In an ideal world, we all would love to acquire and retain clients forever. 

But sadly, that’s not the case in the real world. Customers are spoilt with choices with many competitors and multiple products in the same niche. 

For SaaS companies, it means that to retain their clients, they need to keep their customers happy and satisfied. 

A customer satisfaction survey is a logical solution to understand what is making your customers happy, what is creating distress, and how you can fix and retain them. 

#1 What is a customer satisfaction survey? What are the advantages of a survey?

 A customer satisfaction survey is a great tool to gauge how your customers feel about your brand. It also helps you to understand the needs of your customers, the problems they are facing with your products or services, and if you are meeting their expectations.

A customer satisfaction survey helps you to categorize your customers into different segments so that you can nurture them accordingly to retain for a longer time.

Remember, while happy customers will stick around and spread the word about your business, dissatisfied customers can quickly leave and may even badmouth your brand. 

#2 Why to create survey forms?

  • Surveys help to validate important business decisions
  • It’s a great way to demonstrate to your customers that you’re investing in them
  • Figure out what new customers may like about your brand

#3 Different types of customer satisfaction survey 

Net promoter score or NPS survey

This metric helps you determine your customers' loyalty and how likely they are to recommend your business. Here’s an example from .

NPS. Customer Satisfaction survey. Intercom

Customer retention survey

This is another important metric to measure through a customer satisfaction survey. It gives you an insight into unhappy customers and how you can maximize customer retention. Here’s an example from Zoho. 

However, know that for these types of surveys to work and get you the insights, you need to conduct several surveys across different user touchpoints throughout the whole customer lifetime. 

Zoho. Customer retention survey

Customer effort score or CES survey

As the name suggests, this survey focuses on the efforts a customer needs to make to solve their queries. This survey also lets you keep a tab on your deliverable and how you meet expectations. 

Here is an example for CES survey is from MarbleFlows.

#4 Top 8 Tips on how to create a customer satisfaction survey form

Getting started with a customer satisfaction survey can be hard, especially if you are doing it for the first time. But don't worry. We have included ten tips on creating a customer satisfaction survey to help you get started. 

1. Use templates

Pre-built customer satisfaction survey forms are a great way to start without worrying about building them from scratch. You can use our pre-built templates or create your customized template. You can do your first survey as a pilot, and then refine, tweak, and fine-tune based on your responses.

2. Decide your goals

Before anything else, how you’re going to measure customer satisfaction? Is it CSAT, NPS, or CES?

CSAT: This metric measures how happy your customers are with your product or service. 
NPS: or Net Promoter Score, is a useful metric that helps measure a customer's loyalty. 
CES: or Customer Effort Score, is a metric that measures how easy a product is to use by its user. 

Next, make a list of the survey recipients. Are you going to survey your new customers or old customers or everyone? 

Once you decide on the metrics and who you want to survey, decide on how to conduct the survey. For example, you can email your customers with the survey form embedded or include a pop-up survey page that appears at the bottom of the product screen. 

3. Timing for distribution is important

To get the most out of your survey, you need to understand when to distribute it so that it makes the most sense to the survey recipient and your business. You can send them throughout the lifecycle of the customer journey or during specific actions in their journey.

For example, you can send a survey after a user onboarding process to gauge what is working and where you have the scope of improvement. 

4. Keep a mix of question types

Your survey questions shouldn't be only multiple choice or open-ended. Instead, have a mix of different questions to encourage your participants to answer them thoughtfully and gain the maximum insightful responses while keeping it short.

For example, multiple choice questions are easy to answer, direct, and short, while tactfully placed open-ended questions help you understand the ‘why’ behind the participant’s response. 

5. Keep the rating scale consistent

Let us elaborate on this with an example. Suppose the first question of your survey asks the participant to rate the product experience on a scale of 1-5 ( 1 being poor and 5 being outstanding).

