Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Benefits of Online Surveys

Did you know that online surveys offer many advantages over paper or phoned based surveys? Read more...

Quick Tips

  • Offer incentives such as prizes
  • Keep it short
  • Keep it relevant to your customers
  • Focus on what customers say is essential and on what can bring repeat business
  • Cover both what clients like and what clients dislike

Creating Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Generally, a customer satisfaction involves a survey in which the customer responds to a series of statements using a Likert scale (i.e. from "I Strongly Agree" to "I Stronly Disagree"). A properly drafted questionnaire will include statements that measure both the performance expected by the customer and the performance actually perceived by the customer.

For example,

1. Please rate how important a sales associate's knowledge of the products is:
Very important
Not Important

2. Please rate the level of knowledge of the sales associate who helped you:
Very Good
Not Applicable

Types of Customer Satisfaction Surveys

When measuring client satisfaction, there are two approaches that you can take.

Satisfaction with a specific transaction (transaction satisfaction) - In this type of customer satisfaction survey your focus is on the most recent transaction with the client. A transaction satisfaction survey can be sent to clients each time they are in contact with your organisation. Whether it is after a purchase, after a call to customer support, after a return and refund, etc. Ideally, the invitation to complete the survey should be sent as soon as possible after the transaction occurred.

Because a repeat client is likely to be solicited often to participate in such a survey, the survey should be kept short. Probably a maximum of 10 questions. Furthermore, the satisfaction survey should only ask questions that are relevant to the transaction that was just completed.

Overall satisfaction (image-based satisfaction) - In this type of customer satisfaction survey you are evaluating the customer's overall experience with your business. Questions must be related to all the transactions in which the customer took part. You can also obtain information of your perceived performance compared to competitors.

An overall satisfaction survey should include a proper mix of quantitative questions (i.e. categorical and multiple choice) and qualitative questions (i.e. open-ended). The quantitative questions will provide you with an overall picture of the perceived satisfaction with your organisation. The qualitative questions will enable customers to either praise specific aspects, or complain about specific aspects. Without open-ended questions, some issues might not be raised and it might be hard to determine exactly what is causing customers to perceive your performance as inadequate.

Which customers should be surveyed?

Ideally, in order to have reliable statistics, your sample size should be about 400 customers. However, a sample size of 200 can also be sufficient. See our publication on calculating sample sizes for more information. Increasing the sample size will not provide more reliable statistics, and in fact is counter productive because it induces survey fatigue. If you have multiple hundred clients a week, you should only survey a certain percentage of them.

If you have different types of customers, for example that buy different types of products, you should include the same percentage of each type in an overall customer satisfaction survey. Alternatively, if you have a sufficient sample of each type of customer, you may want to conduct an overall customer satisfaction survey for each type of customer. It will enable you to focus your questions and make them relevant to that type of purchaser.

You may also consider surveying your employees that interact directly with your clients. These employees have deep knowledge of what clients dislike and what should be improved. The knowledge of each client-facing employee is almost equal to the knowledge of the aggregate number of clients that employee has dealt with.

Do Not Over Survey Customers

Your customers are likely solicited on a regular basis to participate in all sorts of surveys. When conducting regular overall client satisfaction surveys, it is important to rotate which clients get surveyed. If you do not rotate, your clients will rapidly stop responding to your surveys.

How can I increase participation in my customer satisfaction surveys?

There are a number of things you can do to increase participation in your customer satisfaction surveys:

  • Offer Prizes - Ideally they should be appropriately tailored to entice the type of client you are surveying.
  • Keep it short - Your survey should not be too long. Clients might be willing to give you 5 minutes of their time, but probably not 10 or 15. For longer surveys, you should consider giving larger prizes.
  • Keep it relevant - Your survey should be focused. You should make sure to use skip logic to avoid asking questions that are of no concern to certain clients. For example, if a customer has not discussed with a sales associate during his or her purchase, there is no reason to ask them questions on how the sales associate performed.

Creating your Customer Satisfaction Survey with Interceptum

The Interceptum online survey platform offers a wide selection of features to create client and employee surveys. You will find all the necessary information to create and deploy your survey with Interceptum on our web site.

Creating your customer satisfaction survey with Interceptum is very easy. All you need to do is follow these simple steps. We also provide a printable getting started guide and a video getting started guide.

  • Create a free account
  • Create your survey and questions, and test it to make sure your skip logic is correct
  • Subscribe to Interceptum
  • Send email invitations to your customers
  • Create a report and see the results


Customer satisfaction surveys are a great way to obtain information that is critical to your organisation's success. Ideally, customer satisfaction surveys should be conducted on a regular basis in order to monitor progress and the impact of any changes you may have made based on the results of earlier surveys.

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