Customer Experience

Customer experience surveys: Best practices and free template

AskNicely Team

Seventy-three percent of consumers point to customer experience as a critical factor in their purchasing decisions, yet only 49% believe that companies provide a good experience today, according to data from PwC. This stark contrast underscores the urgent need for businesses to actively seek and act upon customer insights. Conducting customer surveys is one of the most effective ways to do this — offering a window into customers' perceptions of your experience, and a pathway to improvement. But there’s a fine art to customer surveys that deliver results. Let’s take a look at how you can craft effective survey questions to ensure high response rates. We’ll even provide free survey templates to get you started on your journey to enhancing your customer experience.

What is a customer experience (CX) survey?

First things first, how do we define a customer experience survey? A CX survey is a questionnaire designed to capture customer sentiment about their interactions with your business across various touchpoints. These touchpoints can include any interaction a customer has with your company, from visiting your website to speaking with customer service. 

CX surveys can be administered in multiple ways, such as through email, SMS, in-app notifications, or phone calls. Choosing a channel that’s most convenient to your customers will increase the likelihood of receiving valuable feedback.

The primary goals of CX surveys are to measure customer satisfaction, identify areas for improvement, and gain insights into customer needs and expectations. These surveys help businesses quantify their performance over time, enabling them to track progress and make data-driven decisions. 

The benefits of CX surveys are significant: they improve customer retention, enhance brand loyalty, and inform better product development by addressing pain points and aligning offerings with customer needs.

Why use customer experience surveys?

Customer experience (CX) surveys are a cost-effective tool that helps businesses pinpoint areas where the customer experience falls short. Some of the most successful service brands in finance, dentistry, and home services use customer surveys to drive world-class experiences. 

Benefits of using customer experience surveys:

Data-driven decision-making - CX surveys enable data-driven decision-making by providing quantifiable insights into customer preferences and behaviors. This empirical approach helps businesses make informed choices, reducing the risk of errors based on assumptions or incomplete information.

A proactive customer focus - Proactively addressing customer concerns is possible with regular CX surveys. By understanding and responding to feedback before issues escalate, companies can demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction that’s proactive (instead of reactive). 

Boosting customer retention - Addressing pain points identified through CX surveys can significantly boost customer retention. Satisfied customers are more likely to remain loyal to a brand, reducing churn and increasing lifetime customer value.

A competitive advantage - CX surveys provide a competitive advantage by highlighting areas where a business can outperform its competitors. By continuously refining the customer experience based on feedback, companies can differentiate themselves in the marketplace and attract more customers.

Learn more about the benefits of effective customer feedback surveys here.

Examples of customer experience survey questions 

Customer experience surveys can include a variety of metrics and question types, each designed to gather specific insights about different aspects of the customer journey. Defining your survey goals is crucial before selecting the questions and metrics, as this ensures you collect the most relevant and actionable data.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures customer loyalty by asking respondents how likely they are on a scale of 0 to 10 to recommend your company to others. This metric helps gauge overall customer satisfaction and predict future growth. 

Example question: "On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?"

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is a widely used metric in assessing the satisfaction level of customers with a specific interaction or experience. CSAT typically utilizes a simple rating scale, often ranging from one to five stars or similar formats. Customers are asked to express their satisfaction levels based on their recent interaction, with higher ratings indicating greater satisfaction and vice versa. This straightforward scale allows for quick and easy feedback collection, enabling organizations to assess customer sentiment efficiently.

Example question: "How satisfied were you with your recent purchase experience?"

Customer Effort Score (CES)

The Customer Effort Score (CES) measures how easy it is for customers to complete a task or resolve an issue with your company. This metric is crucial for understanding and improving the efficiency of customer interactions.

Example question: "How easy was it to get the help you needed?"

Open-ended questions

Open-ended questions allow customers to express their thoughts and feelings in their own words, providing deeper insights into their experiences. These questions can uncover issues that structured questions might miss.

Example question: "What can we do to improve your experience with us?"

Likert scale

Likert scale questions measure the degree of agreement or disagreement with a statement, offering nuanced insights into customer opinions. This type of question helps gauge attitudes and perceptions more precisely. 

Example question: "Please rate your level of agreement with the following statement: 'The customer service representative was helpful.' (Strongly disagree to strongly agree)"

Multiple choice

Multiple-choice questions provide predefined options for respondents to choose from, making it easier to analyze the results. They are useful for categorizing customer preferences and behaviors. 

Example question: "Which of the following features is most important to you? (Price, Quality, Customer Service, Other)"

Start creating your own surveys.

Download our templates for free and create surveys to understand your customers better.

Best practice tips for effective customer experience surveys

Conducting customer experience surveys can come with challenges such as low response rates, difficulty in closing the loop, and analysis paralysis. To overcome these hurdles and maximize the effectiveness of your surveys, consider implementing the following best practices:

Set clear goals

Establishing clear goals for your CX survey ensures that the feedback you collect is aligned with your business objectives. Whether you aim to improve customer satisfaction, enhance product features, or increase loyalty, having specific targets helps you design a survey that delivers actionable insights.

