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Top tips for a successful customer satisfaction survey

If you are planning a customer satisfaction survey here are some top tips to ensure success.

These tips are from Bsquared's experience in helping B2B clients make the most of the Voice of the Customer. Gathering insights and getting actionable data will drive business performance, customer retention and generate customer loyalty.


Bsquared customer surveys

These tips are relevant to online, telephone and face-to-face B2B surveys.

1. Try these types of questions - we find they generate good results

  • How do you rate your overall experience with us?
  • Would you continue to use us even if you had the possibility of using an alternative provider?
  • Would you recommend us? Here you can use the Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • How could we improve our service to you?
  • Future plans - is there something specific?
  • What challenges will you face in the future?
  • How could we further support your business?

2. Get the right mix of questions

Qualitative and quantitative: Quantitative for quick answers and qualitative longer questions to acquire in-depth information.

Open ended questions provide respondents with an outlet for thoughts and opinions and these questions add richness and depth to the results. Worded intelligently, these questions will generate general information and broad ideas which are a rich source of information and will require skilled analysis. Qualitative quotes and themes can be used to back up and further interpret the quantitative information.

In general, we find that 60% of respondents don't answer open-ended questions, so think carefully about the balance.

3. Ask relevant questions

This might seem obvious but start with the end in mind. Many questionnaires are too long because they fail to distinguish the interesting from the relevant.

Think about

  • What you will do when you have the answer
  • How will it add insight and understanding? Only ask things which you don't know the answer to and which will result in action
  • Don't ask what you already know, what has already been decided or what you have no control over

4. Design

A thoughtful, visually attractive survey will create more impact. The respondent needs to feel that some effort has gone into the survey. Add routing to limit the amount of questions unnecessary to that particular respondent.

5. Progress bars

Add in a progress bar to give an indication of how long the survey is likely to take to complete.

6. Language

Keep it simple - wording which is too technical or convoluted will be off-putting.

7. Length

Five minutes or less is perfect. Six to 11 minutes is acceptable. Any longer than this and abandonment rates are likely to rise.

8. Incentives and reminders

Used carefully, incentives will increase your response rate. Reminder emails should emphasise the benefit to the respondent for completing the survey.

9. Test and test again

Use colleagues to test the survey. If possible send to a client, or even better a small sample of the customer base, to check understanding of questions.

Above all keep it simple, straightforward and succinct

Here's more about Bsquared customer satisfaction surveys.


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