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3 types of customer feedback surveys you should be using

Written by Molly O'Sullivan
Posted on 14 Jun 2022
Time it takes to read: 3 minutes

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Customer feedback is information that you gather from customers to find how satisfied or dissatisfied they are with your company, products or services. Constantly listening to your customers' voices and taking on feedback, whether it is good or bad, will set you apart from your competitors. 

Did you know that it is 5 to 25 times more expensive to gain a new customer than to keep existing ones happy? Therefore collecting, sharing and implementing feedback from your customers is crucial to your business’ success.  

There are many ways that you can collect customer feedback and this article will focus solely on customer feedback surveys. Surveys are simple, easy-to-use feedback tools that consist of a choice of carefully crafted questions. Surveys can provide you with a lot of insight into what is working well for your business and customers, and what isn’t.  

Net Promoter Score (NPS) 

Let's start off with the Net Promoter Score - NPS for short. An NPS survey is designed to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. The NPS starts with a question which normally looks something like ‘How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?’. 

From this, the person will provide a rating on a scale of 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely) and give a reason for their score. Based on their response, you will group them into one of 3 categories: 

1. Detractors 

Detractors are those who rate between 0-6 on the scale. Although this shows that customers are dissatisfied with your product or service, detractors play a key role in business development. 

It is estimated that the average business loses about 10 to 25% of its customer base per year. Therefore, it is extremely important to follow up with your detractors to understand what you can do to make the situation right. 

2. Passives 

Passives are those who rate between 7-8 on the scale. Passives are satisfied with your product or service, but they are not enthusiastic enough to speak about your product or service with their friends or colleagues.  

3. Promoters 

Promoters rate 9-10 on the NPS scale. Promoters are your most loyal and enthusiastic customers who will tell their friends and family about your business. It has been found that referral rates are nearly twice as high for companies in the top 10% of NPS as for companies in the bottom.  

To calculate your NPS, you need to organise your responses from your Detractors (0-6), Passives (7-8), and Promoters (9-10). Then, you must subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters which will give you your overall NPS. 

Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT) 

Another feedback survey that people commonly use is the Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT). The CSAT survey measures how satisfied your customers are with your product, service or experience you provide. The typical question for this type of survey is ‘How satisfied were you with your experience?’ or ‘How can we improve our product?’. 

One of the benefits to a CSAT survey is that you can use them to measure how satisfied customers are with different areas of your business and at specific touchpoints. For example, you could look at customer onboarding, overall customer health and general customer experience.  

CSAT is usually asked on a scale ranging from 1-3, 1-5, or 1-10. CSAT is also extremely easy to calculate. Essentially, it is the sum of total response scores given divided by the total possible response scores times by 100. Please see below an example: 

# of responses   Response score 1 to 10  Maximum Possible Response 
1 8 10
2 6 10
3 7 10
4 2 10
5 9 10
Total 32 50

(Sum of total response scores / maximum possible response scores) X 100 = 64% 

Customer Effort Score (CES) 

Finally is the Customer Effort Score (CES) Survey. The CES survey measures how much effort a customer must put in to get an issue resolved and customer loyalty. As CES is designed to measure a customer interaction at a specific touchpoint, the feedback is almost always actionable which is one of the main benefits of a CES survey compared to NPS and CSAT.  

CES is calculated using a likert scale. For example, you could ask recipients "To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement." Then provide options ranging from "Strongly agree" to "Strongly disagree" on a scale of 1-10. 

It is best to deploy a CES survey immediately after interactions or at specific touchpoints, for example, after a customer buys a product. You can then gain insight to see how likely the person is to return as a customer.  

Frequent questions that people ask in a CES survey include: 

  • How easy did we make it for you to solve your issue?  
  • How difficult was it for you to solve your problem?  
  • How much do you agree with the following statement...

After spending time putting together customer feedback surveys and asking your customers to take the time to complete them, it is important to follow up on the results. Take time to review the responses to your NPS, CSAT and CES surveys, and create actionable improvements to your customer experience, product or service. This way, you can continue delighting your satisfied customers and bring dissatisfied customers back on board. 

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