The Complete Guide to Customer Survey Questions

The Complete Guide to Customer Survey Questions

You’re excited to survey your customers. What will they think of your business? What are you doing right? Where can you improve? The answers to these questions are invaluable.

But there’s one small problem.

There are many types of customer surveys and you’re unsure when exactly to send them to clients.

Where do you start? And what questions do you ask?

The whole process can be a headache, not to mention incredibly time-consuming. But read on, because we’ve done all the hard work for you..

Below you’ll find a list of questions you can copy and paste into your own surveys.We’ve also included additional follow-up questions and choice variations in a bonus spreadsheet. By using these resources, you’ll gain insight into your customers’ loyalty, how satisfied they are with your current offering, and where you can improve your product or service.

The questions vary depending on the type of survey metric (CSAT, NPS, CES, etc.) and the specific customer event (onboarding, service completion, cancellation, etc.).


Top customer service metrics

Service metrics are at the core of any customer survey, and they all have one thing in common—they provide a numerical rating you can use to quantify individual or aggregate feedback.

Below are five popular service metrics. Choosing which one to use depends on your industry, your relationship with the customer, the specific customer event you’re surveying, among other factors. Regardless of which survey you use, each starts with a simple question and can then be followed up with additional questions to help you gain more context.


1. CSAT (Customer Satisfaction)

Usually sent immediately after closing a ticket, CSAT survey questions are used to measure a customer’s satisfaction with a specific event or agent—not overall sentiment or loyalty toward your brand.

CSAT survey results help customer service managers coach their teams or implement transparent systems where agents can quickly identify their own areas for improvement.

Learn more about CSAT

Question
How did we do on this request?

  • Terribly disappointing
  • Bad, I'm unsatisfied
  • Okay, but not great
  • Great, I'm satisfied
  • Absolutely amazing!
Was there anything in particular we did that delighted you? (if positive)
Can you share your experience and how we could have done a little better? (if neutral)
We're sorry to have let you down, how could we improve? (if negative)

See an example!


2. NPS (Net Promoter Score)

Usually sent on a recurring basis, NPS surveys measure customer loyalty. These surveys can be automatically sent out every quarter, for example, and will help you understand how your clients feel about your business, and how likely they are to refer you to their associates.

Learn more about NPS

Question
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?

  • Not at all likely
  • Extremely likely
Was there anything in particular we've done that has delighted you? (if promoter)
What could we do to get closer to a 10? (if passive)
We're sorry to have let you down, what could we do to get closer to a 10? (if detractor)

See an example!


3. CES (Customer Effort Score)

While most business owners believe the best way to win customer loyalty is through service that “wows,” one study of 75,000+ people says otherwise: loyalty is created by making it easier for customers to feel they have completed a task. That’s why CES surveys measure how much effort a customer needed to exert to get their issue resolved.

This type of survey is best used immediately after any customer service touchpoint, like when a customer uses online support.

Learn more about CES

Question
How easy was it to solve your problem today?

  • Very difficult
  • Difficult
  • Neither
  • Easy
  • Extremely Easy
Was there something in particular that made it so easy? (if positive)
How could we have made it easier? (if neutral)
We're sorry to have let you down. How could we make it easier next time? (if negative)

See an example!


4. 5-star ☆☆☆☆☆

Typically used immediately following a customer service interaction or service delivery, 5-star survey questions are common with the foodservice and hospitality industries, review sites, and apps. Because the 5-star rating is so ubiquitous, these surveys are easily understood by customers and deliver high participation rates

Question
How would you rate your experience?

  • Terrible
  • Poor
  • Average
  • Good
  • Great!
Was there anything in particular we did that delighted you? (if positive)
Can you share your experience and how we could have done a little better? (if neutral)
We're sorry to have let you down, how could we improve? (if negative)

See an example!


5. RATER survey questions

Our final survey identifies five qualities based on the RATER acronym: Reliability, Assurance, Tangibles, Empathy, and Responsiveness. A RATER survey can be added onto a CSAT or NPS survey to gather additional customer feedback.

Learn more about RATER

Question
Reliability: How likely are we to get things right the first time?

  • Hardly ever
  • Usually not
  • About 50-50
  • More often than not
  • Perfect every time!
Assurance: How confident are you in our abilities to serve you?

  • Not at all
  • I'm lacking trust
  • Somewhat confident
  • Pretty confident
  • Extremely confident!
Tangibles: How easy is it to use our help desk and online support materials?

