Published 17 Oct 2023
What is a Customer Satisfaction Survey?
A customer satisfaction survey (or client satisfaction survey) is a useful tool to measure engagement with a product or service offerings. These are commonly used across businesses including retail, hotel, restaurant, and services to gauge customer experience, identify improvement needs, and prevent customer attrition.
In this article
- Why Customer Satisfaction Surveys are Important
- Customer Satisfaction Survey Requirements
- Customer Satisfaction Survey Examples
- How Retail Businesses Benefit from Customer Surveys
- How to Ask Customers to Answer Satisfaction Surveys
- Tips on Creating Customer Satisfaction Surveys for Your Retail Business
- How do you Create a Customer Satisfaction Survey with SafetyCulture?
- Featured Customer Satisfaction Survey Templates
Why Customer Satisfaction Surveys are Important
Conducting customer satisfaction surveys is the most valuable step to improve customer retention and increase satisfaction. Furthermore, these tools help businesses to:
- ensure the quality and delivery of products that would satisfy their customers;
- gather negative and positive information that could help them improve their business marketing strategies, sales, and overall product management;
- understand the problems with their products and/or services to meet customer expectations; and
- improve customer engagement and retention.
Customer Satisfaction Survey Requirements
Designing your customer survey templates needs to be simple and effective to engage your customers to take time in giving their feedback. Below are 5 key requirements you should consider in creating your customer satisfaction survey designs:
- Define the survey purpose and give clear instructions: Your business should clearly state the purpose and intent of the survey to inform your customers of what they are signing for. By providing clear and simple instructions, it would help your customers to proceed with the survey even without your assistance.
- Use the most concrete language possible: Customer satisfaction surveys should be comprehensible and easy to understand. Avoid using jargon, abbreviations, or any internal business terms to prevent customers’ confusion and different interpretations.
- Use appropriate response choices: Choosing appropriate responses should be clear depending on the metrics you want to measure. If you are asking for ratings, it is advisable to use words rather than numbers as response options (e.g. “Strongly agree” to “Strongly disagree). This would help your customers to easily determine which of the choices best represents their answers.
The customer satisfaction form should also allow open-text feedback. This would let your customers give personal responses to how they felt about your products or services. Open-Text feedback would help you determine new strategies for marketing campaigns.
- Limit your survey to a reasonable number of questions: The key to effective customer satisfaction surveys is asking the right questions. The shorter it is, the higher the probability of customer engagement. It is recommended to limit your survey to about five minutes to be completed, otherwise, if it requires to be a little bit longer you have to set your customers’ expectations.
- Ask customer’s overall rating: An overall customer rating can give you a summary of your customers’ journey. It benchmarks the majority of customer responses which allows you to compare your business to your competitors over time.
Customer Satisfaction Survey Examples
Asking the right questions is a crucial aspect of a good customer satisfaction survey. It allows you to evaluate customer’s experience, sentiments, and level of satisfaction. Here are examples of 5 common mistakes to watch out for when building your customer survey template:
Example 1: Leading questions
These questions can drive your customers to one answer over another because of the way it is worded. This would create confusion with your respondents.
Incorrect: “You have heard of SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor), haven’t you?”
Correct: “Have you heard of SafetyCulture?”
Example 2: Double-barreled questions
This is a two-part question but you are only giving your customers one response option. With this type of question, you are not giving your respondents the chance to have different answers for the issue or question.
Incorrect: Did you enjoy using our product and services?
Correct: Did you enjoy using our product? Did you enjoy our services?
Example 3: Mandatory questions
You should never ask your customers to fill out a mandatory field. This would lead your respondents to leave without answering your survey. Giving your customers the option to skip what they want can make them feel comfortable and remove the pressure of having to finish the survey.
Incorrect: Please include your comments and suggestions*
Correct: Kindly include comments and suggestions if applicable
Example 4: Intrusive demographic questions
Demographic questions are important to know your specific market, but you should avoid asking specific questions that would put your respondents in an uncomfortable situation.
Incorrect: How old are you?
Correct: Age [18-25], [26-35], [36-45], [46 and above]
Example 5: Complicated questions
Writing complex and complicated questions that require calculations, thorough explanation, and research would definitely drift your respondents away. Keep your customer satisfaction survey simple and easy to answer.
Incorrect: How responsive (or unresponsive) is our staff in resolving your issues?
Correct: Did our staff get back to you in a timely manner?
How Retail Businesses Benefit from Customer Surveys
Designing the appropriate customer survey template is necessary to build connections with your customers that will help you to achieve your business goal and other benefits:
Key to Improvement
Customer service is one of the most important factors for retail businesses to focus on. A bad customer experience can damage a businesses’ brand and reputation. Performing surveys early can help you identify areas of continuous improvement, rectify bad experiences, and remain competitive. Surveys are also an important tool to spot training gaps like handling complaints or following through, measure the performance of your retail site or team, and allow you to tie performance incentives to survey feedback scores. Moreover, these surveys provide valuable insights, which you can apply in environmental analysis, service operations, and business strategy plans.
Customer feedback is an opportunity to gather new ideas directly from the customers. Your best source of fresh ideas is often directly from your customers. Entirely new products or customized services can be uncovered from customer feedback surveys. Is there a need to add paleo-friendly selections to your menu? Are your hotel’s red carpets out of fashion? Is there a new spa treatment that your customers have tried somewhere? Is there a phone model that is very much in demand that your customers just keep on asking about? At a higher level, market research teams can also get insights on the direction of product development based on information gathered from customer satisfaction surveys.
