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Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

  • Conversion Rate Optimization

Customer experience is everything in 2019. It’s the differentiating factor between you and your competitors. Customers are so ready to say “Bye, Felicia” to you these days.

Almost 50% of people that were previously loyal to a brand say they’ve switched to a competitor who is better at meeting their needs. Being customer-focused means the little guy/gal will not only survive but thrive.

How do you make your online store more customer-focused?

Collect data and information from customer satisfaction surveys that will help you instill change.

There are a number of areas where surveys can inform your decisions, from product development to user experience.

So, let’s dive in and take a look at the best practices for creating customer satisfaction surveys.

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1. Start with a Goal

Marketing, creative and tech professionals said customer experience (CX) was the most exciting business opportunity in 2018.

This is a trend that will no doubt continue. Customer satisfaction, which is integral to CX, is a big deal. Thus, you need to work out what your CX goals are before you do anything.

Your survey should have ONE goal.

Common customer satisfaction survey goals include:

Once you have established your goal, you know the direction your question(s) should take.

You can also keep the number of questions to a minimum because you have a specific purpose in mind.

Moreover, you know which customers to target with your survey. Monitor customer satisfaction at different stages of the buyer’s journey.

To give you an example, if your goal is to improve brand loyalty, you should target existing customers to find out why they love your brand. Or if your goal is to reduce churn, you should target new customers to find out what’s stopping them from making a purchase.

Careful planning means you can create goal-oriented surveys conducive to the most relevant information.

2. Ask the Right Questions

If you want data you can use, you need to ask the right type of question.

Different types of questions have different benefits.

i. Binary Questions

These are closed questions that have just two answers, such as yes or no, thumbs up or thumbs down, etc.

Here’s an example on one of Office Depot’s product pages:

Other examples of such questions might be:

  • Did you find this article helpful?
  • Were you satisfied with this product?

A binary question is useful when you want a simple answer to a simple question.

For your e-commerce store, you might want to find out if people like your products, if they’re happy with your service or not and so on.

ii. Open-Ended Questions

With this type of question, you provide a box, in which customers can write their own feedback.

In this example, Kubiko Club leaves question 2 open-ended:

Another example:

  • Why did you choose our online store?

Use this type of question if to get deeper insights into your products or services.

Qualitative questions help you understand, not just whether customers are satisfied with your brand/products, but why customers like them.

This will help you establish your main value proposition which you can display proudly to lure in more customers.

iii. Multiple-Choice Questions

Here you provide more than a simple yes or no question.

You have three or more separate options.

Grasmere Gingerbread makes use of this type of question in their customer survey:

Similar examples are:

  • How many times have you bought from us?
  • How long have you known about our brand?

The kind of data you get from multiple-choice questions also puts customers into different categories.

So, you can measure the level of customer satisfaction according to which category they fall into.

For example, customers that have made three or more purchases are less satisfied (so you know you need to look after your loyal customers better).

Or you can use the data to create marketing segments for your online store.

iv. Scale Questions

Here you ask customers to give you a rating on a scale.

This scale might consist of labels, numbers or even emojis…

As in this example from Holland & Barrett:

Other examples include:

  • How satisfied were you with your experience?
  • How likely are you to buy from us again?

This represents a popular kind of customer satisfaction survey.

Because the data will be a rating score, you can use it to gauge your improvement over time.

All in all, the type of question you use governs the type of data you get. And you need different types of data to achieve different goals.

3. Ensure Your Survey Appeals to Customers

It’s all well and good talking about data. But what about getting people to take part in your survey in the first place?

Let’s be honest, a lot of people will see your survey and think…

I really can’t be bothered with that.

Did you know that the average survey response rate is only about one in three?

So, you have to make sure your customer satisfaction survey is extra appealing to get customers to participate.

The subject matter of your survey might be as dry as a bone. But your copy can still be compelling.

Just take a look at this example from Dollar Shave Club:

The headline “World’s Easiest Pop Quiz” is fantastic.

It takes away the hassle of filling out a survey. In fact, it makes it feel like it’s not a survey at all. The overall tone is casual and friendly. Bravo, Dollar Shave Club.

It just goes to show that interesting copy, or even a joke, makes any ask more appealing.

4. Incentivize Survey Participation

Time is precious.

Customers want to know that if they take the time to complete your survey, there’s something in it for them.

