Optimal surveying: our standard questions

Modified on: Tue, 17 Jan, 2017 at 2:18 PM



Which would you prefer: a lot of feedback from a tiny percentage of your customers, or a small amount of crucial feedback from a huge percentage of your customers? Clearly the latter is better – if you’re going to invest resources into improving your products and services you want to be sure the changes you make are based on the majority opinion of your customers. The key to getting such quality feedback is to keep your survey as short as possible.

 

Luckily, we have fine-tuned our surveys so that you can get a lot of excellent feedback from just three questions!

 

These are the questions that make up our standard survey:


 

1. “Would you recommend us to a friend or colleague?”


You may already be asking your customers this question – and you will almost certainly have been asked it yourself. Net Promoter Score has become industry best practice for companies invested in customer experience – read more about how NPS is calculated here.

 

Ideally you should phrase your NPS question in a way that triggers your customer to tell you whether they would recommend your company as a whole, as opposed to recommending a single experience. A good example is: “Based on your recent experience with [company name], how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?”

 

If you are surveying your customers on a transactional basis, a good NPS question may be: “Based on your recent [support call/sales visit/purchase/etc], how likely are you to recommend [company name] to a friend or colleague?”

 




 

2. “Thank you for your score. Please let us know which area should have the highest priority to improve.”

 

This question introduces the ‘self-select reasons’: tick boxes allowing the customer to quickly indicate which aspects of your products or services primarily influenced their opinion. Some companies use 40-question surveys to ask their customers about each aspect separately, and naturally those surveys have terribly low response rates. The self-select reasons instead give you the most crucial information packaged as just a single question.

 

You can phrase the introductory question slightly differently depending on whether your customer gave a Detractor, Passive or Promoter score on the first page of the survey. Some examples:

 

Detractor score:

“We are sorry that we did not meet your expectations. Please tell us which areas we can improve:”

 

Passive score:
“Thank you for your score. Please let us know which areas can be improved upon:”

 

Promoter score:

“We are delighted that you have had such a good experience. Could you tell us which aspects of our products or services you especially appreciated?”

 

*Pro tip for Passive scores*: some of our clients find that Passive survey respondents have little to add in terms of improvement suggestions – it can help to explicitly ask Passives what would make them give you a 10. For example: “Thank you for your score. We aim for a 10 – so please tell us which areas should be improved for you to score us higher next time?” After all, you are not striving for satisfied customers – you are striving for true fans!

 

Self-select reasons typically have Level 1 options indicating main categories:

 

 


 


Additionally you can add Level 2 options or sub-categories for more detailed feedback:


 




For more help with defining your self-select reason options, click here.



3. “Do you have any additional comments you would like to make? We read all comments and value your input.”

 

The free text comment box is a crucial part of our surveys, allowing you to directly receive the unfiltered Voice of the Customer. It will sometimes be uncomfortable to read – but it is always crucial information.





 

For English language surveys, we now offer Interactive Tags: an algorithm which automatically detects key words in customers’ comments and assigns tags accordingly. Read more about Interactive Tags and the matching report here.


 

4. “Would you like to be contacted by us?”

 

Aside from the three surveying questions, we also recommend that you ask your customers whether or not they would like to be contacted. If the survey respondent ticks YES, a case will be automatically opened in the system for you to follow up.








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