Customer Satisfaction Questions That Nail Your Customers Needs

Your survey questions should pinpoint just how satisfied customers really are

by Rod Dunne on September 19, 2011

in Human Side, Marketing

Putting it simply – One of the best ways your business can find out how your customers feel about your products, service, prices and a variety of other concerns is to encourage them to fill out customer satisfaction survey questions.

This type of customer loyalty research approach has the power to enable your business to become more accommodating to their customers and gain even more in profits for doing so.

Any business that caters to its customers will generally fare better than those who show no interest in doing so.

But you have to be asking the right questions.

Getting Customer Responses: Only a Percentage Will Opt In to Your Survey

There are numerous ways to get your customers to take the time to fill out customer satisfaction surveys. For example, offering them a chance to win a prize is one of the best ways to get them to fill one out. This applies when using traditional off-line or web-based market research surveys.

Generally people are very busy even taking a few moments to fill out a survey may seem overwhelming to them offering them a chance at a prize seems to get more surveys filled out.

The companies that offer these surveys are wise to give the customer a chance to do it in their free time as well all too often when finished shopping the customer is ready to leave and has no time to fill out surveys.

By giving a customer the chance to fill out a customer service survey on their own time a business is more likely to receive a response offering an incentive increases the odds of a response dramatically as well. The ideal scenario  it isto incorporate your surveys as part of the checkout process (i.e. as a final step).

Survey Questions inform Your Product Attributes (Price, etc.)

It is crucial to the survival of your business to be able to relate to your customers and offer products they want and need and at prices they can afford all while providing excellent customer service. You’ll find a lot of your competition losing customers due to poor service, high prices and products that are not up to standard.

Your choice of survey questions should look to highlight these factors about your products (and the competition) as part of your own ‘early-warning’ system. Survey responses inform the customer retention strategies you can apply, even to the extent of how you might expand existing product lines.

There are numerous beneficial customer survey questions that you could ask to help stay on top of your game. The most important are going to relate to satisfaction with product, pricing and customer service. This can feed into your employees training & development to improve how they can provide excellent customer service, what features will be most desirable and how sales need to position product offerings at specific price points.

These attributes are the glue that holds your company together. Your company cannot stay open for long if people find your products pricing and service fall below standard as there are too many companies all too willing to take those customers and offer them what they want and need.

The next step is for you to consider online versus offline customer satisfaction surveys. While the format and choice of questions you ask may be the same, you will find online response rates fall well below offline traditional methods. I’ll explain why in the following section..

Surveys need questions that focus in on how satisfied your customers truly are

The Curse of the Online Customer Survey

“Can you spare a few minutes to take our online customer survey?”. These are words which spread fear into the heart of any internet user.

Say ‘Yes’ and you are committing yourself to pages of customer satisfaction survey questions which you secretly suspect will end up in a black hole somewhere.

Say ‘No’ and guilt creeps in. After all, how can companies improve if no-one fills in their customer service surveys surely consumers have a duty to pass their thoughts onto businesses.

One of the problems of customer service surveys is they never ask interesting questions (I’ve also written before about how this problem is inherent in inhouse employee satisfaction survey questions too). You never get asked questions such as:

If you were not happy with the service you received today choose the form of apology you would like to receive:
a) Groveling and heartfelt
b) Sung by a barbershop quartet
c) Accompanied by flowers and chocolates

Instead online customer satisfaction surveys are full of questions which ask you to rate between 1 and 10. The problem with this is that by the time you have reached question three you are already bored and tick anything just to get the form finished making the results questionable to say the least.

However surveys whether online customer surveys or market research in the street are an important tool for companies to find out what their customers think of them. Customer feedback is used to plan future strategy to gauge what people like and do not like about a company and to help a company move onto bigger and better things.

So if the very act of completing a survey encourages people to lie whether out of spite or boredom does this mean that companies all over the world are basing their future strategy on completely wrong data? Are customer surveys in fact ruining the customer experience?

Without surveys there is no customer feedback but if the act of having them creates false information the information they produce may be of no use. This makes setting a sufficient response level (number of responses) all the more critical for providing a more representative survey result.

REMEMBER: By giving customers the chance to participate in contests in exchange for filling out a survey a company has a chance of knowing if they are on the right track to treating their customers the way they want and need to be treated. It’ll help them to return to the store to shop for your product again. The customer satisfaction survey questions should always be precise and easy for all walks of life to understand; this enables and ensures a response to more of the surveys and return business.

Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and sole writer Rod DunneI am the owner and sole writer on This is my personal blog detailing troubleshooting tips for small businesses. Posts are based upon 2 decades in consultancy & innovation management within startups/maturing companies.

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