A 2-Question Customer Survey: Yes, It Really Works

Sheila Bugal on August 8, 2019
Customer Experience

Nowadays, every company or business needs a customer survey. A customer survey – especially an easily accessible online survey – can give owners a greater understanding of what makes their customers happy, and what makes their customers unhappy. What sentiment do your customers reflect? It can provide valuable insights into improving a product or service, give feedback on a new feature, or let owners know how they’re performing in the area of customer service, price, quality, and more. Most business owners and entrepreneurs would agree with all of this.

The trouble is, where do you start with creating a customer survey? Designing a survey that customers will actually engage with and that will provide valuable insight is no small feat. What kinds of questions will you ask? Which metrics are you looking for? Will you include open-ended questions?

While the options can seem overwhelming, keeping your core motives in mind is key to success. You need to accomplish two things: Feedback that will provide you with the insight you need to improve your product or service and grow your business; and continued customer engagement with your survey.

Thankfully, there is a solution: A 2-question customer survey.

Just 2 Basic Questions for Optimal Customer Survey Results

Including just 2 questions on your customer survey might seem a little foolish, at first. It might feel like a waste of time, to go through all the effort to create a customer survey, engage with your customers, and then ask only 2 questions. You may have a list of 10-15 questions (or more) that you’re dying to ask your customers and feel that 2 questions simply won’t cut it.

Trust us on this one: When it comes to customer surveys, less is more.

All of your burning questions about a product update, frequency of use, a particular feature, price, and what customers love (and hate 😬) can be answered in 2 basic questions…

Question #1: Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The first question you’ll want to ask is for NPS.

Many people confuse NPS with CSAT – customer satisfaction. But the core distinction between these two metrics is that NPS measures how likely a customer is to actually recommend your product or service to a friend or family member, not simply how satisfied she or he is with your brand. NPS is a key metric because it helps you predict and understand how word-of-mouth marketing will benefit – or detract from – your brand.

Your question to gather NPS feedback might be something like this:

How likely are you to recommend __ to friends or family?

Then, give customers a scale of 1–10 to choose from – 10 being “extremely likely” and 1 being “never.”

Finally, you’ll calculate NPS by subtracting the number of “detractors” (those who rated you less than a 7) from “promoters” (those who rated you a 9 or 10). Anyone who rated you a 7 or 8 is considered “neutral” and will not factor into your final score.

% of promoters – % of detractors = NPS

By industry standards, an NPS above zero is considered okay. But ideally, you’ll want to aim for 50 or above (anywhere above 70 is fantastic). Detractors tend to have far more influence on your brand than promoters do, and you’ll want happy, enthusiastic customers to far outweigh the unhappy few who will badmouth your product or service online…and potentially influence hundreds or even thousands of potential customers from ever giving you a chance.

Your NPS is a powerful indicator of not only how satisfied customers are…but how they act as either positive or negative leverage for your brand.

Question #2: Open-ended Questions for Customer Surveys

Following up your NPS score with an open-ended question gives your customers an opportunity to explain their answer to the previous question, and to give you additional other feedback that may prove useful. Here are some ideas for open-ended questions you might want to ask:

  • Can you explain your NPS score and why you chose that particular number?
  • How does or doesn’t ______ [name of your product or service] solve a problem for you?
  • What is one way you think we could improve ______ [name of your product or service]?

By asking one of the friendly questions above – or something similar – you give your customers an opportunity to share their own creative feedback with you. You also build valuable relationships with your customers by showing them you care about and value their personal opinion.

In any case, keep your question simple! Simple questions produce straightforward answers, with authentic, high-quality information.

Most importantly, gathering customer feedback this way helps you to gain insight into driver analysis – in other words, the factors that have the biggest impact on customer loyalty and satisfaction, such as price, customer service, design, and usability.

For example, your customers might be thrilled with the design of your product, but disappointed with your customer service. This can cause a significant dip in overall customer satisfaction, an insight that you can gain from asking an open-ended question…but not simply asking for a score.

If analyzing open-ended feedback seems intimidating, hang with us for just a minute – we’re getting to that part soon. 😊

A 2-Question Customer Survey: Less Churn, Happier Customers

One of the greatest challenges of designing an effective survey is keeping survey-takers engaged. Unfortunately, even when your customers respond to your survey, they may get bored, frustrated, or simply lose interest and abandon your questions, which leaves you without the valuable feedback you need to improve your product or service.

Hand pointing two fingers in the air.

A 2-question survey effectively reduces churn rates by keeping your survey quick and easy. When customers only have two questions to answer, they’re less likely to abandon your survey, and probably more likely to engage with your survey in the first place.

Not only that but customers like answering open-ended questions!

In fact, a recent study was performed where customers were asked eight open-ended questions about vastly different topics, ranging from what customers liked/disliked about their spouse to what they liked/disliked in a mobile carrier. Despite its considerable length, 90% of the respondents reported enjoying the survey because of the open-ended questions – because they were able to use their own language to give their opinions and explain their preferences.

Analyzing Your Open-Ended Feedback

Analyzing your open-ended feedback can be a challenge. It could take an entire day’s worth of labor to sift through hundreds – or even thousands – of open-text responses. And while conventional NLP software or survey analysis can help, you’ll still have to take the time to define rules by hand in order to account for typos, misspellings, and other mistakes.

Caplena can help you save time, money, and the extra effort of coding and understanding open-ended responses. It effectively performs analysis with a combination of human intelligence and artificial intelligence, relying on both to produce accurate, valuable insights for you. First, Caplena can be used to understand the open-ended questions on an in-depth level. Then, it “splices and dices” the results in an easy-to-understand visual chart that shows what factors are more linked to happy or unhappy customers – identifying that critical correlation analysis that will help you to understand what’s really affecting your overall customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Discovered by Customer Surveys: “Hidden” Drivers of Success

If you’re currently using a longer customer survey (or no survey at all), consider integrating one of these simple 2-question surveys into your site. You may be surprised to find “hidden” drivers of success in your customer feedback…and learn how to significantly improve your product, site, or business practices to boost outcomes.

Want to make feedback analysis easier?

Caplena conducts sentiment analysis using AI to understand how your customers or employees genuinely feel so you can spend less time on the analysis and more time on the results! 🏆️
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