Keep surveys short and focused

Long surveys can deter customers from completing them. Keep your surveys concise and focused on the most critical aspects of the customer experience. This approach not only increases response rates but also ensures that the data collected is relevant and easy to analyze

Choose the right questions

Selecting the right questions is essential for gathering meaningful feedback. Use a mix of question types, such as NPS, CSAT, and open-ended questions, to cover different dimensions of the customer experience. Tailor your questions to your specific goals to obtain the most useful data.

Choose the right channels for survey distribution

Distribute your surveys through channels your customers prefer, whether thats email, SMS, in-app notifications, or phone calls. By meeting customers where they are, you increase the likelihood of receiving responses.

Consider timing factors

Timing can significantly impact survey response rates and the quality of feedback. Send surveys shortly after a customer interaction to ensure that their experience is fresh in their mind. Avoid sending surveys during busy periods when customers may not have the time to respond. For more on timing, check out: Timing is Everything. When's the Best Time to Ask for Customer Feedback?

Incentivize participation

Offering incentives, such as discounts or entry into a prize draw, can encourage more customers to participate in your surveys. Ensure that the incentives are relevant and valuable to your target audience to maximize their effectiveness.

Clearly communicate the value of feedback

Let customers know how their feedback will be used to improve products and services. Clearly communicating the value of their input can increase engagement and demonstrate that you value their opinions.

Analyze survey data to identify trends and patterns

Regularly analyze the data collected from your surveys to identify trends and patterns. This analysis can reveal underlying issues and areas for improvement, enabling you to make data-driven decisions to enhance the customer experience. Using AI here can unlock unprecedented feedback analysis at mass and scale. 

Segment survey responses

Segmenting survey responses based on demographics, purchase behavior, or other relevant criteria can provide deeper insights into specific customer groups. This targeted approach helps tailor your strategies to meet the needs of different segments more effectively.

Respond to negative feedback promptly

Addressing negative feedback promptly shows customers that you are committed to resolving their issues. This proactive approach can turn dissatisfied customers into loyal advocates and prevent negative word-of-mouth.

Communicate changes or improvements

Inform customers about the changes or improvements you have made based on their feedback. This transparency not only builds trust but also encourages future participation in surveys as customers see the tangible impact of their input.

Choose the right tools

Selecting the right tools for survey creation, distribution, and analysis is crucial for a smooth and efficient process. 

Ensure feedback gets to frontline employees

Make sure that the feedback collected from surveys reaches the frontline employees who interact with customers daily. This direct line of communication helps employees understand customer needs and adjust their actions to improve the overall experience. See more: 7 Reasons to Connect Customer Feedback to the Frontline

Free customer experience survey templates

Creating customer experience (CX) surveys can be daunting, especially for teams doing it for the first time. Crafting the right questions, structuring the survey effectively, and ensuring it aligns with your business goals can be challenging.

We've created a variety of templates for different types of customer experience surveys to help you get started. These templates are designed to be customized to fit your specific needs, ensuring you gather the most relevant and actionable feedback from your customers.

NPS survey template

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey is designed to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction by asking customers how likely they are to recommend your company to others. This template includes the standard NPS question and follow-up questions to gain deeper insights into customer loyalty.

CSAT survey template

The Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) survey assesses how satisfied customers are with a specific interaction or their overall experience with your company. This template includes questions that gauge satisfaction levels and identify areas for improvement.

List question survey template

A list question survey asks a question and provides a list of reply options. List question surveys are useful for categorizing which areas your team is performing well on and what areas need improvement. 

How can AskNicely help?

AskNicely is a simple solution that helps you build loyalty through staff, not systems. Survey customers, uncover service gaps impacting profits, and drive the changes in the field needed to deliver 5-star experiences, every time.

Collect - Understanding your customers’ business-critical feedback starts with collecting the right data. Streamline customer experience data collection to inform strategy, improve retention, reduce employee turnover, and increase revenue.

Assess - Easily run NPS and CSAT measurement programs and centralize performance tracking to bring CX insight to every level of the company. With data that shows exactly where to focus, you've got a clear path to retention, growth, and revenue.

Grow - Generate more positive online reviews across every review site for your multi-location business. Put current customers in the spotlight to acquire new customers efficiently. Build a feedback loop that truly comes full circle.  

Respond - When your customers tell you what they want, can you take meaningful action quickly? Automate your response workflows and gain insight into customer satisfaction, identify areas for service improvement, foster loyalty, and enhance overall customer experience.

Transform - Don’t keep your CX feedback locked in the boardroom. Inspire every member of your team with customer feedback to enhance operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. Deliver consistently exceptional experiences that set you apart.

Ready to elevate your customer experience? Book a demo today and discover how AskNicely can revolutionize your approach to customer feedback. 

Plus, don't forget to download the NPS Benchmark Study to gain valuable insights into industry trends and best practices.

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

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