The 10 Most Effective Types of Customer Surveys

Customer surveys play a crucial role in gathering valuable feedback and improving customer experience. And there is no better way to see how your business is perceived than through the eyes of your customers. So how do you go about gathering this kind of feedback at scale? The answer is simple: through short and focused surveys with easy-to-understand questions using a service like TellMeNow.

However, no matter how you go about gathering this information, if you want to  succeed at creating effective customer surveys, it is essential to know the most effective types. To help you get up and running as quickly as possible, we have narrowed down the list of options to the 10 most effective types of customer surveys along with their purpose, key characteristics, multiple example questions and their response scales where it’s appropriate, the benefits they can provide as well as any disadvantages they have.   

So, without anymore delay, here is our list:

  1. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Survey

Definition and Purpose:  

CSAT Survey measures how satisfied customers are with a company’s products, services or specific interactions. It provides a snapshot of overall satisfaction and identifies areas for improvement.

Key Characteristics: 

Measures overall satisfaction and identifies areas for improvement.

Examples of CSAT Questions and Their Response Scale:

  • “How satisfied were you with our service?”
    Responses: Very Unsatisfied, Unsatisfied, Neutral, Satisfied, Very Satisfied 
  • “Were you satisfied with the quality of our product?”
    Responses: Extremely Dissatisfied, Dissatisfied, Somewhat Dissatisfied, Satisfied, Extremely Satisfied 
  • “Did our service meet your expectations?”
    Responses: Far Below Expectations, Below Expectations, Met Expectations, Exceeded Expectations, Far Exceeded Expectations

Benefits of CSAT Surveys: 

  • Identifying areas of improvement based on customer feedback.
  • Tracking changes in customer satisfaction over time.
  • Measuring the effectiveness of specific interactions or touchpoints. 

Disadvantages of CSAT Survey: 

  • It provides an overview of overall satisfaction but not the reasons behind it.
    To find out those, the CSAT survey will need to be followed up with open comments. 
  1. Net Promoter Score (NPS) Survey

Definition and Purpose:  

Using a scale of 0 – 10, where 0 = “not at all likely”and 10 = “extremely likely”, NPS measures customer loyalty by asking respondents how likely they are to recommend a company to friends or colleagues. It categorises customers into 3 categories:

Promoters: have a score of 9 – 10 and are considered very loyal customers. They will continue to buy from you and will encourage others to do so, as well.
Passives: have a score of 7 – 8 and are considered to be satisfied customers but not necessarily loyal customers. They are vulnerable to other competitive offers.
Detractors: have a score of 0 – 6 and are considered to be unhappy customers. Most likely, they will never buy from you again and may even discourage others from doing so, hence the name. 

Key Characteristics: 

Segments customers into Promoters, Passives and Detractors to gauge loyalty.

Examples of NPS Questions:

  • “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our product/service to a friend or colleague?”
  • “What is the primary reason for your score?”
  • “How can we improve and earn a higher rating next time?”

Importance of NPS in Measuring Customer Loyalty and Calculation:

  • NPS helps in identifying brand advocates (Promoters) and potential detractors.
  • It provides actionable feedback for improving customer loyalty.
  • NPS scores are easy to track and compare across time periods. 
  • To calculate your NPS score, just subtract your percentage of Detractors from your % of Promoters.
    For example: After completing your customer surveys, you find that your business has:
    60% Promoters, 30% Passives, 10% Detractors
    Your NPS score is 50 (60 – 10 = 50)

Disadvantage of NPS Survey: 

  • Similar to the CSAT survey, it provides an overview but not the reasons behind it. To find out those, the NPS survey will need to be followed up with open comments. 
  1. Customer Effort Score (CES) Survey

Definition and Purpose: 

CES Survey evaluates how easy it was for customers to get a problem resolved or a question answered. With CES, we focus on minimising customer effort.

Key Characteristics: 

Focuses on the ease of customer interactions.

Examples of CES Questions and Their Response Scale: 

  • “How easy was it to get the help you wanted today?”
    Responses: Very Difficult, Difficult, Neutral, Easy, Very Easy
  • “Did you find our support process straightforward?”
    Responses: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neutral, Agree, Strongly Agree
  • “Were you able to resolve your issue with minimal effort?”
    Responses: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neutral, Agree, Strongly Agree

Benefits of CES in Assessing Customer Effort:

  • CES helps identify pain points in the customer journey.
  • It emphasises the importance of a frictionless experience.
  • Reducing customer effort can lead to higher satisfaction and loyalty.

Disadvantage of CES survey:

  • Often, these answers are influenced by factors related to your competitors (such as their pricing, their products, their platform, etc…) and you cannot know to what degree

A series of blocks with facial expressions and the biggest one is a smiley face

  1. Product/Service Feedback Survey

Definition and Purpose: 

This survey targets specific insights about a product or service, helping businesses understand what customers like and areas where improvements are needed.

Key Characteristics: 

Provides detailed feedback for product/service enhancement.

Examples of Common Questions in Product/Service Feedback Surveys:

  • “What features of our product do you like the most?”
  • “Are there any aspects of our service that you found disappointing?”
  • “What additional features or improvements would you suggest for our product?”

Role of These Surveys in Product/Service Improvement:

  • Feedback surveys drive product/service enhancements.
  • They align product development with customer needs and expectations.
  • Businesses can prioritise feature updates based on customer feedback. 

Disadvantage of Product Feedback survey:

  • You cannot know the mechanical or technical literacy of those who respond. 
  1. Market Research Survey

Definition and Purpose:
Market Research Surveys help businesses understand market trends, consumer preferences and competitive landscapes. They provide valuable data for strategic decisions.

