The Ultimate Guide to writing a Customer Feedback Questionnaire

Companies around the world with the best customer satisfaction and feedback all have one thing in common. They all really care about their customers and allocate resources to ensure they have a top quality customer feedback questionnaire.

A customer feedback questionnaire is the best way to find out how satisfied your customers are, find ways to improve your product or service, and identify customer advocates who really love your product.

Jeffery Gitomer, author of Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless, believes that the only way to increase customer loyalty, is to listen to your customers problems – you can do that by surveying customers via a customer feedback survey.

Furthermore, Gregory Ciotti, author of The Ultimate Guide to Measuring Customer Satisfaction recommends using a customer feedback survey that asks participants to rank (1-10) how likely they are to recommend you. The data can be evaluated using this chart from the official Net Promoter System:

Net Promoter Score Customer Feedback

This post will focus on what you should and should not be including in your customer feedback questionnaire. I hope to give you some practical questions and example, so you can walk away with the questionnaire that gives you the best possible customer feedback and the best possible survey response rates.

A customer feedback questionnaire can be broken down into six steps:

  1. Come up with a title and purpose for the questionnaire
  2. Determine who you are sending it you
  3. Identify the questions you want to ask
  4. Offer preselected answers to your questions
  5. Create a customer feedback survey thank you page
  6. Track and measure feedback from customers

 1.    Come up with a title and purpose for your customer feedback questionnaire

This sets the tone for your customer feedback questionnaire. It is important to ensure you have a title that clearly tells the customer what the survey is all about and why they are doing it. In the below image, you can see an example of Client Heartbeat’s customer feedback questionnaire – notice the title and accompanying description is personal, clear and indicates the purpose of the survey.

customer feedback questionnaire example client heartbeat

A questionnaire with a strong title and purpose will help improve your survey response rates, drive better customer feedback, and make the experience more enjoyable for your customers.

Please submit your satisfaction scores. Out Heartbeat program is designed to allow us to monitor and improve the level of service we provide to our clients.

Tip #1: Keep your questionnaire title concise with a clear purpose.

2.    Determine who you are sending your feedback questionnaire to

The second step involves determining who you are going to send your customer feedback questionnaire to. This may seem pretty obvious right? Your customers? But… it’s not that simple. Research from Client Heartbeat shows that you should be only sending customer feedback surveys to specific contacts you have direct relationships with, inside your customers company’s. For instance, if you are dealing with the Service Manager at XYZ Company, send your surveys to them. Although the lovely receptionist at XYZ Company sometimes answers the phone, you do not have the business relationship with her, so do not send her your customer feedback surveys.

Companies that send customer feedback questionnaire’s only to the direct contacts receive survey response rates of above 65% with Client Heartbeat, as opposed to a survey response rate of 30% by companies who just send it to everyone.

Tip #2: Only send your customer feedback questionnaire to relevant contacts, not everyone!

3.    Identify the feedback questions you want to ask

Analytics and data gives us all sorts of insights into what our customers want from our business. But sometimes… don’t you wish you could get an answer straight from your customers? That’s what customer feedback is all about.

Lars Lofgren wrote a great article on the 5 ways to get customer feedback. In the article, he recommends surveying your customers with long surveys (using something like SurveyMonkey) or short surveys (using something like Qualaroo). In both cases, he suggests you only ask questions that you’ll use.

Every question should serve a purpose.

I think is super important, you don’t want to be bombarding your customers with so many questions that are irrelevant and waste your their time. I recommend you ask questions that actually help you get actionable data and help you benchmark your performance.

Here at Client Heartbeat, we specialize in customer feedback questionnaires. We’ve gathered some awesome data on what questions work best for most companies, across most industry. Combining that with lots of research and theory, we’ve come up with four customer satisfaction survey questions that we think work best.

These are the four questions we recommend (these change slightly for each industry, but are a good start for most companies):

Q1) Promptness

How happy are you with the speed and efficiency at which we are able to respond to your requests?

Q2) Accuracy

How happy are you with our attention to detail and thoroughness?

Q3) Partnership

How happy are you with how collaborative and proactive we are in the way that we work with you organization?

Q4) Helpfulness

How happy are you with the extent to which we help you learn and provide recommendations that are in the best interests of your organization?

These questions are used by the majority of our customers because they give them actionable feedback which can use to measure customer satisfaction, benchmark performance and make better informed decisions to improve their businesses.

Here are my final points of feedback questions:

  • Limit your number of questions to between five and ten.
  • Make sure you can use the feedback to measure customer satisfaction.
  • Make sure you can use the same questions in three months’ time so you can see whether your ratings have improved or declined.

Tip #3: Limit your customer feedback questionnaire to between five and 10 questions

4.    Offer pre-selected answers for your questions

At Client Heartbeat, we only use pre-selected answers for all questions because it has proven to increase survey response rates for us and our customers. Now I know that this isn’t going to work for everyone, but I strongly suggest you try most of your questions do have pre-selected answers to choose from. The reason I recommend this is it makes it super easy for your customer to fill out the questionnaire, which means you’re making their life easier since you don’t have to follow up, and you get more responses and feedback!

It’s a win, win for everybody!

Here’s an example of a question we use at Client Heartbeat to show you what I mean:


would you recommend us your colleagues

In the above example, the question has three simple pre-select answers that a customer can choose from. There are no other suitable answers!

