Looking for example survey questions? Then you’re probably keen on getting customer or employee feedback in some way.
Whilst getting feedback from your customers is awesome, it’s rarely plain sailing. There are so many different types of survey question you can ask.
The question you ask can vastly affect the response rate AND feedback you get.
Based on our experience of sending millions of surveys, we’d like to share some of the best performing examples of survey questions, and explain why they’re so successful. They cover everything from general feedback from staff and customers, right through to specific questions such as Net Promoter Score®, CES (Customer Effort Score) and more…
Customer satisfaction feedback on your company’s work
Example survey question: How are you feeling about our work/service right now?
Why this works: It’s a mini event-driven survey. The question is short and clear, and the timescale is obvious – it’s immediate, it’s real-time and it’s specific. The recipient knows that the company concerned is asking only about how their service is right at the moment they received the email with the survey embedded within it.
The answer will therefore solicit a real gut reaction to an email, service-delivery or event. Just what you’re needing.
Example survey question: How did we do for you this month?
Why this example survey works: This works really well in B2B and service environments. When there’s a monthly or quarterly rolling contract involved, organizations need to know whether a customer is happy with the work they did over that period. But it’s not practical to send 12 lengthy surveys each year (nor is it well-received by the customer) and sending only one annual survey just isn’t enough to get sufficient feedback to rescue an account if it’s going bad.
Asking this simple type of question once a month provides a heartbeat of feedback, meaning client services professionals can keep a close eye on the protection of their recurring revenue.
Example survey question: How was our clean/fix/service/etc today?
Why this works: This question is highly specific and, if sent immediately after the servicing took place, gets great response rates, especially in a B2C environment. The majority of customers won’t jump onto Yelp after every home clean, pest control visit or pool cleaning.
This question works because it specifically targets the recipient at the right time, and asks them a clear question about something that happened in very recent memory.
Customer feedback on individual staff
Example survey question: How did Lindsay do for you today?
Why this works: A huge part of driving up your survey response rate is making the survey feel as meaningful and personal as possible to the recipient. This question works really well, and the reason is, because it mentions the person right in the survey question. It gets really personal – which is a good thing!
By asking how an agent’s service was, it’s possible to get feedback on 30%-50% of closed ticket or wrap-up type emails.
Example survey question: Was this response helpful? / How do you feel about this response?
Why this works: This question gets to the heart of the matter when emails are central to the way you conduct your business, especially when tickets or email threads run for a long time between multiple agents.
During the lifetime of a ticket, the tone and timeliness of email exchanges can make or break customer satisfaction and this question roots out satisfaction at each response.
Feedback on customer support agents, engineers or tickets
Example survey question: How did our engineer do on ticket 12345?
Why this works: When surveying time-poor people, being highly explicit about which service you’re referring to can really count. For example, telephony companies will service the IT departments of large organizations potentially dozens of times a week! It’s impossible to get feedback you can act on (a late engineer, a poorly-trained engineer, a bad fix) unless you know which issue the customer is telling you about.
Specifically mentioning the ticket reference or ID number in the survey helps narrow it right down the for customer. It also helps them understand that the survey is appropriate and targeted to them – not sent out to all customers who had a service in the past 6 months.
Marketing and content surveys
Getting feedback on marketing content or newsletters
Example survey question: What do you think of this newsletter?
Why this works: It gives the recipient the chance to provide the sender with feedback on content and quality. It therefore acts as an alternative to unsubscribing if they’re unhappy – they can express their disappointment, but still give the sender another chance. The non-specific wording of the question encourages a quick answer based on a gut reaction, making it far more likely that the recipient will respond.
If they’re faced with a question they have to think too hard about, at best they’ll probably ignore it, and at worst they may even unsubscribe.
The generic nature of this question also means it can be included at the bottom of every newsletter sent – the more familiar people are with being asked for feedback, the more comfortable they will become with giving it, enabling the sender to build a valuable picture of which newsletters have worked best.
On Site and Event Survey Questions
Example survey question: How was our service point today?
Why this works: Pinpoint positioning at key areas of an event such as the service or help point, VIP area, networking room, or track/breakout areas. When a guest is able to provide immediate feedback about the area that they’re actually in at that moment, their response will be far more meaningful and relevant.