Now towards the end of the survey, if you have a question on how likely you are to recommend the brand to others on a scale of 1-5 ( 1 being most likely and 5 being least likely) — this is confusing! 

6. Use simple language

One of the biggest mistakes brands make is using complicated language, buzzwords, and jargon. You’re unaware of the knowledge level of your customers, and you certainly don't want to bore them off with industry jargon because that ruins the purpose of your survey.

Instead, focus on using simple English and encourage customers to participate in the survey.

7. Offer a bonus

Studies have shown that incentivizing participants with bonuses can improve the response rate and survey participation. From time to time, you may want to rely upon this hack to get your customers to take the survey.

However, you should be tactful while offering a bonus. Remember, the bonus has to be relevant to your business, don't make you broke, and still, work like a charm. Free access to your product for some time can be a good idea. 

8. Chop off unnecessary questions

Before you put in every question in your survey form, ask yourself, is this question tied to your end goal? Will you be able to derive any meaningful insight from this question? If not, don't hesitate to remove it from your questionnaire. 

#5 Common survey methods 

There are different survey methods that you can use to gain insight into your customers. Which survey method will work for your business depends on your business requirement.

A/B testing different options is the best way to find out the best survey options for you. So, let’s understand the different survey methods.

Email surveys

Most SaaS businesses use email surveys to determine what customers think about them. In an email survey, you embed your survey questionnaire into an email, send it to your customer, and receive the responses.

Email surveys are highly engaging and have high response rates, because of which SaaS marketers rely on email surveys. Here's an example from Mailmodo that uses its newsletter to embed a survey question.

Mailmodo email survey

In-app surveys

Another fantastic way to connect with your customers and gather their feedback is in-app surveys. Suppose you are ordering food through an app and a survey asks you to rate the service right after placing the order. That’s what an in- app survey is. In-app surveys are great for product rating, understanding the post-purchase behaviour of the customer, and understanding how you can improve.

#6 Customer survey examples

Need some inspiration to get started with your first customer satisfaction survey? Here are some excellent examples from some top brands.

CES survey example from Hotjar: This survey is focused on new users who start using your product right after signing up. It allows you to gauge how easy or difficult your product is to use.

Hotjar. Customer satisfaction survey
Source: How to create customer satisfaction survey questions to master your market

CSAT survey example by MarbleFlows

MarbleFlows. CSAT survey

Product and service development survey sample by Webflow: A product or service development survey helps you improve your product or service in the future. It also lets you gauge your customers' thoughts about your future product or service launch. 

Webflow. Customer satisfaction survey

Net Promoter score survey from Typeform: Once your customer has used your product and developed an opinion about it, this survey helps you gauge how likely they are to recommend your product to their friends and family. 

Typeform. Customer satisfaction survey

#7 Different types of client survey questions

What questions you are asking and how you are asking them play a very critical role in the success of your customer satisfaction surveys. Know the different types of questions that you can ask in the survey to make the most of the survey. 

1. Likert scale question

A Likert scale question has options ranging from one extreme to another, with or without a neutral option. These are simple questions and easy to answer for a customer. However, these questions alone cannot reveal your customer's exact feelings toward your brand. For example, even if they are extremely unhappy, they might not choose that option. Further, it doesn't have the scope to gauge if there are any specific drivers/triggers for your customers that make them feel how they feel about your business.

Here is a typical Likert scale question on a scale of 3.

How satisfied are you with our product?

  1. Very satisfied
  2. Somewhat satisfied
  3. Completely dissatisfied

2. Multiple choice questions

Here you offer different options in text for the customer to choose from. They are better than the Likert scale because they have multiple options. However, they can be leading because you've already given some options, and what the customer wants might not be included in the options. 

Here’s an example

Which product feature do you enjoy most?

  1. Feature A
  2. Feature B
  3. Feature C

3. Open-ended questions

 An open-ended question doesn't offer any options to choose from but allows the customer to write down their responses. It is a great way to gauge a customer's thoughts and goes best along with a Likert rating system. Here’s an example:

How satisfied are you with our product?

