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How to write customer satisfaction survey questions to master your market [with examples]
Happy, successful customers are the heart and soul of any business. They’re what transform your growth from a funnel into a flywheel.
You can create happy customers, but to do that you have to truly understand them and what they think about your business.
So how do you know what they’re thinking? You have to ask!
Last updated21 Jul 2023
Reading time6 min
To provide an inside perspective on surveying customer satisfaction, we collaborated with Michael Redbord, who helped build HubSpot's support and service teams and has worked with customers for over eight years. Today, he’s the General Manager of HubSpot's newest product line, Service Hub, which helps their customers grow through exceptional service.
Both Hotjar and HubSpot use customer feedback surveys to understand our customers and what the market demands. For HubSpot, this approach has driven dramatic changes over the years—taking them from a small marketing app to the more complete front-office software suite they are today.
In this article, Michael shares the most important things he’s learned about customer satisfaction surveys, so you can take some of his learnings and use them to adopt a practice of collecting customer feedback for your business to better understand your market.
What is a customer satisfaction survey?
A customer satisfaction survey is a questionnaire designed to help businesses understand what their customers think about their products or services, their brand, and their customer support. Customer satisfaction surveys allow companies to improve products strategically, increase customer retention, optimize the user experience, create customer delight, and deliver exactly what the market demands.
Michael emphasizes how HubSpot uses customer satisfaction surveys to understand the micro-level experiences of individual users and address their concerns, while always returning to macro-level questions like “Where is the market going?”, “How is our product on the cutting edge?”, and “Where do we need to improve?”
4 types of customer satisfaction surveys
There are several ways to understand if your customers are happy, loyal, and satisfied with your product or service, and each can help you learn something about the user experience. Here are four of the most effective online surveys you can use to understand your customers.
1. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
CSAT surveys measure your customers’ overall satisfaction with a specific aspect of your business. They usually contain a simple question with a binary response (e.g. yes/no, happy face/sad face) and ask things like “Did our product do what you wanted it to do?”
CSAT scores are usually high (in the 98%+ range), so a sudden spike in negative scores tells you there’s an issue that needs immediate attention.
2. Net Promoter Score® (NPS)*
A Net Promoter Score® survey asks customers to rate how likely they are to recommend your company or product to a friend or colleague on a rating scale of 0–10. You then compare your percentage of detractors (0–6 answers) to that of promoters (9–10 answers) to see where your company stands—the more promoters you have, the more you can infer people are satisfied with you.
Use NPS surveys to determine whether your business successfully cultivates customer loyalty.
3. Customer Effort Score (CES)
The Customer Effort Score measures how much effort it takes for customers to either use your product or fix a problem through customer support.
HubSpot sends a CES survey after they close each support ticket. A CES question will ask “How easy was it to solve your problem?”, and customers are typically given a 5-point likert scale with response options like ‘very difficult’, ‘somewhat difficult’, ‘about as easy as I expected’, ‘somewhat easy’, and ‘very easy'.
4. Milestone surveys
Milestone surveys are questionnaires sent out at key touchpoints in the customer journey to help understand the user experience. A milestone can either be time-based (e.g. sending a survey 60 days after signup) or experience-based (e.g. a pop-up survey that’s triggered once onboarding is complete).
11 customer satisfaction survey question examples
There are many directions you can take your customer survey questions—and while there are no wrong answers, there are right questions to ask. Depending on the customer insights you want to gather, it’s important to choose the types of questions that will lead to the most actionable results.
For example, if you’re looking for quantifiable feedback that’s easily monitored over time, asking rating scale questions (like NPS or CES) is the way to go. And to dive deeper into customer expectations and satisfaction levels, you should ask open-ended questions, or pair a multiple choice question with a follow-up question that gets users to describe their experience in their own words.
Here’s a list of example questions to consider when deciding what to ask your customers:
Customer feedback questions
Was this article useful? [yes/no]
Is our pricing clear? If not, what would you change?
What would increase the product quality, according to you?
In your own words, how can we improve the onboarding process?
Were you able to achieve the purpose of your visit today? [yes/no]
What’s the one thing that nearly stopped you from buying from us?
Did you get the help you needed during your customer service experience? [yes/no]
What persuaded you to complete the purchase of the item(s) in your cart today?
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague? [on a scale of 0–10]
What's the next feature or functionality we should build? [can be multiple choice]
How satisfied are you with the content on this page? [on a scale of 1 to 5, very dissatisfied to very satisfied]
💡Pro tip: there’s a customer satisfaction survey for just about every occasion, whether you’re testing a new feature, analyzing customer churn, or determining what, exactly, turns prospects into loyal customers. When the sky’s the limit, it can be difficult to effectively distill a bigger goal into specific and meaningful survey questions.
Hotjar’s AI for Surveys is the perfect tool to turn to—just tell it your goal and watch as it generates a corresponding survey in seconds. And don’t worry about handling high response rates: the AI will automatically analyze all responses and prepare a summary report with suggested next steps to take. Talk about a time saver!
4 customer satisfaction survey templates
To get started right away, here are four customer satisfaction survey templates you can use. If you’re looking for more pre-built survey examples, check out or bank of survey templates.
🔥 How it works: click on each image to learn more about the survey and try out a live version for yourself. Each survey takes only a minute to set up, so dive right in.
1. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
2. Net Promoter Score® (NPS) survey template
3. Customer Effort Score (CES) survey template
4. Post-purchase (or point-of-conversion) milestone survey template
4 more ways to understand your customers
1. User personas
User personas are semi-fictional characters based on real data about the people who use your website. Getting to know your users will help you stay on top of the market by giving them what they want. Consider using a user persona survey to ask your current customer base specific demographic questions so you can build user personas off of real respondents.
2. Market research
Market research is a collection of techniques used to understand your target market. Good research identifies customer needs, fears, drives, and frustrations. You can use this information to home in on your target audience, design better products, and improve the customer experience.
Hotjar Heatmaps are a visual representation of user behavior that shows where users click, tap, and scroll. They help you understand what page elements are interacted with or ignored, so you can start forming a clearer idea of what works (and what doesn’t) on your website. This is a great way to uncover any pain points that may be preventing users from successfully interacting with your website.
4. Session recordings
Hotjar Recordings show the anonymous activity of individual users, which you can tie to their survey answers. In other words, if someone tells you they’re having a hard time using your product, you can watch a recording of their activity to gain insights about the pain points they experience.
Final word of advice: by following these steps, you will be able to build a solid foundation for understanding your customers, addressing their needs and concerns on an individual or micro-level, and improving their overall experience on a larger scale. Of course, you might not see an immediate increase in your scores when you start making improvements, but if you collect solid data and trust in the process, your scores will improve over time—and your satisfied customers will ultimately drive your success.
*Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.
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