If you are looking to run a customer satisfaction survey, it’s crucial you select the right questions to ask. Even the slightest mistake can create a leading question that gets you inaccurate data.
Search in Google, and you will find articles with dozens and even hundreds of customer satisfaction questions to use. Some of these questions are good, some are not, but without a good understanding of how those questions work, they won’t help you craft a useful survey.
In this article, we’ll show you the ten best customer satisfaction questions you can ask in your next survey, explain why they work, and provide you with tips for when you should use them.
Let’s get started.
1. What was going on in your life that brought you to our store today?
Have you ever asked yourself what was your customers’ life before they found your store for the first time? The answer you are looking for here isn’t that they found you on Google or that they were looking to buy whatever your company sells; it’s that they had a problem they needed a solution for.
There are many ways to formulate this question, and you can make it open-ended or include pre-written responses, like in the template below:
Understanding the purpose behind your visitor’s visit is what gives meaning to your company. With this information, you can craft a message that resonates with your audience.
Ask this question when you want to enhance your marketing communication and positioning. It also works when rewriting your site’s copy.
Here are 4 alternative questions on the same topic:
- Why did you sign up for this service?
- Why did you buy this product?
- What did you expect it to do for you?
- What motivated you to search for this product/service?
2. What were you using [to achieve success] before you found [your company or product]? And what did you like about [that previous solution]?
This is a two-part question but it carries the same goal: uncovering the previous solution the customer had used before they found your company and what they liked about it.
You can include it in your post-purchase survey, whether on a website or in an email sequence.
This question is so important because it’s also focused on finding what “success” means for your customer. Although the idea is borrowed from the software industry, it is equally applicable to an ecommerce store. After all, your customers buy your products to achieve some kind of goal.
According to Drew Whitman, author of the book Ca$hvertising, human beings are biologically programmed with the following eight desires:
- Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension
- Enjoyment of food and beverages
- Freedom from fear, pain, and danger
- Romantic companionship
- Comfortable living conditions
- To be superior, winning, keeping up with the Joneses
- Care and protection of loved ones
- Social approval
Figure out what motivates your customers to choose your products over the previous ones they used to satisfy their needs. With this information, you will understand how and why your customers decide to buy your products and what makes them unique and valuable.
Similar to the previous question, you can use the answers to craft a more precise marketing strategy that connects with your audience.
3. Did you experience any problems or difficulties while navigating our website?
This is a foundational question user experience (UX) specialists use to create better web layouts and functionalities. For an ecommerce store, this question can help find problems with the design, usability, and user interface (UI).
Although most Shopify themes use proven UX and UI frameworks, it doesn’t guarantee your visitors won’t have any issues. Some common issues that cause a poor user experience include:
- Long loading times
- Excessive steps during the checkout process
- Unclear navigation
Use this question when you are looking to revamp your store’s design or boost your suspiciously low conversion rates.
4. Did you find everything you were looking for?
What happens after checkout is as important as what happened before. Sure, your ultimate goal is to generate a sale, but that doesn’t guarantee the customer bought everything they could have.
With this question, you can uncover if your customers are 100% satisfied with their shopping experience; yet you might be surprised to see many of your customers aren’t. The feedback you gather will help you boost your average order value.
If possible, branch your question so that if the customer answers it negatively, you can ask them what they didn’t find or what they couldn’t buy. Avoid multiple-choice questions; let them explain to you what that is they couldn’t buy.
💡 Use this question on the “Thank you” page after the checkout or in a post-purchase email survey within 48 hours after a sale.
5. How easy was it to purchase [product] from us?
This question is a mix of the previous two ones as it mixes the user with the shopping experience. The answers you get will show you what frustrations your customers got, what they didn’t like, and what your company can do better to provide a seamless buying experience.
You can make this question open-ended or use a rating scale. In the latter case, you want to explain what the rating means using something like: “On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being “not easy at all” and 5 “very easy”…”.
Adding your product to the question isn’t mandatory, but it’s a good idea. Just as the previous question, display it after checkout or send it to the customer within the first 48 hours after checkout (better yet, send both questions together).
6. On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with your shopping experience today?
Measuring any type of emotion is tough, if not imprecise, but for a marketer, it’s part of the job. The previous questions gave a chance for people to explain themselves; this one is all about specificity.
