For businesses that operate within the service industry or provide any form of customer service or self-service to customers, continuous improvement of service delivery is required to stay competitive. That’s why so many companies use customer satisfaction surveys to collect feedback about the service they provide – if you’re not capturing feedback from your customers, how will you know if they are really enjoying the experience of doing business with you?

While it’s essential to understand the value of customer service survey insights to determine what changes you will make to improve customer experience at your business, designing an effective survey from scratch can be a big hassle. That’s why we’re offering a great shortcut here – we’ve provided you with key customer satisfaction questions worth asking, along with tips and advice for getting customers to participate honestly in your surveys.

Customer experience is a major strategic focus for any customer service business, and we know that plenty of time goes into designing that experience, directing customers to the right associates through appropriate channels, training associates to deliver great service seamlessly and ensuring that customers are happy. Customer satisfaction surveys might seem like a scary way to get feedback on those processes, but they’re also the best way to validate and verify that your approach is working!

Three Customer Satisfaction Service Questions You Should Be Asking

1. Net Promoter Score (NPS) – First developed in 2003 by Bain and Company, NPS is now used by millions of businesses around the world to measure the experiences of their customers through surveys.

NPS measures the customer experience based on one question: “How likely is it that you would recommend [Company/Product/Service] to a friend or colleague?” Customers respond using a 10-point scale, where a response of 0 means that they would never recommend the service and a response of 10 means that they would recommend your company or product to everyone they know.

To calculate an NPS score for your company based on results from this question, you’ll need to do some quick math. The NPS scale divides survey respondents into detractors (those who answered 0-6 on the scale), passives (those who answered 7 or 8) and promoters (those who responded with a 9 or 10). To compute an NPS score for your company, subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters – if you had 50% promoters and 25% detractors, your score would be 50 – 25 = 25.

When a customer has a positive experience, they usually make strong recommendations about your business to 1 or 2 people. However, when they have a negative experience at least 8 -10 people are likely to hear about it. A strong NPS score means that most people have good things to say about your company and your product – congratulations!

2. Customer Effort Score (CES) – We’re moving toward an economy of convenience, where consumers demand that interactions with their favorite retailers and service providers be fast and easy. Customer Effort Score is a metric designed to capture exactly that – how easy was it for the customer to interact with the company and achieve the outcome that they wanted?

Customer Effort Score can apply to your business in different ways. You may provide a highly streamlined in-store experience, but survey results could reveal that the e-commerce channel for your business is difficult for customers to navigate effectively. Maybe your customer service was unavailable when needed and you need to introduce omnichannel appointment scheduling for added customer convenience. CES can help you determine which channels are providing the most streamlined and convenient options for your customers and which channels need to be optimized to improve the customer experience.

3. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) – If you sell a product or perform a service, one of the simplest questions you can ask is “How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the goods or services that you received?” Customers can answer using a five-point or ten-point scale, with the lowest answer meaning “highly unsatisfied” and the best answer meaning “totally satisfied.”

For highly satisfied customers, the next thing you might want to do is capture what it was that thrilled them about your service so you can replicate that aspect for other customers in the future. For less satisfied customers, you have a great opportunity to find out what you could do to earn their business in the future, or make changes to ensure future customers are better served.

Customer Engagement: The Critical Factor in Developing and Retaining Customer Relationships

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The Best Customer Service Questions to Ask for Transformative Feedback

Once you’ve determined the NPS, CSAT and CES for a given interaction, you’ll probably have a good idea of how well your company did at meeting the customer’s needs. The next step is to dig deeper by asking relevant customer service survey questions that gives you actionable information for improvement:

1. Are you satisfied with how our associates handled your requests today?
2. Was the service or product delivered in a timely manner?
3. Did your experience today make you feel like a valued customer?
4. Did our service representative act in your best interests?
5. Was our customer service representative knowledgeable in recommending solutions to your problem?
6. Have all issues been resolved to your satisfaction? Did we miss anything?
7. How well did we understand your questions and concerns?
8. What does this company do really well?
9. What one thing would you change that would increase the quality of your visit?
10.How likely would you be to use our company for this service again?

Tips for Effective Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Ask at the Right Time
There are three great times to engage your customer with a survey. Post-purchase /post-appointment evaluations happen right after a transaction or appointment happens and are the best time to capture exactly how a customer felt about their interaction with your company. Periodic satisfaction surveys can be used to capture period-specific feedback by blasting a survey to your email list, and continuous satisfaction tracking uses regular post-purchase surveys to track service quality levels over time.

Continuous tracking provides the most data points, but post-purchase evaluations are an easy way of tracking down deficiencies in your customer service delivery and correcting them before they negatively affect other interactions.

Provide an Incentive
Customers are busy and may not be responsive to filling out a survey that provides valuable consumer data for nothing in return. Consider creating an incentive like a savings coupon or promotional item for customers to participate in your survey. If you can implement changes that enhance your customer service metrics, produce increased brand loyalty and encourage word-of-mouth recommendations, it will be well worth the investment.

Keep it Simple
One of the main reasons for using five or ten-point scales to measure customer feedback is that it saves the customer time when filling out the survey and keeps the format simple and predictable. Make it easy for customers to provide meaningful feedback on your survey, but always leave at least one “blank space” question where they can write in a few words about their experience. This helps to ensure that you capture their most authentic feedback about the interaction.

Designing a customer satisfaction survey that leads to meaningful change is an important process for any company. Start by measuring broad metrics like NPS, CES and CSAT, then ask deeper questions to pinpoint the biggest contributing factors to customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction. At the end, leave some room where customers can write in their favorite thing about the interaction or the one thing they would change. The next step is to take all that information and use it to improve your processes and training, helping you deliver an even better customer experience on the next occasion. Good luck!

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