The key here is to make sure you word the question correctly and offer all the possible answers that you customer may want to give. You should try keeping the number of answers  below five, so it doesn’t become over-crowded.

Let’s take a look at another example:


Qualaroo-KM

In this example, the question is cleverly worded so you only have three answers.

Another option you can take is use a rating scale on 1-10. Let’s take another look at the Client Heartbeat.

promptness-rating-scale-10

By telling the customer to rate you between 1-10, they can quickly and easily answer the question.

Tip #4: Using pre-selected answers helps increase survey response rates

5.    Create a customer survey thank you page

Sheila G from SurveyMonkey believes that adding a “Thank You” page at the end of your survey is a great way to show your appreciation and also lets survey-takers know that their responses have been collected.

I agree with Shelia and would like to take it a step further. My view is a good thank you page for your customer feedback questionnaire can also help you build customer loyalty.

One of the ways I recommend you build customer loyalty is by letting your customers know what you are doing for them. I talk about it further in my blog post here. On your survey thank you page, you have the opportunity to put in a personal message, show them you really care about their feedback and tell them what you are going to do with it.

Something simple like this would do the trick:

Thanks so much for filling out our customer satisfaction questionnaire. We take your feedback seriously and will be using it to improve our services. Here are some of the ways we’ve improved our service from past customer feedback questionnaires – link to a blog post or page that explains it further.

RELATED: Discover 18 ways to build customer loyalty

Tip #5: Use a customer feedback survey thank you page to build customer loyalty

6. Track and measure feedback from customers

The final step in your quest to create an awesome customer feedback questionnaire is to track and measure feedback. Since you’ve done all the hard work in creating a survey that will get you awesome response rates and actionable feedback, now you have to decide what you want to do with it.

At Client Heartbeat, we focus on helping our customer’s measure customer feedback over a period of time. The reason we do this is because by tracking feedback on an individual level, you can measure a specific customers satisfaction levels today, then in three months, then in one years’ time.

For example, a customer might give you an 8/10 today… then a 5/10 in three months’ time. Something obviously went wrong during this period of time and it’s your responsibility to quick find out what the problems was, and fix it.

How can you know there is a problem without tracking and measuring your customer feedback? You can’t.

That’s the exact reason why I believe tracking and measuring customer feedback is the most important step in your customer feedback questionnaire. Without the ability to see how whether your customer satisfaction levels have improved and declined, there is no way to benchmark to determine whether the business decisions and changes you have been making, are working or not working.

So how can you get started with measuring and tracking your feedback?

Firstly, make sure you assign a unique identifier to every piece of feedback you receive from each customer. Then, when you do your next round of customer feedback questionnaires, you can cross reference the unique identifiers to see whether satisfaction levels have improved or declined.

Alternatively, Client Heartbeat can automate this whole customer feedback process for you and quickly help you measure customer satisfaction over a period of time. Then, see all your customer satisfaction data in a simple and intuitive dashboard.

client heartbeat dashboard

I also recommend following up with specific customers. Some of your customers are going to be giving you feedback that you’re not going to be happy with. In this post, I talked about a great example of how we recently conducted our customer surveys at Client Heartbeat. One of our customers gave us a rating of 2/10 for education. Since that comes under my job description, I followed up with the customer, and it turned out that they hadn’t been receiving my educational emails. As result, I added him to the email list, we solved the problem and he’s now a happy customer!

Tip 6: Track customer satisfaction over a period of time to measure changes in customer happiness.

Final thoughts

In wrapping up this ultimate guide to writing a customer feedback questionnaire, I want to make sure you understand the reason why you are getting feedback from customers. You are doing it so you can improve your business, product or service. Asking you customers is the best way to get genuine feedback. The best way to get your customers to actually fill out your customer surveys is by making the questionnaire super easy and quick to fill out. Once you’ve done that, make sure you are asking the right questions, and boom – you’ve got some actionable data that can help you understand your customers and improve your business.

Ross’ other popular posts on Customer Satisfaction:

Tagged: Customer Satisfaction, Customer Surveys

About Ross Beard

Ross Beard was on the marketing team at Client Heartbeat, the simple customer feedback tool. Learn how Client Heartbeat makes improving customer satisfaction easy.

  • Tina

    An excellent and well written article. Thank you. Tina.

    http://www.customer-surveys.org

  • http://bill-lang.com Bill Lang

    This is a very insightful article. I appreciate how you have placed such an emphasis on establishing customer loyalty. For those who are interested, it relates very well to the article I wrote on the Full Circle Feedback website: http://www.fullcirclefeedback.com.au/resources/organisational-surveys/stakeholder-survey/

  • Morgan R.

    Very helpful! There are some grammatical/spelling errors. I would still recommend the article though. Thank you for the useful information! 🙂

  • Andie A.

    This post was super helpful for us creating a survey for the first time in 8 years – great direction and points for survey newbies!

  • http://www.nabdsys.com/ aliceie rodriquez

    This is really informative.Thanks for sharing. Customer satisfaction is a key of success for any business. Customer feedback is one of the best method to provide better customer support.

  • Anna Magner

    i dont think you constantly want to ask “how happy” your customers are. That doesn’t seem beneficial. The results are like happy, not happy, very happy… that doesn’t help you much.

  • Graham Ayre

    Great article with nice selection of question variations to use for a survey. I like the rating scale on 1-10, but wondered if this would overwhlem a user. Do you think a 5 or 7 scale satisfaction survey question would return the same result?



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