Key Characteristics:
Offers valuable market insights for strategic decisions.

3 Examples of Common Questions in Market Research Surveys:

  • “Which brands do you prefer in this category, and why?”
  • “What factors influence your purchase decisions when choosing products/services?”
  • “How do you perceive our brand compared to competitors?”

How Businesses Benefit from Market Research:

  • Identifying market gaps and opportunities.
  • Shaping marketing strategies based on consumer insights.
  • Staying competitive by staying informed about market dynamics. 

Disadvantage of Market Research surveys:

  • Without collecting from a broad enough audience, your findings can be misleading
  1. Post-Purchase Feedback Survey

Definition and Purpose:

Post-Purchase Feedback Surveys collect insights after a customer makes a purchase. They help in understanding the buying experience, delivery satisfaction and initial product impressions.

Key Characteristics: 

Focuses on the customer journey after a purchase.

Examples of Common Questions Asked After a Purchase:

  • “How was your checkout experience on our website?”
  • “Did the product arrive on time, as expected?”
  • “Were you satisfied with the quality of the product upon receipt?”

Importance of Post-Purchase Feedback in Customer Satisfaction:

  • Enhances the overall customer journey.
  • Addresses issues promptly to prevent customer dissatisfaction.
  • Identifies areas for improvements in packaging, delivery, and product quality. 

Disadvantage of Post-Purchase Feedback surveys:

  • Very limited in its scope since this is only a small piece of the overall customer journey.

A bullseye in black and white with several red darts thrown at it that missed the mark.

  1. Website or App Feedback Survey

Definition and Purpose: 

Website or App Feedback Surveys aim to understand the user experience and areas of improvement for a website or app. They help in optimising digital interfaces.

Key Characteristics: 

Enhances digital user interfaces.

Examples of Common Questions in Website/App Feedback Surveys:

  • “Did you find the information you were looking for on our website?”
  • “How would you rate the ease of finding something on our website?”
  • “Were there any technical issues or errors that you encountered while using our app?”

Improving User Experience Through Feedback:

  • Ensures a user-friendly interface.
  • Identifies and resolves navigation issues.
  • Enhances overall user satisfaction and engagement. 

Disadvantage of Website/ App Feedback survey: 

  • Similarly to the CES survey, often these answers are influenced by factors related to your competitors platforms and you cannot know to what degree
  1. Customer Service Feedback Survey

Definition and Purpose: 

Customer Service Feedback Surveys evaluate the performance of a customer service team or individual representatives. They provide valuable insights for improving support operations.

Key Characteristics: 

Improves customer support operations.

Examples of Questions in Customer Service Feedback Surveys:

  • “How would you rate the assistance you received from our customer support team?”
  • “Was your issue resolved in a timely manner to your satisfaction?”
  • “Did our customer service representative effectively address your concerns?”

Evaluating and Enhancing Customer Service Performance:

  • Identifies areas for training and improvement.
  • Ensures efficient problem resolution.
  • Enhances overall customer satisfaction with support services. 

Disadvantage of Customer Service Feedback survey:

  • These can be negatively influenced by a customer’s lack of time, lack of interest and/or lack of understanding the question. Asking short, simple and direct questions generally yields the best results.
  1. Voice of the Customer (VoC) Survey

Definition and Purpose: 

The Voice of the Customer (VoC) Survey captures overall perceptions, needs and desires of customers. It goes beyond CSAT to provide a broader understanding of customer sentiments. 

Key Characteristics: 

Provides holistic customer insights.

Examples of Questions in VoC Surveys:

  • “What do you like most about our brand and products?”
  • “What challenges do you face when using our product or service?”
  • “How can we better align our offerings with your preferences and needs?”

Capturing Holistic Customer Perceptions and Needs:

  • Provides insights into the emotional connection customers have with a brand.
  • Helps businesses adapt to changing customer expectations.
  • Guides long-term strategic planning and product development. 

Disadvantage of VoC survey:

  • Often, the questions are too leading and structured on the company’s interests
  1. Customer Churn Survey

Definition and Purpose: 

Customer churn is the percentage of your customers that have stopped purchasing or using your business’s services or products during a specific timeframe. Therefore, Churn Surveys are sent to those customers who have cancelled a service or stopped buying a product. They aim to understand the reasons behind the customer’s decision.

Key Characteristics: 

Helps in reducing customer churn rates.

Examples of Typical Questions in Churn Surveys:

  • “Why did you decide to cancel our service?”
  • “What could we have done differently to retain your business?”
  • “Was there a specific issue that led to your decision to leave?”

Understanding Reasons Behind Customer Churn:

  • Provides insights to reduce churn rates.
  • Helps in retaining valuable customers.
  • Guides improvements in products, services, and customer support.

Disadvantage of Customer Churn survey: 

  • Without further investigation, you don’t know who these customers are. For instance, a high churn rate of customers who have been with you for only a very short amount of time will give you very different insights than a high churn rate of customers who have been with you for an extended amount of time.


As you can see, clearly understanding how and when to deploy the various types of customer surveys, while also recognizing their limitations, can provide significant value to businesses aiming to improve customer experiences, foster loyalty and make more informed, data-driven decisions. By choosing the right survey types and asking the right questions, companies can gain deep insights into customer sentiments and needs to ultimately drive growth and success. We encourage businesses to effectively utilise these survey types through our SMS-based platform, TellMeNow,   and to continuously listen to their customers for ongoing improvement.

Contact us today to find out just how easy and effective customer surveys are to create, implement and analyse with TellMeNow!