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3 Types of Questionnaires to Improve Customer Satisfaction



When it comes to doing business with customers, there is one important thing that every company has to keep in mind: customer experience. Customer Experience (CX) is how companies define the way customers perceive the brand and the likelihood that they will do business with you.


CX is so important to any business and is one of the main indicators for a company’s success. According to the Temkin Group, a positive CX score makes it 82% more likely for people to become repeat customers of a business.


There are three main metrics in the field that cover all the types of questionnaires and surveys. It’s especially important improving call center efficiency, as it tells leaders where to concentrate their efforts:

  • What programs and initiatives are making the most impact on the customer

  • Which aspects of their agents need coaching and additional training

  • What parts of the automated systems like the chatbots and databases are used the most, and what needs work

Getting a handle on these three main metrics, how and why they are used, and when to use them will give your business a priceless understanding of its customers. If you are looking to provide the best customer service possible, it’s important to understand these three metrics and how they are used in questionnaires.


Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT)


This is the basic building block of any call center. It is a metric which directly measures customer satisfaction levels. It is normally used to see how happy customers are with a specific action or transaction your business is doing.


In call centers, these surveys are usually sent after each call, chat or interaction with the customer, so the customer can directly rate the service. You can have multiple questions for a CSAT survey, but it’s better to keep it short and simple.

For example, a CSAT questionnaire may have questions such as:

  • “How happy are you with the service you received?”

  • “Focusing on just the agent you spoke with, how happy are you with his or her service?”

  • “How satisfied are you with this product or feature?”

  • Each section can also be followed up with an open-ended question asking for the customer’s reasoning behind their score.

  • “Would you care to explain why?”

This is followed by a rating scale, which can be point-based from 1-5 or 1-10, with one end clearly being defined as the low end (greatly disagree, not likely, not satisfied at all, etc.) and one as the high end (greatly agree, very likely, very satisfied, etc.). It’s also recently popular to use emoticons or similar visual styles for the scale, with an angry face on the 1-end and a big smile at the 5-end.


The CSAT score as a whole is expressed in a percentage, taking the number of satisfied respondents and dividing them by the total number of responses. For instance, if you had 100 surveys and 95 people responded in the satisfied range, your CSAT score would be 95%.


CSAT is an important and popular tool in measuring the customer experience because it is flexible and can glean a wide variety of insights from the customer. However, since it doesn’t measure loyalty and is more focused on short-term customer sentiment, it has its limitations, which is why we have two other metrics.


Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The NPS is a growth metric which measures customer loyalty. It measures the customer’s willingness to recommend you to other people.

  • “How likely are you to recommend this company to a friend or colleague?”

This can then be followed up with open-ended questions to gather more valuable insights.

  • “Care to tell us why?”

  • “Why would you not recommend us?”

  • “What did we do well?”

The NPS is important because customer loyalty is the holy grail of sustainable business. It is significantly cheaper to retain existing customers than to acquire a new one. Research from Bain & Company shows that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25% or more.


Further, NPS helps boost referral marketing -- the question serves as neurolinguistic programming to entice customers to refer you to their friends, just by suggesting it in the form of a question.


The open-ended questions also help you identify what areas in your operations need improvement. The overall contact center efficiency is much better when leadership can focus their attention on that 20% that gives 80%.


NPS is an important tool because it is the questionnaire that tends to get the highest response rates. As a tool for measuring long-term customer loyalty of the biggest slice of your customer base, there is nothing better. It also helps segment your customer base into three groups:

  • Promoters

  • Passives

  • Detractors

However, it’s important to remember that it is limited in scope to just measuring long term brand loyalty, so one should never develop tunnel vision just by relying on the NPS score.


Customer Effort Score (CES)


The CES score measures your customer’s efforts to interact with your business’s services and products. Its main focus is finding out whether customers are having a hard time making use of your services. It is said to be the most relevant measure for customer experience, as it directly measures how easy and effortless it is to interact with your brand. It helps remove obstacles, solve problems and make life easier for your customers.


The classic example here is the IVR, which in recent times has become a complicated maze of prompts, which make it extremely difficult for customers to get to where they need to be. Poorly-designed IVRs make the customer experience frustrating.


CES surveys and questionnaires work best right after a customer interacts with customer support, or with a product or service.


It is generally just a single question which measures how easy or how difficult it was to perform said action, which can be anything from getting help from the support team to making a purchase.

  • “How easy was it to use the IVR?”

  • “How much do you agree with this statement: ‘The website made it easy for me to shop?’”

  • “How easy was it to resolve your concern with the chat agent?”

This is then measured with the usual rating scale from 1-5 or 1-10, or with a simple visual scale.


The CES is a strong predictor of future purchase behavior. Harvard Business Review shows that 94% of customers who gave a “low effort” rating for the company would make a repurchase.

But it’s important to remember that CES has a very narrow view of the total picture. It doesn’t give specific insights on what exactly customers are having trouble with nor does it help segment your customers so you can identify which groups are having problems with specific services you have.

The Bottom Line


In the end, all of these three types of questionnaires will help you improve that one all-around important metric: the customer experience. If you ask the right kinds of questions in these three metrics, you can gain valuable insights which opens the doors to a successful long-term business.

Keep your eye on the CX prize. It is always a worthwhile challenge and it will always be a team effort requiring everyone in the company to put in their effort.

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