How to Design a Customer Experience Survey


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You have high hopes that every customer leaves your shop or your site feeling so thrilled with their experience that they can’t wait to come back and buy more or, better yet, convert all their friends to loyal customers too. The truth is that you can’t know how customers really feel about your business, and their customer experience, or their potential to become repeat customers, even just by analyzing sales data. The only way to find out is to ask.

That’s why a customer experience survey is such a critical tool for any business. The concept is simple: it’s a survey to find out how satisfied your customers are with their experience and how you can improve it. To design your own customer experience survey, follow these simple steps.

1. Define Your Objectives

There are plenty of potential goals and takeaways from a customer experience management survey. Do you want to distill your customer experience into a unified score so you can track your overall customer satisfaction? Do you want to learn what you’re doing well and what you’re not doing well so you can improve your customer experience? Do you want to identify happy customers and encourage them to leave reviews? Define your goal or goals for your survey clearly.

2. Choose Your Survey Tool

You can set yourself up for a more effective, informative, and reliable survey by choosing the right customer experience survey software. First, choose a tool that has a strong reputation for reliability and accuracy.

Second, make sure your software allows for open-ended questions. Many survey tools are only capable of analyzing multiple-choice questions, which can skew customers’ responses or force customers to choose from options that don’t reflect their true thoughts. Instead, use a survey tool that allows for open-ended questions so customers can write their own authentic, unfiltered answers. The GroupSolver survey tool, for example, uses advanced AI to analyze free-text responses and distill them into practical, quantifiable data.

3. Write Your Survey Questions

After selecting the ideal survey tool for your needs, it’s time to start developing your survey. Follow these key tips to make your survey effective and beneficial.

Go Back to Your Objective

As you design your survey, it’s important to keep your eye on the end goal. Go back to the objective you defined for your survey, whether it’s to gather quantifiable customer experience scores or garner helpful feedback for improvement, and keep this as your focus while you create your customer experience survey questions.

Include Metric-Based Questions

The most effective customer experience surveys will include a combination of metric-based questions and open-ended feedback questions. Metric-based questions help you to compare your performance year by year or quarter by quarter to measure your progress toward improving your customer experience.

There are three particularly common metrics to gather from a customer experience survey: net promoter score, customer satisfaction score, and customer effort score. To find your net promoter score or NPS, ask customers how likely they are to recommend your business on a scale of 1-10. Those who select 9 or 10 are deemed as “promoters,” while those who select 7 or 8 are “passives” and those who select 6 or below are “detractors.” Your NPS will be a function of the percentage of customers who are promoters.

Your customer satisfaction score, or CSAT, is an average of customer satisfaction scores. You can find it by asking customers how satisfied they are with your business overall on a scale of 1-5. Similarly, a customer effort score or CES is found by asking customers, on a scale of 1-5, how easy and smooth their experience was.

Include Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions are essential to help you better understand your customers’ experiences. Think of it this way: metric-based questions tell you how well you’re doing and open-ended questions tell you why. Ask questions such as, “What did you enjoy most about your experience with us?” and “What can we do to improve your experience next time?”

Survey Question Examples

For help developing your survey, consider these customer experience survey examples:

  • How would you rate your experience on a scale of 1-5?
  • How likely are you to recommend us on a scale of 1-10?
  • How easy was your experience with us on a scale of 1-5?
  • What aspects of your experience were positive?
  • How can we improve your experience as a customer?
  • How likely are you to return?
  • How were your interactions with our employees?

Decide How to Reach Your Customers

Now that you’ve designed your survey, it’s time to decide how to get your customer experience questionnaire to your customers. There are a few ways to go about this.

If your brand is highly well-known, well-known enough that a large percentage of the general population are customers, you could use your survey platform’s access to audiences and survey panels with a filtering question that asks whether they have made a purchase from your business in, for example, the past 30 days.

For most brands, though, the better option is to send your experience survey to your customers directly. You can set up an automated process that emails customers your survey link after they make a purchase. Better yet, sweeten the deal by offering an incentive like a discount on their next purchase if they complete the survey.

Simplifying Your Customer Experience Survey

Conducting a customer experience survey doesn’t have to be an arduous, time-consuming project. GroupSolver makes it easy to get authentic, quantifiable, usable data. Find out more and jumpstart your next customer experience study by requesting a GroupSolver demo today.

Rastislav Ivanic
Rasto Ivanic is a co-founder and CEO of GroupSolver® - a market research tech company. GroupSolver has built an intelligent market research platform that helps businesses answer their burning why, how, and what questions. Before GroupSolver, Rasto was a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company and later he led business development at Mendel Biotechnology. Rasto is a trained economist with a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, where he also received his MBA.


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