What Are the Essential Components of a Great Customer Satisfaction Survey?

You’ve decided to measure your customer satisfaction (smart choice) and now you’re wondering what you should include in the survey. Obviously, selecting the right questions is essential if you want to get meaningful results for your efforts.

In this article I won’t be able to give you a magic recipe for building your specific survey, but I will outline the essential components. My objective is to offer you some basic guidelines which have been proven over many years of experience. Hopefully that way you won’t forget anything important along the way. At the end I will also try and give some advice which should significantly improve the return on your customer satisfaction investment.

Every well-structured customer satisfaction survey should include the following five basic types of questions:

1. General Evaluation Questions

2. Detailed Departmental Questions

3. Efficiency Questions

4. Customer Experience Questions

5. Customer Profile Questions

It is important to include at least two or three general evaluation questions in your survey. One of the most important results of the process should be the identification of factors which maintain a high correlation con overall satisfaction. These factors are where you should expend the greatest effort. Questions like “What is your overall opinion of our performance?” or “Did we adequately meet your expectations?” permit us to establish these correlations.

The meat and potatoes of your survey are the detail questions. You should make an inventory of the “contact points” that your customers experience when they do business with you. Who do they talk to? Which departments are responsible for meeting their needs? For each of these contact points, you should design a specific question. If you run a hospital you might ask “How well did the nurse administer the iv?” or “Did your doctor keep you informed every day?”

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