Studies have shown that an attractive incentive can increase survey response rate by 10-15%.

In the following example, Anthropologie offers a 20% discount in exchange for feedback:

Alternatively, you could offer a gift card, freebie or competition entry as an incentive.

If your incentive is alluring enough it will also encourage customers to share your survey.

Yay, free marketing!

I’d like to give you a couple of tips though…

Firstly, make sure the return on investment is worth the incentive. You don’t want to lose out by giving away a load of freebies.

Furthermore, emphasize the value of the customer’s feedback, as in the Anthropologie example. This way it seems less like you’re just paying them off to get data.

So, offer an incentive to increase participation but make sure you appear genuine, too.

5. Get Feedback at the End of a Live Chat

Live chat is the way forward. If you don’t get that right you’re in trouble.

Over half of Americans have called off a planned purchase due to bad customer service. Thus, it pays to know how your live chat is performing.

Your survey will look something like this example from LiveChat:

Some opt for a binary, thumbs up / thumbs down approach to increase response rate.

Either way, gathering this kind of data will inform major decisions.

Firstly, you will find out if your support staff are working well or need further training. Or if you’re using a bot, you can see how effective it is.

Which in turn means better service and greater retention and customer loyalty.

Essentially, you get feedback on the experience customers have with your brand.

Which you now know is just as important as the product.

6. Send Out Email Surveys to New Customers

Are you going to send out a customer satisfaction survey after every single purchase? No. That would be annoying.

It makes sense to send a survey to new and potential customers. So, you can get things right from the start.

Macy’s emails a survey when customers register with them:

You could also send out a survey a few days after a customer’s first purchase. This way you can gain insight about the entire journey from their initial motivation to feedback on the product or shipping.

But remember that email open rates and click-through rates are low (20.81% and 2.43% respectively).

Strong email subject lines are, therefore, a must, e.g. “Want to help us add your fave products to the store?”

And you have to make your survey enticing as outlined in the sections above.

7. Create an Order Confirmation Page Survey

This may be the best stage of the e-commerce funnel to place your survey.

If the goal of your survey is to increase conversions, then you don’t want the survey itself distracting customers from completing their purchase.

So, it makes sense to do it when the order is complete.

Crate & Barrel proposes a 1-minute survey on their checkout page:

Use it as an alternative to email for first-time customers.

Or you can seize the opportunity to ask about user experience, while it is still fresh in the customer’s mind.

Ask questions such as “How would you rate your overall experience today?” and be sure to leave a comments box.

This will help improve your website’s usability.

Overall, this says a lot about asking for the right kind of feedback at the right time.

8. Gain Insight from an Abandoned Cart Survey

Around three in every four carts are abandoned. That’s crazy, right? Hence, insight as to why someone has abandoned their cart is invaluable.

The Talking Tom and Friends merch shop sends out abandoned cart surveys:

Naturally, this is only possible if the customer who abandoned their cart is already subscribed to your site.

Another option would be to present your survey in an exit-intent campaign when the user is about to abandon their cart and leave your site.

Multiple-choice questions work best for abandoned cart surveys.

Offer up common reasons why people abandon their carts, such as “shipping costs”, “lack of payment options” or “cheaper elsewhere.”

Once you have collected the data, you can make the right alterations to increase conversions.

9. Leverage an NPS Survey

An NPS survey is like the OG of customer satisfaction surveys.

Neil Patel says it’s so popular because, “It’s simple, easy to calculate, and boasts some excellent completion rates because it takes just a few seconds to complete.”

It’s true—there’s only one question, “How likely are you to recommend us?”

Here’s a quick example for you from Denham:

Your Net Promoter Score shows you how loyal people are to your brand.

Plus, it helps you identify customer segments, including brand evangelists who could be mighty useful to you.

Calculate your score by taking the percentage of detractors away from the percentage of promoters:

Basically, you’ll be at a competitive disadvantage if you don’t do an NPS survey.

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Conclusion

Ultimately, CX will give you the edge over your competitors.

And you can gain valuable insights into the customer experience via customer satisfaction surveys.

Ask the right questions at the right time to get the right information to achieve your goals.

But don’t forget how hard it is to get people to answer your survey. So, utilize the above tips to increase response rate.

Now it’s over to you.

Have you done an NPS survey yet? Leave a comment below.

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