Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Questions & Examples

Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Questions & Examples

There’s a lot of pressure on businesses to deliver first-class, meaningful customer experiences (CX) and one way that has proven to be successful in meeting customer needs is listening to the voice of the customer (VoC).

One of the best ways to listen to your customers is to send customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys at different stages of the customer journey.

By regularly asking for customer feedback at different touchpoints, you can better understand customer’s challenges and pain points and make the necessary changes to improve their experience.

Read on to discover why customer satisfaction surveys are an invaluable source of customer feedback. Then dive into some real-life examples of CSAT survey questions, and learn how to analyze and visualize survey responses:

What Is a Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Survey?

A customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey is a questionnaire that businesses use to collect feedback from customers. The purpose of CSAT surveys is to measure how satisfied customers are with your brand, products or services, and level of customer service.

Once you’ve received your CSAT scores and responses, you’ll need to measure customer satisfaction to find out whether your brand, products, or services are meeting your customers’ expectations. Analyzing data from CSAT surveys can yield valuable insights that help you:

  • Improve products or services, and ensure they are correctly aligned with customer needs.
  • Provide seamless customer experiences that lead to loyal customers and improve brand reputation.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the user experience and identify customer pain points. The more you know about your customer’s challenges and motivations, the more proactive and effective you can be when solving their problems.
  • Keep track of customer satisfaction over time, and compare how brand perception evolves over time.

Types of Customer Satisfaction Surveys

There are different types of surveys that businesses send to customers to understand how they feel at different stages of the customer journey.

The most common types of metrics used to measure customer satisfaction are:

1. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Customer satisfaction score

CSAT surveys usually start by asking customers to rate how satisfied or dissatisfied they are with a product or service, for example with the question “How satisfied were you with us?”.

CSAT scores are often used to measure how satisfied customers are with your products and services once they’ve made a purchase.

Customer Satisfaction Scores are an extremely useful metric to assess the level of satisfaction related to a single event. While benchmarks vary by industry, you should aim for a satisfaction score of over 80%.

2. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net promoter score

NPS surveys ask customers how likely they are to recommend a brand or product to their friends or colleagues, on a scale from 0 to 10. As a result, you’re able to group customers as:

  • Promoters (scores 9 - 10)
  • Passives (scores 7 - 8)
  • Detractors (scores 0 - 6)

The objective of NPS scores is to assess customer loyalty and overall satisfaction. A large number of Promoters suggests a high level of customer satisfaction.

3. Customer Effort Score (CES)

Customer effort score

The Customer Effort Score (CES) aims to measure how much effort it takes for a customer to use your product or solve an issue with your customer support.

The goal of this score is to evaluate customer loyalty, which is determined by the customer experience. You might send a CES survey after closing a support ticket or to ask about a customer’s experience with a new feature.

4. Milestone Surveys

Milestone surveys are sent at specific stages of the buyer’s journey, to give insight into the customer experience. For example, you might send a survey to a new user after completing the onboarding process, to evaluate how it went and if it could be improved.

A popular use of this type of survey is to find out why a customer churned. By sending surveys just after a customer cancels their subscription, for example, it’s likely you’ll get their honest opinion.

How to Create Customer Satisfaction Surveys

When crafted properly, customer satisfaction surveys can provide you with valuable insights about how satisfied customers are with your products and service.

To create a customer satisfaction survey you'll need to understand the different types of questions you can ask, which are divided into two main categories:

Let's look at each type in detail:

Close-ended Questions

Close-ended (also known as multiple choice questions) can only be answered with a preset number of options. They usually get a high number of responses as they are easy and fast to answer.

Because the answers are limited, they gather quantitative information, so it's simple to analyze these results and get insights right away.

Here is an example of a multiple-choice question from Youtube:

Close-ended question

Inside multiple-choice questions, there are a number of different types of questions, including:

  • Binary questions: Binary scale questions offer the respondents two possible answers, for example Yes/No, True/False or Thumbs up/Thumbs down.
  • Ordinal questions: Ordinal questions give a numerical rating as the answer. The most popular example is the NPS score which rates the likelihood of recommending the company on a scale of 0 to 10.
  • Multi point scale: A multi point table allows respondents to rate different topics with one question. They usually group questions that have the same possible answers.
Close-ended question

Open-ended Questions

Open-ended questions are freeform questions that allow respondents to explain in their own words their feelings and ideas. They gather qualitative information, and even though they are not as simple to analyze, they offer much deeper insights into what the customer is actually thinking.

Here is an example of an open-ended question from Apple:

Close-ended question

Tips for Creating a Customer Satisfaction Survey

Now that you know the different types of questions you can ask, let's look at some best practices to consider when creating the survey:

Always start with a close-ended question.

Starting with a close-ended question will allow you to detect the issue in the first place. By quickly analyzing the quantitative results you'll know how satisfied or dissatisfied your customers are.

Follow up with open-ended questions.

Once you detect the problem you will need to figure out the why behind the responses. That's when open-ended questions come in. They provide more detailed insights in your customers' own words, and can be revalational about specific aspects of your products or services.

Encourage customers to respond.

Whether sending by email, in-app, or asking customers to fill out a survey in-store, keep the invitation to fill it out short and let your customers know how long it will take to complete. Never ask more than 10 questions in your CSAT surveys, otherwise you’ll receive a low response rate or a bunch of unfinished responses.

Survey questions should be easy to understand.

The easier questions are to understand, the higher your response rate will be. Avoid industry jargon or confusing questions. Keep them as succinct and straightforward as possible.