Happy customers translate to customer loyalty. Happy customers are likely to return and share experiences with their friends and on social media. However, the flip side is that a bad experience can also spread virally. Capturing feedback early during a customer’s visit or stay can also help you take action on complaint feedback immediately.
How to Ask Customers to Answer Satisfaction Surveys
Asking customers to complete a satisfaction survey can be quite challenging so we’ve listed a few tips on how to increase the chance of getting them on board with the survey, see below:
- Use engaging subject lines – Make sure that your subject line will already catch the attention of the intended audience.
- Personalize your greeting – It is ideal to indicate the customer’s name while still staying true to your company’s brand and tone.
- Tell them why they’re getting the invite – Expound on why they’re one of the chosen audiences for the survey and offer further background into the goal and objectives of the endeavor.
- Emphasize the benefits – Highlight how satisfaction surveys keep your company in line with the preferences of customers like them.
- Show gratitude – Do not forget to thank the respondents for their time and effort in completing the survey. Reiterate how the data to be gathered can help improve your products or services.
Tips on Creating Customer Satisfaction Surveys for Your Retail Business
Tip 1: Know your goals
What do you intend to find out for your business? Do you need to know why sales are plummeting or why customers no longer visit as frequently? Will your business remain competitive despite a new competitor that will open nearby or a change in pricing? Have the customers noticed and appreciated the change in ambiance? Do your customers think your establishment needs a new paint job?
Tip 2: Right questions in the right amount
Your questions should be geared toward reaching your goal. Specific questions tend to get more specific answers. Do you want questions with yes or no answers only? Do you want customers to share their thoughts in text form? Do you want your customers to rate your business on a scale of 0-100? Also, try to make the questionnaire as short as possible so you don’t bore your customers with 50 questions or else they may not complete the questionnaire.
Tip 3: Make it sound interesting
Remember to catch your customers’ short attention span and that they immediately know that answering your questionnaire will be worth their while. Will the “quick survey” take “2 minutes to complete”? Do you “need help” to improve the services that you currently offer at your local chain? Do you intend to provide an incentive in the form of a gift card or a free drink or a free meal?
Tip 4: Use the right tools
In this age of technology, you can save your customers time and not waste paper by using mobile devices, tablets, and iPads, or kiosks. You can also be sure that your surveys are answered because the kiosk is right there in the same establishment while the customer is present versus a survey sent via email that has no guarantee of ever being seen. With electronic devices or kiosks, your customers can conveniently fill out customer satisfaction questionnaires onsite on apps like SafetyCulture. SafetyCulture works even while offline and you can have customers fill out a short questionnaire before they step out of your establishment while the customer experience is fresh.
How do you Create a Customer Satisfaction Survey with SafetyCulture?
In this digital era, customer surveys can be carried out in various forms. One popular way to gather feedback from customers is done online through email, a website, or an app. However, most of the time this ends up being bothersome to customers so they end up unanswered.
Digital kiosks are a great alternative to traditional online surveys and paper forms in capturing customer feedback. Having customers fill out feedback via an onsite digital kiosk can help you capture relevant and timely feedback.
SafetyCulture is used by businesses worldwide to capture real-time data and improve their product and service offerings. Building a customer satisfaction survey with SafetyCulture is made easy and can be set up in just minutes. You could either build one from scratch with our drag-and-drop template builder, download and edit an existing one from the public library, or have your existing survey forms converted to a smart digital template.
Whichever you choose, keep in mind the key elements of designing customer satisfaction surveys mentioned above. Following these elements will not only help make your surveys effective and engaging for customers, but it will also help you capture valuable insights that you can use to improve customer retention and satisfaction.
To help you get started, we have provided 8 digital templates of customer satisfaction surveys that you can download and edit.
Featured Customer Satisfaction Survey Templates
Use this checklist to collect data on customers’ booking process and hotel experience. The form can be used to record data on the reason and process for booking, factors that may contribute to better sleep, and feedback about the foodservice. Lastly, it also allows customers to rate their overall stay and their likelihood to recommend the hotel to family and friends. SafetyCulture is ideal for data gathering because it utilizes cloud-storage for your hotel customer surveys. Set triggers that send notifications to the staff so that customers’ concerns can be addressed immediately, positively impacting customer experience.
Food businesses should not only focus on the quality of food that they serve but also on the entire customer experience, from the convenience of reservations to the actual dining experience. This restaurant customer satisfaction survey offers a brief evaluation of the restaurant premise, the ambiance, service staff, food quality, and the overall customer experience. SafetyCulture promotes better survey experience because the survey can be done on a mobile device, iPad, or tablet instead of using a piece of paper that can get crumpled, wet, stained, or ignored. With SafetyCulture you can set the scoring for responses and analyze data through SafetyCulture's Analytics.
Know the product ratings through SafetyCulture and determine how customers perceive the product's quality, value, and user experience. Identify areas for improvement by using collected customer feedback with this template and use the data for business planning and for market research purposes.
This checklist aims to determine how well your staff performed during the service. The customer will evaluate the staff’s quality of work, timeliness of work completed, and provide their impression on how their need was addressed. Help enhance the overall performance of your service team and promote better customer experience with the use of this template.
This hotel customer satisfaction survey form focuses on the experience of the customers during their stay. It asks general questions about the service experienced, the quality of the food served, the availability of facilities, and staff assistance.
This checklist contains slider fields to let the customers rate a product, service, or company. The rating system can be modified from the preset zero satisfactory rates to an exceptional or excellent customer satisfaction rate of 10 on this template. This also covers customer profiling that you can use for possible product research and focused-group study purposes.