Measuring customer satisfaction provides insight into the extent to which you meet your customers' expectations. Very important for organizations that want to work in a customer-oriented way. Creating surveys that are effective is just not easy. There are so many things you have to take into account. And often you have a lot of other things on your plate to do.

This blog post will learn you what a good customer satisfaction survey looks like, which is pleasant to fill in and which is useful for you. And we'll give a few tips to make a success of your research. What good is a survey if nobody completes it? 

Short but effective customer survey example

To get straight to the point, an effective survey is very short and looks like this:

Customer satisfaction survey questions

Question 1: How satisfied are you?
Question 2: What is the reason why you feel this way?
Question 3: What factors has been crucial for your experience?

You probably think: 'Is this all, just three questions? Does this provide me with the insights I need'? Yes, it does! But this needs some explanation.

Question 1: How satisfied are you?

The first question is a closed question and can be both relational and transactional.

Relational and transactional research, what is the difference?

Relational is focused on 'the relationship' and is about general satisfaction. Is the customer satisfied with you as a company, with the relationship he has with you? Transactional, on the other hand, is about the transaction itself, for example, the purchase of a product or contact moment. You ask whether the customer is satisfied with a specific action.


You can use a scale of 1 to 5 for this question, often used in the United Kingdom, for example. But in the Netherlands, a scale of 1 to 10 is more common. The KPI that goes with this is CSAT, a KPI that excels in simplicity. Read more about this Customer Satisfaction Score here

Question 2: Why are you (un)satisfied?

Question two requires an explanation of the first question, an 'open question'. This information is very valuable and tells much more than question 1's sample. By sharing this answer with employees and other stakeholders, they get a better understanding of the story and emotion of the customer. 


Of course, this question is not literally 'Why are you (un)satisfied', but responds to the respondent's score on the first question. For example, the respondent answers question 1 with a 10, then you want to thank him or her for this and ask: 'How nice of you to give us a 10! Why are you so satisfied?

Question 3: What has been decisive for your experience?

The third question is the Root Cause question. The Root Cause categorizes the client's story and is a valued method to map out the drivers. The categories make it possible to get to the core of the customer experience. A driver that is often chosen is very important for customer satisfaction. If it gets a high score, then things are going well, if the score is (too) low then there is room for improvement. This allows you to see what is going well and where improvement is needed to be more customer-focused.


With the above three questions, you gather all the insights you need to increase customer satisfaction. If desired, you could add several propositions for more insights.

What should a customer satisfaction survey comply with

You now know what questions a good customer satisfaction survey sample contains. Now let's look at a few tips to make your survey a success. Besides the fact that your survey must be short, there are several other conditions it needs to meet to be successful.

Three simple tips:

  1. Make it personal
  2. Do not ask unnecessary questions
  3. Use terms the customer understands

Tip 1: Make it personal

Address the customer by name and refer to the transaction. Let's explain this tip using an example.


Suppose you bought a used car from a brand dealer. You are very happy with it. After a week - ping - an e-mail asking if you are satisfied with the service. Of course, because you got great service and are super happy with your car. You open the email and to your surprise it starts with: "Dear customer,"  The survey is broad as well, it looks like it's not meant for you.

Immerse yourself in the Customer's Experience 

Immerse yourself in your customer's experience as much as possible. Make sure to make it personal, not only with a personal touch but also to refer to the transaction and the location. The more personal, the greater the chance your customer satisfaction survey has a high response rate. 

Also, make sure that you personalize the invitation email (this can also be a text message or other means) and adapt the survey to your corporate identity. Make it recognizable and let respondents know that the survey originates from you. After all, customer feedback is an important step in the customer journey

Tip 2: Don't ask unnecessary questions

Back to your new car. You decide to fill in the customer satisfaction survey, after all, you are very happy with your car. You click on the link and, the first question you see: 'Which branch did you buy the car from? Huh?

Don't ask questions you know the answer to 

Don't do that! Don't ask questions like this. Nor whether the respondent is a man or a woman, or what he or she has bought. You should have this data in your CRM or ERP system already. Link this, preferably automatically, to the results of your research. This will make your research so much more effective and you can also use this data in reporting.

Tip 3: Use terms the customer understands

One last tip: Do not use process terms, but translate them into terms the customer understands.   When preparing the survey, you are dealing with two target groups: the one who completes the survey and the one who receives the data. The latter is used to process terms that are not understood by your customers. It is important to realize that you have to bridge the gap between 'how does the customer think and the 'internal processing'.

Improve customer satisfaction

If you want to be customer-oriented, it's not just important to know how satisfied your customers are and why. It's about what you do with the collected insights and how you can improve your customer satisfaction.

Therefore, pay attention to the following things:

  • Let customer stories come to life by sharing insights within the organization
  • Share information quickly and specifically with the right people within the organization
  • Enrich insights from your customer satisfaction research with CRM and customer data
  • Provide a clear and well-organized overview of priorities per department, location or employee, allowing you to know exactly what needs to be improved.
  • Avoid thick reports that en up at the bottom of the drawer, but visualize data with attractive dashboards or real-time infographics.

Get started right away

You will find a complete survey to measure customer satisfaction in the CYS software, which you can customize to your organization or situation. You can add questions or statements and, if that is valuable for your organization, you can add multiple languages or import a language. Also, you can adapt the survey to your corporate identity to make it recognizable.

You can choose from several ways to conduct your survey, for example, a personal e-mail invitation or a link to place on your website or social media. Or download a QR code, which you can use in printed materials in your shop or at a trade fair, for example. 

Want to know more?

Your customer satisfaction survey is ready, so you can start collecting feedback! And then what? Do you want to know how you can analyze the insights and improve customer satisfaction based on these insights? Read all about it in the customer satisfaction research whitepaper.  

import_contacts Whitepaper

Want to read more about Customer Satisfaction Research?

In this whitepaper you can read everything about CSAT, how you can apply it and, how to take the step from measuring to improving customer satisfaction.

Download whitepaper

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