  1. Very satisfied
  2. Moderately satisfied
  3. Not satisfied

You can follow this question with an open-ended question like:

Would you like to explain the reason behind your rating above? — This is an open-ended question

4. Binary questions

Binary questions offer response options in binary. So, the respondent has to choose either a yes or a no. Here's an example:

Will you refer our product to anyone?

  1. Yes
  2. No

They are straightforward to answer. However, they work best when supported with open-ended questions to gauge the respondent's thoughts behind choosing either a yes or no. 

#8 Customer survey question examples

If you want to derive actionable insights from your survey responses, think carefully while drafting the survey questions. Always tie back your survey questions with your end goal to ensure all your questions align with the ultimate goal you want to achieve. Here we have curated some top customer survey questions you can use in your next survey. 

Questions about product usage

If you want to gauge how happy your customers are with your products, then try asking them these questions:

  1. How often do you use our product?
  2. What is the one thing you like the most about this product?
  3. How long have you been using this product?
  4. Which other products have you considered before choosing us?
  5. If you want us to add one new feature, what would that be?
  6. How has the product helped you achieve your goal?
  7. Identify 2 friction points in the product.

Questions to measure satisfaction

An essential aspect of measuring satisfaction is identifying measurable attributes. This can help you gauge how you are creating delight for your customers so that you can double down on them and remove the friction at an early stage. 

  1. Do you think we were able to resolve your issues?
  2. How likely are you to return to our website?
  3. How likely are you to make a second purchase
  4. How likely are you to recommend our product to your acquaintances?
  5. What are the three things we did right?
  6. What is the one thing we could have done better?
  7. Rate your satisfaction with our customer support team
  8. Rate your satisfaction on a scale of 1-10 — 1 being highly dissatisfied and 10 being highly satisfied. 

Questions on general experience with the company

  1. How likely are you to recommend our company to your acquaintances on a scale of 1-10?
  2. How would you introduce us if someone asked you?
  3. What else would you like us to know about your experience? 

#9 What can you do with your customer satisfaction survey results?

A customer satisfaction survey is a powerful tool if you can use it correctly. Here are four ways to use the customer satisfaction survey results.

  1. Measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts
  2. Gauge how your products are doing post-purchase
  3. Understand the areas of improvement and better your offerings
  4. Understand how satisfied your customers are with your customer service

#10 Customer satisfaction survey best practices 

1. Choose the right survey tool

Pick a tool that helps you filter out the responses to analyze them in depth. Without a good survey feedback tool, your data is bound to get lost. Ensure your survey tool allows you to create survey questions in different formats. 

2. Keep it to the point

No one likes to respond to long survey questions that take too much time. So, always keep it to the point and relevant, and do not overstretch. If you’re asking open-ended questions, keep a character count to keep the response short.

3. Always A/B test your surveys

You want your surveys to work! And so, A/B testing is the perfect way to see what strikes a chord with your target audience. Create two versions of the survey with different colours, the format, the order of the questions, or change a few of the questions. Send both surveys to a group of audience and see which one gets a better response rate!

4. Don't forget to thank your customers

Once you receive the feedback, don't forget to thank your customers for their time. 

5. Know the best time to send survey emails

While there is no universal rule for sending a survey, here are some interesting insights from different studies. 

Survey Monkey conducted research and found that customers are 10% more likely to respond to a survey if sent on a Monday. 

Get Response analyzed thousands of emails and concluded that Thursday was the best day to send a survey. 

However, which day and what frequency of survey will work best for your business depends where you customers are in their journey and how your brand is positioned. The best way to find the sweet spot is to do A/B testing to understand which day works best for your business and customers. Ready to create your first customer satisfaction survey? Get started with Marble’s survey forms. 

Written by Chayanika Sen.