Some people argue that customer satisfaction is the new marketing. If your customers aren’t satisfied with a product or experience, they won’t be shy talking about it. And, a good – or bad – review can speak louder than a pricey advertisement.
Companies recognize the need for customer feedback. Learning what your customers say about your company helps you improve the customer experience, and it teaches you what kind of buzz your brand generates in customer networks – whether good or bad. But even though companies understand the importance of customer feedback, many don’t know how to obtain it.
So, let’s learn from a company who does. Hilton Hotels excels in using customer feedback and gathering real sentiment about their brand through CSAT surveys.
Hilton Hotels send customers a survey within 24-48 hours of their recent stay and asks for suggestions on how to improve. But they don’t stop there. They review their surveys frequently and update live data daily. And their employees email customers back after reading survey feedback, letting customers know they take feedback seriously and actually read the responses they get. Hilton has seen the benefits of using customer satisfaction surveys to improve service and give customers a voice.
You can do the same.
Start with getting your CSAT survey right. Ask the right questions and create a feedback loop with your customers. To help you get started, we’ve put together our five favorite questions for your CSAT survey.
Five Questions to Ask in Your CSAT Surveys
The questions below serve as an excellent template for your CSAT survey. But change up the language to fit with your company’s voice and brand and to meet your unique business goals.
As you choose questions for your CSAT survey, mix up the types of responses your customers can give, too. Don’t go with all “yes or no” questions or with all open-ended questions. Be intentional about what you ask and what type of response would prove the most valuable to your customers and your company.
1. How would you rate the quality of your most recent service interaction?
It’s important to write this question with clear and concise language so your customer doesn’t wind up confused. With a rating question like this, you should include a scale for customer responses. Give customers the option to drag a sliding scale or click to select a specific number on a numbered scale. And, be clear about what each end of the scale represents.
For example, if you create a scale numbered 1-5, label what each end of the spectrum means. Your customer should know right away that 1 means “poor quality” and 5 means “excellent quality.”
If you want even more specific results, use a sliding scale to give your customers more than just five options. Let’s say a customer would rather rate his experience a 4.5 instead of a 4 or a 5. A sliding scale gives him the freedom to choose a more specific range than a 5-numbered scale.
2. What was most memorable about this interaction?
Follow your initial question up with a more personalized – but also more pointed – question. This second question packs a punch because it reveals what really matters to your customers. You’ll find that some value speedy service over anything else. Others may prefer the friendly and helpful service your agent delivers.
Use multiple choice for this question and give your customers a variety of options. To come up with the options, research what customers typically look for in their service interactions these days. This shows your customers you care about keeping up with their wants and needs.
Here are some example options for this multiple choice question.
- swiftness of service
- accuracy of agent’s response
- friendliness of agent
- resolving my problem before ending the conversation
- ease of switching channels
Be sure to always include “other” as an option in any multiple choice question. If a customer selects “other,” leave an open field where customers can share their unique response. Your customers are already taking the time to fill out your survey, so give them ample ways to share their feedback.
3. Tell us what you love – or what we can do better
The best CSAT surveys offer up a blend of quantitative and qualitative questions. You’re trying to collect hard data, but you’re also seeking personal feedback from your customers.
Open-ended questions and statements like this one mix up your data set, so you get qualitative info, too. This question gives you sentiment straight from your customers. Plus, your customers feel heard when you give them room to share their personal experiences and suggestions.
With this CSAT question, you get details about your customers’ experience and suggestions on how you can improve. It’s an insanely valuable question that gives you actionable information to shape your customer journey going forward.
4. How likely are you to do business with us again?
This question might sting a little, but it helps you identify your brand detractors and your promoters. It lets you and your customer step outside of a single customer interaction and reflect on the larger customer experience with your company. Plus, you’ll see how a customer’s level of satisfaction impacts long-term customer loyalty.
This is another question where a sliding scale gives you the best intel. Offer up a sliding scale from “highly unlikely” to “highly likely” to see how many customers are your advocates–and how many may need a little TLC from your team.
5. How did this experience live up to your expectations?
One of the biggest challenges companies face is the gap in perceptions between customers’ expectations versus actual customer experience. Most companies think they deliver fantastic experiences, but over 54% of customers report that companies fall short of their expectations.
This CSAT question helps you close the gap.
It compares the real expectations your customer had going into a company experience with how your company actually met (or didn’t meet) specific customer needs.
Make this question multiple-choice but also leave an open field so customers can share longer responses. This lets them air their excitement or frustration, and it gives you more detail and insight into your customers’ journey. The more detail, the more information you have to coach your agents and align your team with customer expectations.
We originally wrote this post on February 15, 2019 and we updated it for new insight on January 21, 2021.