Today’s consumers aren’t shy about sharing their opinions with brands and retailers. Quite the opposite. They’ll happily comment on your social media posts or leave a consumer review for products they’ve purchased. But, often this feedback is reactionary and won’t help you to learn moving forward. One of the best ways to find out exactly what shoppers think is to ask them directly, through a customer satisfaction survey. 

A customer satisfaction survey measures how happy or unhappy a consumer is with your brand. Plus, it’s a valuable tool to help you gain insight and information about your products and the people who buy them. 

Measuring customer satisfaction helps you create meaningful customer experiences and deepen your connection with shoppers. Most consumers feel connected to brands if they think the brand understands their needs and wants. When they feel a connection, 57% of consumers will spend more with those brands and 76% will keep purchasing from them, according to Sprout Social

Above all else, though, customer satisfaction surveys are also another method of collecting user-generated content (UGC), especially ratings and reviews. Brands and retailers can leverage this UGC to build authenticity, boost sales, and attract loyal shoppers

Below, you’ll learn:

  • Ways customer satisfaction surveys can generate UGC
  • Designing surveys to collect the most valuable information
  • How you can leverage the survey responses. 

How customer satisfaction surveys generate UGC

When shoppers fill out a customer satisfaction survey, you’ll find out exactly what they think about the experiences you offer. Aka, what you’re doing well and what you can do better. 

These responses can be incorporated into your UGC strategy. You can post anonymous quotes from the surveys on social media or your website. You can also use the survey as an opportunity to ask shoppers to leave a review for a recent purchase in exchange for an incentive like loyalty points or coupons. 

Consumers view consumer reviews and other UGC as authentic and trustworthy, and 78% of shoppers trust online consumer reviews, according to our 2020 Shopper Experience Index. Nearly 40% of consumers rely on product reviews most to make quick and informed shopping decisions. 

What questions to ask on a customer satisfaction survey to collect UGC 

Customer satisfaction surveys give you the best information when you ask the right questions. Here’s some examples of the right questions to ask: 

  • Binary scale questions offer a choice between two answers, such as yes or no, or a thumbs up or thumbs down. Survey example questions include, “did the product meet your needs?” or “was your experience satisfying?” These types of surveys are simple, but they have some limitations. For one, you’re not able to drill down into the reasons behind why someone answered the way they did. 
  • Multiple-choice questions provide at least three mutually exclusive choices and let customers choose one or multiple answers. These surveys let you ask details about the shopper, such as their occupation or why they were shopping for a specific product. 
  • Scale questions ask how satisfied a customer is with a product or experience, or how likely they are to shop again. Respondents are given a scale, such as, “between one and five”, or, “strongly disagree to strongly agree”, to rank their opinions. 
  • Semantic differential scales are similar to binary scale questions. The survey features two statements, and consumers can pick a point on a scale between the two that best describes their experience. 
  • Open-ended questions let you collect detailed information about a customer’s experience and satisfaction levels, details like the how and the why of their sentiments. These questions can be used with other kinds of questions, like multiple choice, to gather more information. 

You can mix and match the question types within a survey. No matter what types of questions you decide to ask, keep in mind that survey fatigue is real. So, keep your customer satisfaction surveys short and concise. Ten to 20 questions is ideal, and ask only the questions that you absolutely need answers to and that are relevant to your UGC goal. 

Best practices for designing customer satisfaction surveys for UGC 

Once you’ve decided on what questions to ask, consider the timing of the customer satisfaction surveys. Sending too many surveys will turn consumers off. Instead, send surveys soon after shoppers have interacted with your brand in some way—such as by contacting customer service or making a purchase. The experience will be fresh on consumers’ minds and they’ll provide accurate feedback.  

To encourage consumers to respond to the survey, offer something in return. A discount or free gift will incentivize them to provide honest, detailed feedback. Incentives are also a great way to encourage shoppers to leave a consumer review. 

Consumer satisfaction surveys also shouldn’t be a one-off thing. Ask for feedback regularly to build meaningful relationships with shoppers. This approach shows that their opinions are valued and that you care about delivering top-notch experiences. This will also keep fresh UGC flowing in. 

Follow up with survey respondents, too. For example, ask for more information related to a response to get a full sense of their opinions. And, be sure to address any negative feedback that comes through the survey to build trust. Keeping the survey experience positive will entice consumers to complete future surveys and continue sharing feedback with you. 

How to leverage survey feedback 

Customer satisfaction surveys provide a wealth of actionable data that you can use to improve shopper experiences. Surveys reveal a lot about shoppers, including what they’re thinking before making a purchase, why they chose your product, and any pain points along the way. It provides an opportunity to uncover any negative experiences or recurring problems that shoppers encounter. 

The benefits of collecting reviews. Source: Bazaarvoice survey of the Influenster community

Measuring customer satisfaction helps you understand your customer better, so you can better meet their needs. This leads to higher brand loyalty, retention, and increased sales. Leveraging customer satisfaction surveys to generate consumer reviews extends these benefits. When shoppers engage with reviews on best-in-class sites, brands can see a 138% boost in sales conversions. Our Ratings and Reviews tools can help you get started.

Through customer satisfaction surveys, you’ll also uncover shopping trends, like what people are buying when, how consumers use your products, and any products that need improvement. The feedback might also reveal new uses for existing products or inspire ideas for new items. 

Customer satisfaction surveys and consumer reviews give shoppers a voice—and, they appreciate opportunities to share their thoughts with you. Learning and responding to consumers’ needs offers so many benefits for brands, including higher sales, loyal shoppers, and trusting relationships with consumers.

  

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