The positive replies (those with a rating of eight or higher) are a good indicator of your customer experience.
On the other hand, the negative ones are incredibly useful to learn from those on the fence about buying. Imagine all those people in a similar situation but didn’t purchase; working on that feedback will help you create a seamless buying experience.
7. On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely would you be to shop in our store again?
The previous customer satisfaction questions are useful to learn about the customer’s feelings during their shopping experience; they are ex-post (after-the-fact) questions. But what happened once is no guarantee to happen again. It's not good for your business if someone who made a purchase once won’t do so in the future.
With this ex-ante (before-the-fact) question, you learn about the likelihood a customer will repeat a purchase.
Getting high ratings shouldn’t be your only goal; you want to learn about those who give you low ratings by adding a branch to all the ratings equal or under seven.
To the unsatisfied customers, ask them to explain the reasons behind their ratings. Make the answer open-ended so they can explain their rationale in their own words.
8. If you could change one thing about our product, what would it be? Why?
Successful online retailers are those who constantly adapt to their customers’ needs. They are always improving their products, launching new ones, and removing those that don’t seem to satisfy their customers.
With this question, you can uncover the specific aspects of your products that you could improve and the rationale behind them. Make this question open-ended so that your customers explain in their own words what that is.
Even if their feedback isn’t applicable in every case (for example, if they ask to make a product last longer than the laws of physics permit it), you can always use their responses to guide future iterations.
You can use no-code form builders like Getform and send this survey via email a few days after the customer receives the product. To define the timeframe, use your average shipping times or an app that connects your store with your logistics provider. Give the customer time to experience the product before sending you their feedback.
9. How was your experience with our customer service representative? Did we resolve the issue?
Customer service is a profitable part of your business. One study by Gladly found that 68% of consumers indicate their willingness to pay more for products and services from a brand known to offer good customer service experience.
This question about your customer service reveals your customer’s expectations of your brand and their needs and problems with it.
An unhappy customer is unlikely to purchase in the future, so it’s a lose-lose situation. With this question, you show interest in how your company treats the customer. And if they tell you they were unsatisfied with your customer service, offer a second chance to get it right. A problem isn’t solved until the customer says so!
Ask this question as soon as a customer service chat finishes. If the customer doesn’t answer it, you can send the survey over email once (more than that isn’t necessary as it’d be annoying to them).
10. How likely are you to recommend our brand to your friends and family?
Last but not least, you want to learn about the probability of your customers referring their close ones to your business, or as marketers often put it, calculate your Net Promoter Score (NPS).
This is a powerful customer satisfaction question that indicates a customer's happiness concerning the shopping experience and the likelihood of becoming a loyal customer — even an “evangelist” of the brand.
Getting customers to refer others benefits your company in two major ways:
- It reduces your marketing costs
- It increases your marketing effectiveness, as people trust their friends and family more than anyone else
The feedback gathered with this question is mostly useful for those who already showed some type of fulfillment towards your brand. That means you can use this question as a branch of a previous one or any other one that asks about customer satisfaction.
Also, don’t expect positive responses from unhappy customers. If they aren’t delighted by your brand, they’re not going to put their reputation on the line for your brand by referring to others.
On the website, you can display this survey to those who are leaving (after spending some time and, ideally, interacting with your site) or those who have made a purchase. Alternatively, you can email this question to those in your loyalty program or anyone who has a history of purchases, like Hem & Stitch from the example above does.
Knowing what customer satisfaction questions to ask is as important as their segmentation and timing.
As a rule of thumb, ask broader questions about your brand to anyone who visits your store. (Even if someone hasn’t purchased, their impressions tell a lot about your company’s messaging.) Ask questions about the purchase experience to those who have bought something. Simple as that.
The “Thank you” page is the best place to ask your post-purchase questions. An email sent up to 48 hours after a purchase is also a good idea. Remember: you want to strike while the iron is hot. With the insights you gather, you will be able to improve your marketing messaging significantly.
Ivan Kreimer is a freelance content writer for hire who creates educational content for SaaS businesses like Leadfeeder and Campaign Monitor. In his pastime, he likes to help people become freelance writers. Besides writing for smart people who read sites like Getsitecontrol, Ivan has also written in sites like Entrepreneur, MarketingProfs, TheNextWeb, and many other influential websites.
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