys short also leads to greater accuracy.
Avoid asking unnecessary questions. When conducting a customer service survey, it can be tempting to ask about multiple components of the customer experience. However, keeping your survey focused on just one business goal will help increase your response rates. Asking too many questions about different topics can confuse customers, and that may cause them to abandon the survey or answer inaccurately.
Act on your feedback in a structured, customer-centric way. Once you’ve received customer feedback, you will have valuable data at your fingertips. But the hardest part isn’t gathering the information. It’s acting on it.
Your customers have taken the time to offer you insights that can benefit your business, and they expect you to improve what you provide. Once you've gathered your data, have a plan for taking action in a structured way, and ensure those solutions benefit the customer and your business priorities.
It can be challenging to know the right survey questions for customer service teams. However, learning how to make a customer service survey begins with knowing the right questions. First determine the goal of the survey. From there, match the questions to the business objective you’re looking to achieve. The question examples and metric overview above should give you an excellent starting place.
Once you know which questions you want to ask, you’ll need a customer feedback solution that helps you build the survey, send it out, and analyze and act on the results.
Net Promoter, Net Promoter Score, and NPS are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.
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