  • Hideous and unprofessional
  • You could do better
  • So-so
  • Pretty good for the most part
  • You look great everywhere!
Empathy: How often have you felt we knew precisely what you wanted or needed?

  • I feel like nobody is listening
  • Sometimes not so much
  • I usually feel taken care of
  • More often than not
  • I feel like I'm your only client!
Responsiveness: How promptly do we answer your questions and requests?

  • Sometimes I never get a response
  • I wait longer than I'd like to
  • Overall pretty fast
  • More often than not
  • Almost instantaneously!

See an example!


Follow-up questions, and when to survey your customers

Almost every survey starts with one of the five core metrics discussed above. To gain more insight into your customers’ true feelings about your service and brand, we recommend asking additional follow-up questions.

There are many situations where you may want to survey customers. Below are six, each of which calls for specific follow up questions. Feel free to copy and paste the sample questions into your own customer surveys.


1. Customer onboarding

A stellar onboarding process can set the tone for a long lasting, healthy customer relationship. Use these survey questions 1-3 months after a client has signed up for your service to ensure your onboarding is streamlined and effective.

Question
Was there anything we did that you were particularly impressed with?
What could we have done to make your onboarding experience better?

See an example!


2. Survey questions for solved support requests

Support tickets are usually associated with a specific situation (like a billing issue or question about how something works) and an individual agent. Follow-up questions can reveal strengths and weaknesses in your support delivery, helping you improve your product, service, or service team performance.

Question
How would you rate the technical knowledge of our support team?
How would you rate our team’s ability to solve your problem?
How satisfied are you with the amount of time it took to resolve the problem?
What could we have done to make this experience better?

See an example!


3. Survey questions for completed transactions/purchases

According to the Baymard Institute, 27% of all abandoned carts are a result of an overly complicated checkout process. In other words, a positive transaction experience can generate more money, while a negative one can cost you sales and referrals.

Send these survey questions, which measure the ease of a transaction, immediately after a customer makes a purchase or a few days later.

Question
How easy was it to make an online purchase?
How did you find out about us?
Did the overall customer experience meet your expectations?
What other solutions were you considering?
What can we do to improve the experience?

See an example!


4. Survey questions for completed projects

While post-support surveys can identify specific problems in your service or product, gathering feedback after a big project can help you understand if customers are satisfied with the overall end result. Use these questions to to get the big picture of how your service is meeting expectations.

Question
Were the objectives in the project defined clearly?
Was there adequate communication during the project execution?
To what degree did the project remain on schedule?
What could we have done better?

See an example!


5. Questions for recurring surveys

If you have long-term, ongoing relationships with your clients, then sending recurring surveys is a wise choice. They enable you to regularly survey all your clients—not just the ones active in your helpdesk— to measure their loyalty and determine if you’re providing enough value.

Question
Which aspect of our service do you value the most?
Do you see yourself using our services in one year from now?
What is one thing we could do to make you happier?

See an example!


6. Survey questions after customer cancellations

Finally, cancellations. They are an unpleasant fact of life. That said, even though the customer might not be paying you anymore, their feedback is still extremely valuable. It helps you gain insight into why they left and what you can do to keep others from leaving too.

Was the issue quality? Price? Service? Did they choose a competitor’s product/service over yours? Why?

A customer cancellation survey can salvage this important information from the loss.

Question
What are the primary reasons you want to cancel your service?
What will you use as an alternative?
Is there anything we could have done to keep your business?
How likely are you to recommend our service to friends within the industry?
What would it take for you to reconsider cancelling?

See an example!


Why it’s crucial to survey clients now

When it comes to surveying your customers, the most important thing is to start collecting something. Any data is useful data.

You can always adjust the questions later. But if clients leave before you survey, you’ll never know why. And you’ll be missing out on a golden opportunity to improve your business, attract and retain more customers, and ultimately earn more profits.

Don’t overcomplicate the survey process. Keep it simple, useful, and fun! That’s the way our Simplesat customers like it. And we’re confident yours will, too.


Try our software now with a free 30-day trial at no cost to you. Sign up here in 30 seconds No credit card required. Easy to set up.

Cory Brown

Co-founder

Cory's a co-founder, builder and cheerleader at Simplesat. Also co-founder and co-owner at Pronto Group, home to Pronto Marketing (agency as a service for small business) and Pronto Tools (software development and startup studio).