Sending Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Timing plays a huge part in sending customer satisfaction surveys: while you need to ask the right questions, you also need to choose which stages of the customer journey to send surveys.

There are many ways in which you can ask for feedback: in-app, email, over the phone, in-store, but if you don’t time your survey right, you could be missing out on valuable feedback.

The fresher the customer experience, the more likely you’ll receive an honest response – and any response at all.

Let’s take a look at some of best moments for sending surveys along the customer’s journey:

  • After every support interaction: requesting feedback just after a purchase will help you understand if a customer was satisfied with their buying experience. Did they find the process easy? Did they get stuck at any point? You can even add an open-ended question asking if there’s anything you can do to make the process easier.

  • After launching new product features: if a customer doesn’t buy your product after a trial ends, you can send a survey to find out why. Did they favor a competitor's product over yours? Did they find your product useful? Did it help them achieve their goals? Include an open-ended question like, “Is there anything you would change about this product?”. Sending surveys after a trial period ends might also serve as a reminder to customers who have simply forgotten to sign up for a paid version of your product.

  • After every support interaction: sending CSAT surveys after a customer support ticket is closed will help you assess the performance of your customer service team. Did the agent solve the customer’s problem? Ask them to rate the agent’s performance and if there’s anything that could improve their experience.

  • After launching new product features: sending a survey after launching a new product feature will help you determine its success. You’ll be able to gauge customer reactions and learn if the new features are useful: “What do you think about [feature]?”.

Examples of Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Surveys & Questions

Now let’s take a look at some real-life examples of CSAT survey questions from successful companies:

1. Airbnb

After an experience with Airbnb, the company invites customers (either hosts or guests) to provide product feedback by sharing “what went well and what could have gone better?”. This open-ended question allows users to give their opinion about the service in their own words.

Example of Airbnb customer satisfaction survey

Open-ended feedback is a great way of discovering potential issues and spotting dissatisfied customers. Airbnb also started using video to collect voice of customer feedback, and gain more insightful qualitative feedback. Whether video feedback catches on or not... only time will tell.

2. YouTube

YouTube uses customer satisfaction surveys to make sure they’re happy with their video recommendations. They ask viewers if they are happy with the videos that are shown to them on the homepage or in their ‘watch next’ feed. Viewers are also able to send feedback to the platform by taking a screenshot and describing the problem:

3. Asana

Project management software Asana regularly asks customers for feedback through in-app surveys. Sending a survey when customers are engaged with an app or platform provides valuable qualitative insights to understand user experience.

Here’s an example of a survey Asana sent asking customers to evaluate their homepage:

Asana customer feedback survey about the platform's homepage

This survey tries to identify how customers are actually using the platform and which problems they are trying to solve. In this case, customer feedback can help them improve their product roadmap, by prioritizing those features that will be more helpful and valuable for their users. Also, qualitative user feedback might shed light on other customer needs that the company might not be aware of.

4. Zapier

When a customer hasn’t been using the app for a while, Zapier sends customers a survey asking them about their activity. Besides including a multiple-choice question, they invite customers to share more details about their experience with the app:

Example of a customer feedback survey sent by Zapier

The purpose of this survey is to identify any bottlenecks or issues that make it difficult for customers to continue using the product. This feedback can provide insights to improve the product and make it more valuable to users. Also, it allows Zapier to identify the main reasons for customer churn, and take action to retain existing customers.

5. Zoom

Zoom encourages users to send ideas, comments, or feature requests. A questionnaire asks them to select a topic and the device they’re using, then explain more about their idea, product issues, etc.

CSAT survey from Zoom

This allows Zoom to handle customer feedback more effectively, by assigning messages to the right teams based on their topic and detecting issues that may occur on certain devices.

How to Make The Most of Your Survey Results

Customer satisfaction surveys can help you make accurate and important decisions about your products, services, and strategies. Once you’ve received a good amount of responses, you’ll need to:

  • Analyze survey responses
  • Close the loop
  • Share results across the company

Analyze Quantitative and Qualitative Survey Responses

Most survey tools offer in-built capabilities to analyze quantitative survey data, like NPS or CSAT scores. For example, here’s how SurveyMonkey displays the results of NPS surveys:

Example of SurveyMonkey's dashboard showing results of NPS surveys

If you want to analyze open-ended responses in your survey, you’ll need to use machine learning software to transform feedback into action.

Learn how to auto-tag open-ended responses from SurveyMonkey using machine learning tools.

Close the loop

Once you’ve analyzed your results, you’ll need to implement the necessary changes and respond to your customers – or close the loop.

It’s important that your customers know that you’re listening to them, and a simple response can go a long way.

Close the loop

Share results across the company

It’s best to visualize your survey results to make them easy for everyone in your company to understand. Organize your survey data and create interactive dashboards to uncover insights, trends, and patterns that you simply couldn’t find in a spreadsheet.

MonkeyLearn Studio provides a detailed dashboard that quantifies your unstructured data, so you can quickly spot patterns and trends at a glance.

A dashboard created on MonkeyLearn Studio, showing the results of analyzing Zoom reviews


Customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys are the cornerstone of your feedback strategy. Analyzing your survey responses provides unique insight into the customer experience and helps you improve every step of the buyer’s journey.

While quantitative survey data is valuable to measure your overall performance, qualitative data offers a much richer perspective of your customer’s motivations and feelings.

Machine learning software like MonkeyLearn can take your survey analysis to the next level, and help you draw insights from open-ended survey responses through intuitive, no-code tools.

Request a demo from one of our experts to learn more about how to customer satisfaction surveys with MonkeyLearn.

Inés Roldós

January 11th, 2021

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