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Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

Customer Satisfaction is a commonly used measure for product and services to rate how happy consumers are with what they purchased. The typical survey question to collect this feedback looks like, “How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the [goods/service] you received?” then offers a Likert scale question type between 1-5 with 5 being “highly satisfied” and 1 being “highly unsatisfied”

Do’s and Dont’s for Customer Satisfaction Survey Design

Properly constructed customer satisfaction surveys and questionnaires provide the insights that are the foundation for benchmarking customer happiness. Depending on what customer metrics you intend to use, it will determine what type of survey questions you need to ask your customers. Below are a few best practices:


  • Ask for overall company rating first – This satisfaction survey question gives you great initial insight and allows you to compare to industry and internal benchmarks over time.
  • Allow for open text feedback – Open text questions allow you to collect open-ended responses from your respondents. You can gain more detail about your customer’s experiences and you might uncover new insights you didn’t expect.
  • Optimize for mobile – Many consumers are now completing surveys on mobile devices or within mobile apps, so your survey must be optimized for mobile devices. If it is too complicated for a mobile respondent, survey participation will decrease.


  • Ask double-barrel questions – These questions touch on more than one issue, but only allow for one response. They are confusing for the respondent and you’ll get skewed data because you don’t know which question the respondent is answering.
  • Make the survey too long – The majority of CSAT surveys should be less than 10 questions. People won’t finish long surveys.
  • Use internal or industry jargon - Your customers must be able to clearly understand each question without hesitation and using internal or industry jargon is confusing to respondents.

When and Where You Should Send Your Satisfaction Surveys to Your Customers

Proper timing of customer satisfaction surveys depends on the type of product or service provided, the type and number of customers served, the longevity and frequency of customer/supplier interactions, and the intended use of the results. Nevertheless, timing surveys is extremely important. The experience should be fresh in your respondent’s mind so you get the most honest answers. You can solicit feedback face-to-face when they leave your store, email, online survey, phone, or within your mobile app.
For example, let’s look at the airline industry. Customer satisfaction surveys can be sent at every touchpoint in the process.
  • After the customer books their flight – Feedback after the initial purchase is important because you want to understand if the person was satisfied with their checkout or purchase experience. Send an email with a link to an online survey after the customer purchases their flight to find out how satisfied they were with the booking process. Consumers want easy transactions, so look for ease-of-use in your data.
  • After the actual flight – Post-purchase evaluations reflect the satisfaction of the individual customer at the time of product or service delivery (or shortly thereafter). This can be a transactional NPS or CSAT survey and sent by email.
  • After a customer service encounter - If the customer initiates contact with customer service, a CES survey should be sent immediately after the issue was resolved. For airlines, this could be a call to change a flight date or report lost baggage. The goal is to see how much effort it took to resolve the issue.
  • Six months after the flight – To measure the long-term customer loyalty, relational NPS or CSAT surveys can be sent months after the transaction occurred to see if your customers are still loyal to your brand.
  • In-app mobile feedback – You can request customer feedback on the mobile app or customer experience through a feedback tab in the app. Getting mobile app feedback is important only your customers can tell you what will make them more satisfied with their experience.
Further Readings
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