Additionally, the clear and simple nature of this example survey question makes it quick and easy for the guest to answer, meaning they won’t feel that it’s an unfair burden on their time. On site surveys that are too time consuming run the risk of being ignored, or worse, actually being the cause of dissatisfaction.
Example survey question: Are you glad you came to the event?
Why this works: There are so many moving parts that make up a successful event. Catering, venue, timings, lighting, sound, content, speakers, relevancy, usefulness… the list goes on! Asking delegates to rate an event on 30 or 40 different points takes too long in today’s fast-paced mobile world. Instead, we have seen that asking a single open-ended survey question like, “Are you glad you came to the event?” and then taking comments which can be analysed, helps uncover the true drivers of satisfaction (and dissatisfaction).
Industry Standard Survey Questions
NPS® (Net Promoter Score®)
Net Promoter Score is a number between -100 and 100 that represents a customer’s overall satisfaction with a company’s services or product – along with the customer’s brand loyalty.
The Net Promoter example survey question: How likely is it you would recommend this company to a friend or colleague?
Why this works: The Net Promotor® system can be very powerful. The question itself is always the same, so we need to focus on how and when to ask it. Many companies use outbound call centres and lengthy online surveys to measure their NPS, but these methods tend to get low response rates and there’s usually a long wait to receive the results.
To ensure the surveying exercise is effective, it’s important to aim for high response rates and fast results. Include the question in an email that the customer would be receiving anyway, and make it engaging and easy for them to respond. This way they’re more likely to participate. Choose a survey method that will give you instant results – we’re really proud of our real-time reporting which enables you to follow up with individuals and correct potential problems before it’s too late.
It can be really beneficial to ask the question regularly, perhaps even on every interaction with your customer – this allows you to continuously measure your NPS to gain a more meaningful picture over time.
However, because of the standardized wording of the NPS question, it isn’t always the most effective question to ask. It’s important to avoid using it in scenarios where people might think you are actually going to ask them to refer/recommend their friends, otherwise the response rate can drop dramatically.
CES (Customer Effort Score)
Example survey question: Overall, how easy was it to get the help you wanted today?
Why this works: Customer Effort Score (CES) is a simple way to measure how your customers feel about how much effort it took for them to interact with your company’s service or support team. CES questions are often phrased awkwardly, for example, “The organization made it easy for me to handle my issue.” This can feel alienating and discourage the customer from responding.
The key to a successful CES question is to make it simple, yet meaningful. Our example question above makes it clear to the customer what aspect of the service they’re being asked about – how easy was it to get the help they wanted. They don’t need to spend time interpreting the wording, which means answering the question doesn’t feel like a burden. The last thing you want is to increase customer effort just to answer the survey!
Example employee satisfaction survey questions
Example survey question: How are you feeling at the moment?
Why this works: It’s well known that a vast range of issues can affect staff well being. These range from job satisfaction, issues with the boss, motivational factors, bullying, lack of direction and many more. So in terms of regularly capturing feedback and being able to act upon individual staff issues, a simple open-ended question is the most effective. It allows staff to give feedback from the heart, and leave associated commentary, and it’s therefore very successful at unlocking and improving staff satisfaction.
There will often be an internal debate about whether these types of survey should be anonymous – every company will have different feelings about that. The good news is, Customer Thermometer can handle both types of survey.
Example survey question: How would you rate the [company facility] today?
Why this works: TechBars, gyms, cafes, print rooms, HR facilities…. most companies provide services internally to their staff as well as externally, and want to seek feedback on these in a non-intrusive (and non-time consuming) way. Tablet surveys are very effective in this context.
Remember that the survey question you ask, and the time that you ask it, will affect the response rate you get. Keep in mind what you really need to know, and minimize as far as possible the number of questions you ask – this will maximize your response rate and ensure your survey findings are more representative.
Got any example survey questions or ideas that work brilliantly for you? Let us know in the comments!
Read more in our “How to Survey” series:
- 14 ways to improve your survey response rate
- How to insert a survey directly into Outlook
- The best TED talks customer retention
Also, take a look at these 10 short survey examples from leading brands.